2312 press continues full speed!
As always, check out the calendar on the left for KSR readings, panels, events, in the USA and in the UK.
The Planetary Society's Planetary Radio podcast interviewed Robinson (direct mp3 link), among recent exciting space-related activity such as the Space X Dragon launch and an appropriately 2312-themed video of Satrun's rings.
Continuing with the interviews, the SF Site interviewed Robinson. Excerpt:
[I]t is an open question whether the space project could be a significant help to humanity in trying to get into balance with the biophysical realities on Earth. I don't think we know the answer to this question, and it won't be easy to answer it without continuing to try to go into space usefully, and see what happens. [...] But no matter what we do in space, Earth will remain at the center of the human story. That's one of the things 2312 tries to say. But mostly the book is asking questions. It's not really saying "this could be," but rather, "could this be?" I think it may be that human civilization is so big and various that different things might happen in different parts of it, and advances in some areas occur despite massive problems elsewhere. But this is mainly a question to be asked; is that possible? Could we bootstrap our way out of some of our problems while they are still vexing us?
SF writer John Scalzi features a short interview with Robinson on his blog. Excerpt:
I was forced to use the Kitchen Sink Theory of Novel Construction—again, of course—indeed, more than ever—but it was necessary, because the future is going to be a wild place, a recombinant multiplicity of clashing elements, a real mess. To do justice to realism these days, the kitchen sink is really nowhere near the end of what needs to get tossed into the mix.
Also, a great hour-long panel with Robinson from last November found its way on YouTube here. Stan discusses "Valuing the Earth and Future Generations: Imagining Post-Capitalism" at the Center for Values in University of Texas at Dallas.
2312 features, among many other systems, an economy that is aided by computers to tune demand with supply. It's interesting to read Stan write about Francis Spufford's recent SF novel Red Plenty, a novel that has had trouble getting categorized as fiction in bookstore (I personally encountered it in the 'History' shelves!).
According to Publishers Weekly, 2312 seems to be doing good at sales!
Reviews also have been pouring in!
Locus (by Gary K. Wolfe):
2312 is as flat-out a celebration of the possibilities of SF as I’ve seen in years, not only in terms of classic space adventure [...], but in terms of gender evolution, quantum computing and artificial intelligence [...], and ecological catastrophe [...]. Robinson takes on so much information here, and so many techniques, that the novel sometimes seems on the verge of flying apart from its own imaginative momentum, but it’s something of a wonder to watch Robinson pull in all the kites in the end. Readers who want only the clean narrative arc of the planet-saving space opera that anchors the narrative might find a good two-thirds of the novel a distraction, but for the rest of us it’s a catalog of wonders.
Tor.com (Stefan Raets):
Remember that U2 song “Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms around the World” from Achtung Baby? 2312 feels like Kim Stanley Robinson trying to throw his arms around the solar system, bringing the intimately personal sphere into the system-wide one, and vice versa. The result is easily one of the best science fiction novels of the year so far: a challenging, sprawling, multi-layered story that will provide food for thought long after you turn the final page.
Kim Stanley Robinson, whose new novel, 2312 , is his boldest trip into all of the marvelous SF genres—ethnography, future shock, screed against capitalism, road to earth—and all of the ways to thrill and be thrilled. It's a future history that's so secure and comprehensive that it reads as an account of the past—a trick of craft that belongs almost exclusively to the supreme SF task force of Le Guin and Margaret Atwood.
His new book 2312 is bursting with so many ideas and vivid characters that readers will be almost upset to hear it's a stand-alone. How could anyone create such a vivid, believable, mind-bursting future and not want to explore it further?
Finally, a funny bit of trivia: the Linux Mint 13 has been named "Maya", in part in reference to Maya Toitovna!
(Pictured above: Saturn and some of its moons, from APOD)