In the year 2545, a generation spaceship leaves Earth for a 170 years interstellar trip to set up a new colony in a distant exomoon at the Tau Ceti syIn the year 2545, a generation spaceship leaves Earth for a 170 years interstellar trip to set up a new colony in a distant exomoon at the Tau Ceti system, 12 light-years away from Earth. It is now 160 years into the trip and the spaceship is near its destination. It is at that point that “Aurora”, Kim Stanley Robinson’s new novel, begins its narrative.
aurora1Aurora is a captivating ‘hard’ science story, characterised by an emphasis on scientific accuracy and meticulous research. The mechanics, the design and the ecology of the ship are explained in great detail. The ship has the ability to accommodate multiple lifeforms, including 2,000 people in 24 different biomes (miniecosystems) from tundra to tropical, inside two massive wheels, the A ring and the B ring. Each biome has its own human population, 2,000 people in total.
The ship’s artificial intelligence, called mischievously, “The Ship”, acts as the primary narrator of the story. It is fun and fascinating to follow its effort to learn how to write a narrative of the history of the people in the spaceship under the instructions of the ship’s “chief engineer”. Looks like a simple story but this is deceptive; it is rather, a complex, fascinating and stimulating novel.
Once again Robinson stresses the importance of people living in ecological balance with nature, but rather than suggesting shaping an alien landscape until it resembles Earth, he explores the possibility of working on our own environment to redress the damage we’ve done to it. Aurora is also a story about love, persistence, human ingenuity, hope and ideas.
Human beings live in ideas. That they were condemning their descendants to death and extinction did not occur to them, or if it did they repressed the thought, ignored it, and forged on anyway. They did not care as much about their descendants as they did about their ideas, their enthusiasms.
Is this narcissism? Solipsism? Idiocy? Would Turing acknowledge it as a proof of human behaviour?
Well, perhaps. They drove Turing to suicide too.
Aurora is a brilliant book, perhaps Robinson’s best after the Mars trilogy....more
It's been a while since my last sci fi reading. Good read, not brilliant but a good solid story. I am looking forward to the second part of the trilogIt's been a while since my last sci fi reading. Good read, not brilliant but a good solid story. I am looking forward to the second part of the trilogy hoping it will get better.
Extract from the book
There was another intelligence out there, close enough to touch. And even if they were now gone, then the mere existence of their handiwork was wonder enough to fundamentally change humanity' s view of the universe.
Well, perhaps. The world has absorbed the dizzying lessons of modern science easily enough, hadn't it? Reality was a trick of cognition, an illusion woven by the brain. Beneath the apparently solid skin of the world lay a fizzing unreality of quantum mechanics, playing out on a warped and surreal Salvador Dali landscape. Ghost worlds peeked away from the present with every decision. The universe itself would one day simmer down to absolute entropy stasis, the absolute and literal and of time itself. No action, no memory off an action, no trace of a memory, could endure for ever. Every human deed, from the smallest kindness to the grandest artist achievement, was ultimately pointless....more
Power is best when is destributed more broadly. That's what democracy means. That's what freedom means. The right to determine your individual destinyPower is best when is destributed more broadly. That's what democracy means. That's what freedom means. The right to determine your individual destiny belongs in your hands, and no one else's. The laws thart limit human capabilities are exercises in control. They stem -fear of the future, fear of change, fear of people who might be defferent than we are, who might make themselves into something new. The result of theis fear is the corrosion of our liberties, the corrosion of our right to determine our own futures, to chart our own destinies, to do the best we can for our children. That corrosion has consequences..........more
After you die, what do you do for the rest of your life?
An interesting story about posthuman clades and their conficts. The book is well structured, IAfter you die, what do you do for the rest of your life?
An interesting story about posthuman clades and their conficts. The book is well structured, I liked the transitions between the chapters. Some chapters could be shorter and less detailed, I think. I would certainly like to read more about posthuman clades, in the future. ...more
It's been 10 years since I've red this book for first time, one of the finest scifi novel I've ever read. Red Mars, is dealing with the technical, phyIt's been 10 years since I've red this book for first time, one of the finest scifi novel I've ever read. Red Mars, is dealing with the technical, physical and environmental difficulties of setting up a Martian colony, following the group of the first 100 settlers from Earth and examines the possibilities and the difficulties of setting up an entirely new society on a new,harsh frontier.
Arthur C. Clarke called Red Mars "the best novel on the colonization of Mars that has ever been written... it should be required reading for the colonists of the next century." Highly recommended!
The illusion of stability is created by a concentrated effort to ignore the chaos we are imbedded in.
"It's the love of right lures men to wrong"
"Adverticing, stock brokerage, the whole apparatus for making money only from the manipulation of money, it is not only wasteful but also corrupting, as all meaningful money values got distorted in such manipulation"
"History is what happens when you aren't looking - an unknowable infinity of events, which although out of control, controlls everything."...more