Apr 24, 14
Read from August 08 to 10, 2012
2/3 of the way through this one. Not as good as some of his previous works so far. Could do without the "lists" and other iterations, and some of the fragmented partial commentaries from fictitious future reference works. The usual KSR weirdness abounds, particularly his love of unconventional and experimental social arrangements (he truly is the contemporary science fiction author most like Robert Heinlein in this regard). This is yet another book about colonizing and/or terraforming planets in the solar system. In this book, all of the planets from Mercury to Saturn have some sort of human habitation on or around them (generally on the moons of the gas giants). Mars has long been terraformed, Venus is being terraformed (natural gases and sulphuric acid in the dense atmosphere, a surface temperature that can melt metal, greenhousing totally run amok... good luck with all of that!), and asteroids in the belt are being hollowed out and spun to create artificial habitats and gravity... making big lifeless rocks into living planetessimals. Lots of interesting ideas so far, particularly his concept of 'the greater Mondragon cooperative', a network of AIs that run a macroeconomy of vital necessities throughout the solar system. As usual in a KSR book, I've got to pause every few pages to ponder, and I'm generally enjoying reading the book.