Kim Stanley Robinson, Hugo and Nebula award-winning author, told a New Yorker writer in an interview recently he believes it is “craven” for a sci-fi writer to project an apocalyptic future for humanity and planet Earth. He prefers to take the braver, optimistic path, the view that we can and will figure out a way to survive our many ecological and political problems.
Walking the walk, he offers solutions. His book Aurora, though not so on-the-nose as his Ministry of the Future, takes us on a multi-generational starship complete with twenty-some eco-systems on a voyage to a solar system 11.9 light-years from Earth. Our hero is Freya, a tall, comely woman who lacks the engineering skills of her genius mother but is expert at solving social issues.
The book starts slowly, showing us the intricacies of the ship as Freya goes on walkabout and lives in all the eco-systems and societies. Soon enough, though, the colonists arrive at their destination. Here the drama accelerates. Events turn sideways, and each person must make a life-changing decision. Freya, to her credit, does her best to keep the starship society glued together.
Staying true to his philosophy, Robinson finds a way to avoid total starship-Armageddon. By story’s end, though, another Robinson theme appears: There is no place like Earth.
Book review written by: Glenn Vanstrum
Pair It With:
Gin Fizz: This staple cocktail is not an easy feat, but if you get it right, it’s incredible. Using cream, egg white, orange flower water, lemon, lime and gin, the end result is a creamy, frothy, cold piece of heaven.