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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  105,629 ratings  ·  10,845 reviews
What would happen if the world were ending?

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen cha
Hardcover, First Edition, 867 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  105,629 ratings  ·  10,845 reviews

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Feb 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Okay, so the first two thirds of this was shaping up to be pretty much my favorite book ever, like if someone had called me up and said, "okay, we will get any author you name, and they will write exactly the book you would like to read, just give us a list of what you want."
And then I gave them a list something like this and was like, NEAL STEPHENSON PLEASE:
-Someone succeeding through clever means
-Something grand being destroyed in an epic fashion
-People trapped together
-People work
May 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The *science* and world-building is awesome. The storytelling and character development not so much so.

There is a guideline for writing, they say "show, don't tell". And, yes, I know NS never really follows this rule, but here's it's extreme. Most of the book is like

Moira walked into the room. [5 pages of backstory about Moira] She looked at Dinah. [10 pages of backstory about different people who have looked at Dinah].

This is to a degree forgivable when the backstory is *fun*, but this is a sur
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Amazing stand alone sci-fi, highly recommended. I guess Neal Stephenson is a legend for a reason!
Will Byrnes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rick Urban
From: Neal Stephenson
To: William Morrow, Publisher

Dear Friends,

I've got a great idea for a new novel. I've decided to call it "Seveneves", which is a palindrome. In case you didn't know, a "palindrome" is a word, phrase, number, or other sequence of characters which reads the same backward or forward. Allowances may be made for adjustments to capital letters, punctuation, and word dividers. By the way, punctuation prior to the development of printing, was light and haphazard. William Caxton (147
Jeffrey Keeten
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“We're not hunter-gatherers anymore. We're all living like patients in the intensive care unit of a hospital. What keeps us alive isn't bravery, or athleticism, or any of those other skills that were valuable in a caveman society. It's our ability to master complex technological skills. It is our ability to be nerds. We need to breed nerds.”

 photo stephenson_zps8vpxhwlz.jpg
Nerd Alert! Be nice to the nerds in your life. They might save your ass someday.

Nerds realized a long time ago in the United States that they needed to
I don't know what all those complainers are going on about. As far as I can see, I just got two novels for the price of one. The first 2/3rds is all hard science fiction, where science matters and the whole thing is tied together with plausibility. The last third is pure unadulterated speculative fiction with damn fine worldbuilding and extrapolation from the first 2/3rds.

Let me back up. I can honestly say that I loved the gigantic erector set that was the first novel, but I will admit that I wa
Seveneves: 600 pages of infodumping leaves little room for plot development
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
I must be developing an immunity to the Kool-Aid that Neal Stephenson serves his fans. Snow Crash and Crytonomicon are two of my favorite books, but I was lukewarm towards The Diamond Age and then hit a wall with Anathem. So when I heard he was coming out with Seveneves, and that the plot was much more like traditional “hard” SF than his earlier cyberpunk, steampunk, nanotech, crypto
Susan May
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Official announcement:

So after 650 pages of 850, Seveneves & I are going our separate ways. I've decided he's a bore. He just dwells too much on technical minutiae & I like to focus on people & characters & enjoy the adventure in books. I'm sure there are thousands who will love him for who he is.
He did try & change for me, bless him. He put on a silly hat, got me some flowers, but it wasn't enough to entice me to continue with him until the end. I'm sorry, Seveneves, I told you going in, either
Apr 12, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I knew I was going to hate this novel around page 270 when Mr Stephenson, technocrat extraordinaire, decided to spend a page complaining about modern gender theory and "academic leftists" who were wasting time and energy. I had already been put off by the jingoistic libertarian nonsense promulgated through a lot of science fiction and given centre stage in this novel, but this anti-humanities screed was the last straw. It's not just that it's intellectually lazy (it is, though, full of strawmen) ...more
Nicole R
May 12, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish, ner, 2015

I just can't do it anymore. I am 46% through this 880 page monstrosity, and I just cannot read another page. I thought I would give it one more shot tonight, but after reading for 45 minutes and literally having no idea what I just read I think it is time to throw in the towel.

I feel like I should like this book. I love space and dystopian (which, I guess this kind of is?) but I should have known better given that I I am hit or miss on sci-fi. And the plot was actually intriguing. I liked man
Andrew Smith
I continued my recent SF binge with a look at this mammoth offering from the award-winning writer of ‘speculative fiction’. The first sentence sets the scene pretty well:

The moon blew up with no warning and for no apparent reason.

Soon, the best known television commentator on such issues is proclaiming that the hard rain’s a-gonna fall. And keep falling. In fact it’ll rain rocks for thousands of years. Not the best news then.

And we’re off into the realm of the end of the world, as we know i
J.L.   Sutton
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves is impressive! Mankind has two years to prepare for the end of the world. Go! There have been other books with a similar premise, but the devil (about how humanity comes together to work out the enormous technological and existential problems of the challenge) is in the details. And the details are important to Stephenson. Critically important! In Seveneves (the first 2/3 of the novel), Stephenson combines nice storytelling with a hard science bend in a way which is u ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
UPDATE: In Audible US sale 12/26/18

Loved it!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
$1.99 Kindle sale, March 18, 2019. 4.33 stars. I managed to read this 870 page SciFi chunkster while my family was on vacation in southern Utah, visiting Zion, Goblin Valley, Dead Horse Point and Arches national and state parks. (There was a lot of downtime while we were driving between different points of interest, and luckily my husband likes to drive, which leaves me with a lot of reading time.)

Arches National Park

The seared look of the landscape in some of those parks fit in well with the
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: Will Byrnes
This epic tale of survival of the human species in space after the earth gets wrecked by a “Hard Rain” of meteorites was a real treat for me. It represents a landmark in revival of old themes of science fiction from the Golden Age of the 40s and 50s, which had hallmarks of inspiring a sense of wonder and of extolling human technological capacities and can-do spirit sufficient to break out of our fragile planetary prison. For those who have been disappointed in previous attempts to read recent St ...more
Review posted at the B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog:
Yzabel Ginsberg
I finally managed to finish it. Yesss. I did.

Now where to start.

Good ideas, definitely. Using the ISS as a base for survival. Trying to cram as much knowledge and items as possible there to preserve the human race. Having to watch from above, knowing that all your beloved ones are doomed to death in about two years, and the clock keeps ticking by. Knowing that it's all unavoidable because it's happening on such a scale no group of heroes will be able to fix it, or whatever. Having to say goodbye
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As the joke has been going, if you enjoy orbital mechanics as a main character, you'll enjoy this novel. I was commenting to someone that the book could be 100 pages shorter if we dumped the super detailed description of orbital mechanics that occurs as an info-dump over and over again. Then I met someone who had gotten annoyed enough to begin counting pages when it happened and got to around 259 pages of it. *sigh*

Stephenson is the Stephen King of Science Fiction: only writes massive novels tha
3.5ish stars. Really 3 stars but I'll add .5 for pure chutzpah.

Wow. That was definitely an experience. I have to hand it to Neal Stephenson; the amount of research time that went into this must have been insane. I mean, I have no idea how accurate any of the science actually is but, I mean, it sounded good. After the first few info-dumps, however, I just kept thinking to myself, "Yes, I get it! You're smart! I'm convinced!" I'm sure there are people who are into the nitty-gritty details about as
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, and extremely entertaining book. (Or, should I say, 'two books'? Because it really is two totally separate novels.)

The first book is a very much on-trend apocalyptic-event novel. An enigmatic something causes the moon to blow apart into 7 huge chunks. Since Neal Stephenson covered it at the talk I saw him give recently, I'm going to say he doesn't think it'd be too much of a spoiler to reveal that those seven chunks are soon predicted to keep banging up against each other in orbit u
Manuel Antão
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Big-Ass Delta VEE: “Seveneves” by Neal Stephenson
When I read the first 50 pages, my first objection was to could the moon have been broken up into so few large pieces. The verisimilitude hangs on the likelihood of meteor bombardment coming down to what the Agent was, and I'm not aware of anything we currently know of that could break apart the moon like that. I had huge problems with this premise right at the beginning of the book.To
Otis Chandler
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I love Stephenson - and this was another hit - absolutely loved it. The great thing about a good Stephenson book is it makes you think about the future in new ways, and this book was no exception.

It was really two books, and I certainly didn't see the second one coming. It starts out in modern times and then someone blows up the moon. We don't have time to find out who, as within a few years the fragments of the moon cause the worst asteriod shower earth has ever seen and wipe out all life in e
Niall Alexander
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
600 pages of concentrated awesomesauce, let down a little by Stephenson's decision to devote so much of the last part to backfilling the 5000 years of future history he skipped absent the underpinnings of character or narrative. Still. His best in a decade, I dare say. ...more

3.5 stars

As the story opens the moon explodes into a number of big chunks for reasons that are unclear, though most likely it was hit by some space object.

The shock and awe among Earth's human population is soon exacerbated when scientists announce that the moon chunks will inevitably collide with each other, break up into smaller and smaller pieces, and - in two years time - begin to rain down on the Earth. This 'hard rain' will last five thousand years and destroy the entire surface of the
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Geeky Heroines and Heroes

A Wealth of Technical Details

Let me get this clear up front.  I’m a Neal  Stephenson fan.   Cryptonomicon is one of my favorite books.   I also loved the Baroque Cycle series.  Snow Crash, not so much. That said, I was ambivalent (right up until the end) about whether to give this 3 stars or 4.  But the last section did it---four stars it is. My ambivalence is because of the very thing that makes Stephenson’s writing what it is---the plethora of technical details. Cert
Its been a while since book left me with so many mixed feelings like Seveneves did.


* Builds on existing technology. Science fiction novels that use current state of our world as a starting point (or existing science concepts) and then build on it are my favorite kind. For example think of anything by Arthur C. Clarke. In Seveneves, everything scientists and engineers do, sounds realizable.

* Made me care. As a speculative fiction fan, I read a lot of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic books.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Reminder to self: no review posting until less than 30 days before release date.

Silly brag: woohoo I totally scored a review copy of this book!
The most expected sf novel of the year for me turned out to be quite frustrating as it clearly could have been awesome and among the best sf of all time if it just started on page 516 or so with what was advertised in the blurb (the seven races terraforming the earth etc); but for 500+ pages the book is a competent mixture of techno-thriller apocalyptic/post apocalyptic sf with some very unrealistic assumptions (something like the hard rain of the novel coming up would induce massive breakdown o ...more
Kevin Xu
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I tried so hard to enjoy the story, but I did care for any of the characters as they seemed like 2D rather than 3D, even though I thought the premise/idea was pretty cool.
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Asking the Goodreads Population: How did you feel about the "info dumping?" 18 111 Jun 17, 2021 09:56PM  
San Diego Pals: Seveneves 1 4 May 13, 2021 10:45AM  
Sequel / threads left dangling 1 8 Apr 19, 2021 10:59AM  
Only halfway but this question is bothering me! Major spoilers 3 18 Apr 19, 2021 10:33AM  
Glaring plot hole? (Possible minor spoilers) 64 1649 Oct 15, 2020 10:53AM  

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Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, and the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World), as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

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