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Out now: AURORA! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kimon   
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 21:35

Our voyage from Earth began generations ago.

Now, we approach our new home.

AURORA.


As of today July 7 2015, Kim Stanley Robinson's new novel, Aurora, is out! (hardcover, ebook, audiobook)

The first two reviews are from none other than Gerry Canavan in the Los Angeles Review of Books: "The Warm Equations" -- along with reviewing Neal Stephenson's Seveneves -- and it's relatively as spoiler-free as possible...

Aurora traces the story of one of the generation starships flung out from the solar system during the Accelerando, Robinson’s alternative name for the prophesied technological Singularity. In previous books these launches have always been something of a dead end: those explorers journey (as he says in 2312) “beyond human time, beyond human reach” into “a vastness beyond comprehension,” outside history itself. [...] I think Aurora may well be Robinson’s best novel.

...and from Gary K. Wolfe for the Locus of July 2015.

Podcasting duo Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan also did an extensive interview with Stan for Coode Street here.

We are delighted to be able to present what is one of the first major discussions about this extraordinary new novel, which we think will prove to be one of the standout SF novels of 2015.

Stan also talked to the Verge ESP podcast, here.

More material -- and KSR tour! -- as it becomes available.

(banner image from Coode Street)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 July 2015 22:04
 
Colonizing Mars: a revisitation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kimon   
Friday, 01 May 2015 14:26

Kim Stanley Robinson's next novel AURORA is coming out in hardcover (+ ebook, audiobook) in the USA/Canada on July 7 2015 (July 9 for UK, July 14 for Australia). 480 pages.

The book synopsis from Orbit Books:

A multi-generational starship travels out of the solar system for the first time in humanity's history. Its destination is a planet in the Tau Ceti system, 12 light-years away, that they have dubbed Aurora, after the Roman goddess of the dawn. Will this be a new dawn for humanity or the dusk that will encompass us all?

Editor Tim Holman says, "Are you looking up at the stars? Kim Stanley Robinson is an incredible individual, a visionary and a truly wonderful writer. Aurora is about our future, but it is what this novel tells us about the present that really matters. A must-read for fans of SF, and a fantastic voyage of discovery for anyone unfamiliar with the genre."

One of science fiction's most powerful voices, Kim Stanley Robinson has won multiple Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards and has published more than 20 books, including the award-winning Mars trilogy and the New York Times bestseller 2312.

Aurora cover in super-HQ here.

It's been more or less two decades now that the Mars trilogy has been out there. It is recognized as a classic of the genre, and has helped shape the imagination and the mental mapping of the future of many a reader. Today, with so much more of the real Mars explored with robot probes, our better knowledge of the planet makes the project of a long-term human colonization and terraforming a much more challenging one -- plus some Earth issues have become much more pressing, like climate change and building a social-economic-environment system that is sustainable. See and listen to Kim Stanley Robinson reminisce on his Mars books and sharing the rough truth on our priorities as a global civilization:

  • Stan talked about his vision of the future for U-T San Diego Science Talks, a video of that is available here.
  • Stan talked about Mars at the SETI Institute's Big Picture Science podcast, Mars Struck (just the KSR bit here).
  • Another video interview with Stan, this one really laid back from his home, for StarShipSofa's online SF convention SofaCon2 (also available in StarShipSofa #382). He teases more the setting and story of Aurora, talks about the collections he has edited (Rexroth in the Sierras, Future Primitive, Green Planets), about the way he writes and the many birds he has come to know by writing outside, taking questions from our Facebook group, plus a cameo from Pandora the cat

Shelf Awareness has a short, to the point interview with Stan. Read about his favorite authors and books, what he's reading now, books he takes when backpacking, books read most often, all kinds of books!

Book(s) you're an evangelist for:

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth and Air by Geoff Ryman.

Plus, an interview from 2014, in a longer feature for Studio 360, "Will Sci-Fi Save Us?":

What does today’s sci-fi mean for our real-life future?  Cyberpunk author Neal Stephenson argues that it’s time to get over our love of dystopia. A class at MIT searches sci-fi classics for technologies they can invent right now, although maybe they shouldn’t. Geoengineers take a tip from Carl Sagan – who saw a green future for Mars – to see if we can save Earth.  And we meet some scientists who think that if we ever want to see the stars, we’d better start building the starship.

Some upcoming appearances:

  • May 22-25: WisCon 39, in Madison, Wisconsin: Feminist SF convention 
  • June: UCLA: talk about John Muir

More coming as we gear up to the release of Aurora!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 May 2015 07:00
 
Coming in 2015: Aurora PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kimon   
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 21:18

Let's kick off 2015 with a KSR-inspired video: Wanderers, by Erik Vernquist. Make sure to watch full screen!

It is really rare to find an optimistic and human-centered visual depiction of space exploration -- short films and videos are usually centered around either technological gimmicks or on something going tragically wrong, instead of the pure adventure and awesomeness of humanity expanding beyond the terrestrial frontier. For anyone that has read KSR (the Mars books and 2312 in particular), this really looks like it could be...a trailer for an on-screen adaptation of his books! According to Vernquist:

The film is a vision of our humanity's future expansion into the Solar System. Although admittedly speculative, the visuals in the film are all based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens. All the locations depicted in the film are digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where available. [...] As some may notice I have borrowed ideas and concepts from science fiction authors such as Kim Stanley Robinson and Arthur C. Clarke, just to name a few.


Coming in 2015 is Kim Stanley Robinson's next novel: AURORA!

After taking us 300 years in the future with 2312 and 30,000 years in the past with Shaman, KSR extends further in the future than he's ever been with the generation ship-themed Aurora!


It will be published in May 2015 (hardcover, digital, audiobook). 480 pages. Book description:

A major new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful voices, AURORA tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system.

Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.

Our voyage from Earth began generations ago.

Now, we approach our destination.

A new home.

AURORA.

The cover was revealed by Orbit Books, but click the above image for higher quality.

Also coming in 2015:

  • Aurora book promo tour;
  • ...and the inevitable big debate Aurora is going to stir in the science and science fiction circles;
  • the publication of a Science in the Capital trilogy edit/omnibus;
  • a KSR / Marina Abramovic event;
  • some KSR trips outside the USA;
  • possible developments around a Red Mars TV series;
  • the announcement of KSR's next novel!
A major new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful voices, AURORA tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system.

Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.

Our voyage from Earth began generations ago.

Now, we approach our destination.

A new home.

AURORA.
- See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/kim-stanley-robinson/aurora/9781478903741/#sthash.CHdoCjHd.dpuf
A major new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful voices, AURORA tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system.

Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.

Our voyage from Earth began generations ago.

Now, we approach our destination.

A new home.
- See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/kim-stanley-robinson/aurora/9781478903741/#sthash.CHdoCjHd.dpuf
A major new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful voices, AURORA tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system.

Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.

Our voyage from Earth began generations ago.

Now, we approach our destination.

A new home.
- See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/kim-stanley-robinson/aurora/9781478903741/#sthash.CHdoCjHd.dpuf
Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 January 2015 21:46
 
The naming of things: "Mount Thoreau" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kimon   
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 21:38

End of September 2014, a group of people passionate about wilderness and writing gathered to ascend and name a peak in the Sierra Nevada of California "Mount Thoreau" -- after the famous 19th century transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, writer of Walden and such essays as Civil Disobedience and Life Without Principle. Very appropriately, this peak is opposite Mount Emerson -- after Thoreau's close friend and intellectual sparring partner Ralph Waldo Emerson! This is an unofficial name, as this does not follow USGS procedures -- and so a little act of civil disobedience -- but it was a moment to collectively live in the wild and remember Thoreau.

Kim Stanley Robinson was among them -- also poet and writer Gary Snyder, Tom Killion (whose woodblock print of the Sierra illustrates Robinson's collection of Rexroth poems Rexroth in the Sierras), writer Paul Park, and other friends of Robinson's, about 20 total. Robinson wrote an extensive piece on the event, the experience and generally on Thoreau: The Actual World, "Mount Thoreau" and the naming of things in the wilderness. You can read it here, along with photos from Christopher Woodcock and others. Some extracts:

[...] nothing up there is named after Henry David Thoreau, the great American nature writer, the man whose books inspired John Muir and helped create the preservation movement that saved the Sierra Nevada as wilderness. This seemed an oversight, a mistake, a little crime. And an opportunity. Because there is already a Mount Emerson up there, named by John Muir himself, after a trip to the area in 1873. [...] Peak 12,691 is somewhat lower than Mount Emerson, but much more gnarly and interesting; the two peaks have much the same relationship that Emerson and Thoreau had, not just in size and aspect but in position, being close to each other but separated by a huge gulf of air. [...]

Once you give up on the idea of sleeping during a night in the mountains, it can be very restful. If it is clear and not too windy, I dispense with a tent and sleep out. At 11,000 feet above sea level, the stars are simply incredible. I watch them, don’t try to sleep, and thus often sleep pretty well. Awake or asleep, in tent or out, a mountainous peace fills me. [...]

We were also continuing a long tradition of meeting in the Sierra to celebrate its art. In the early Sierra Club summer trips, John Muir or Ansel Adams might tell a story by the fire or Cedric Wright play his violin. Here we were doing it again, awake in the dark and the wind. The feeling of that moment resists expression, has no name. It was the kind of party even Thoreau might have liked.

[...] in this case I think the honor of the name is worth the loss of the unnamed. Emerson and Thoreau were friends, and together they changed us. Now their two peaks form a gate like the Pillars of Hercules, marking a way into a certain kind of American reality, as well as a bit of Sierra backcountry. In wildness is the preservation of the world.

The event was also covered by the New York Times, including an audio report!

(Photo: "Mount Thoreau" from the north, by Kim Stanley Robinson)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 November 2014 22:16
 
Exclusive: Time in the Novel PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kimon   
Friday, 19 September 2014 19:44

From the recent LonCon3 in August comes Kim Stanley Robinson's latest talk, "Time in the Novel". An exploration of literary techniques and of how different writers have written time passing, from the super-slow Proust to the super-fast Stapledon, addressing Virginia Woolf's and Olaf Stapledon's correspondence, the "show, don't tell" convention, the García Márquez revolution, the literary experiments of Virginia Woolf, William Golding and Patrick O'Brian, and the time passing per page metric, this is a massively enjoyable lecture from a lover of literature!

Credit goes to:

Lecture by Kim Stanley Robinson at LonCon 3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention, Literature Talk 1477, Thu 14.08.2014 19:00 BST in Capital Suite 14, recorded by Martin Stricker http://www.martin-stricker.de/ for the Phonothek of the Science Fiction Club Germany e. V. http://www.sfcd.eu/

You can download a recording of the lecture [here] -- this is a KSR.info + SFCD exclusive!

Enjoy!

Image credit: Book cover design for Virginia Woolf's "To The Lighthouse" by Melanie Smith

Last Updated on Saturday, 20 September 2014 11:02
 
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