Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Aurora” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.75  ·  Rating details ·  23,394 ratings  ·  2,869 reviews
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 new home.

Hardcover, 466 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by Orbit
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Aurora, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Mark Foskey Here is the way the journey went:
1. Beginning of the journey: Very high acceleration for a short time. They are in special tanks for this, if I rememb…more
Here is the way the journey went:
1. Beginning of the journey: Very high acceleration for a short time. They are in special tanks for this, if I remember correctly.
2. Much of the trip without thrust. Clearly, rotation is needed to simulate gravity during this portion.
3. The last years of the trip decelerating, using pulsed nuclear thrust (basically bombs). This was a lot less than 1 G, so they still needed rotation.
The amount of reaction mass they would have to bring to accelerate at 1 G the whole time would be impossibly huge.(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  23,394 ratings  ·  2,869 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Aurora

Probably I read it wrong.

I don’t know how else to explain my reaction to a book so many enjoy. I was looking forward to some space-faring sci-fi: I recently read Dune, and with plenty of news about The Expanse, the sci-fi series based on Leviathan Wakes, crossing my feed, I’ve been feeling nostalgic about space travel and unfamiliar planets. Unfortunately, this a disappointment and a chore to complete.

Aurora begins with Freya and her father sailing on Long Pond. It turns out Long Pond is in the
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: space-opera, sci-fi
I can say a lot more than wow, and I will, but wow is still coming out.

I had an oh shit moment that reduced me to tears at a certain point, and I'm not going to reveal it for anyone else, but it was powerful and it had everything to do with the fantastic character development for the narrator.

The last book of Robinson's that I read was 2312, which I still think about, but I had some issues with it, namely in the two main characters. I didn't quite care for them as much as I felt I should have. U
Henry Avila
Two unnamed starships from Earth in 2545 are launched towards a nearby star system,Tau Ceti, only 11.9 light -years away, they will arrive in 170 years... even though traveling at one-tenth light speed, seven generations of people are born and die, most never seeing their ultimate destination... the greatest adventure ever attempted. However things do not go as planned, otherwise it would be a dull voyage into the unknown galaxy for the readers. The main characters are a family of three, fiery D ...more
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Long sigh.

Let me start this review by saying that in spite of the two star rating, I believe this is an important novel that every science fiction fan needs to read. The philosophical and scientific issues that Robinson addresses in detail are central to the genre, and particularly to space-based hard SF, so much so that from here on, all such works will have to address the concerns he raises in some form or another if they want to be taken seriously. Yes, it's that essential.

For this reason, an
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"The Earth is the cradle of Humanity, but one cannot stay in the cradle forever."

In the year 2545, a starship crafted by human hands began its voyage from the Solar System to nearby star, Tau Ceti, just 14 light years away. Moving at 1/10th the speed of light for most of its journey, the ship’s voyage has lasted nearly 160 years when Aurora‘s narrative begins–just 10 years away from arriving at the eponymous moon that may serve as a new home for humanity.

During its long life, Ship has seen fifte
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2015/11/16/b...

It’s interesting how just the other day I was writing about how much I love colonization sci-fi, a fascinating subgenre which celebrates the faith and ambition that comes with setting out into the unknown—with the hopes that a brand new home can be found at the end of that journey. Of course, closely related to the theme of colonization is the idea of the generation starship. The original occupants of an interstellar ark m
Mar 25, 2015 rated it liked it
You have to respect an author who tries so hard to produce a piece of "hard" science fiction. Where much science fiction doesn't pay much attention to pesky items like the laws of physics (see speed of light, etc), hard scifi authors attempt to take the science seriously and weave a story from there. Robinson for the most part does an excellent job in this area. "Auora" follows a community of space travelers on a 'generational ark," a ship designed to reach another solar system over several gene ...more
Simon Hedge
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016
Very hard sci-fi that will dispel any rosy ideas you might have about deep space exploration, inhabiting distant planets and generation spaceships.
B Schrodinger
'Aurora' is a beautiful book that will break your heart.

Kim Stanley is one of my favourite authors. I guess that the reason for this is that his books express ideas and values that I value strongly such as the power of science to mend, to break and to transform; a wonder and worship for nature; an imagination that is expansive yet grounded in reason. His books portray the spark and complexity of life, the life of the non-organic and the workings of the human race. His people are more than the pa
Dec 20, 2015 rated it liked it
**Note: This is a reaction--a few ill-considered opinions not backed up by textual evidence-- rather than a review.**

Hard scifi and I have a rocky relationship. No matter how many series I try, I never seem to find one that really genuinely clicks with me enough to actually pursue the series. Unfortunately, KSR and I are no different. This entire review is going to consist of carping, and since I turned the book back into the library a few days ago and I find this book incredibly unmemorable, p
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The generation ship as an environmentalism story.

Kim Stanley Robinson has been doing the environmentalism/ecology/politics through a lens of science fiction for a very long time. He did it with the Red Mars books and did it again (some would say overdid) with the Science in the Capitol books that have since been collected as Green Earth. This is his latest effort at it and in my opinion it is a very successful one.

The book starts with a small family aboard a generation ship that is nearly at the
Yzabel Ginsberg
[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

I haven't read anything by Kim Stanley Robinson since 2003 or so, back when I read (and loved!) his Mars trilogy. So I was really excited and hopeful when it came to this one, and... unfortunately, it didn't work for me. At all.

Excellent concepts, ideas and research. The generation ship. All the details its engineers didn't foresee, and how the descendants of the original crew had to contend with those shortcomi
Stevie Kincade
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
There are no likeable characters, I hated "The Decision" and the ending left me hollow but I have to say this is probably the most original, ambitious Science Fiction novel of recent memory.

In my view the Hugo should go to the most original, compelling story that advances Science Fiction with it's ideas. If a story like that isn't nominated then give it to the one that was the most fun. "Aurora" is definitely the former of the two.

I'm always saying I want an unpredictable, non conventional stor
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
I'm not sure if this is 4.5 stars or 5, but somewhat unexpectedly for a hard SF book this one made me feel. Like, really, deeply feel. You connect at first superficially and then deeply with our main characters (both the narrator and our heroine, Freya) and their journey to Tau Ceti. The story did not go where I expected it to, but I was pretty much always entranced. (Though there are sections in the middle where you just want a decision to be made, dammit, it's all of a piece with the story.) E ...more
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction

This is, unquestionably, a brilliant and thoroughly enjoyable SF book, containing elements of true originality, compelling and beautifully written.

What I particularly loved about this book is the developing consciousness of the Ship's AI, the epic character of the interstellar travel and exploration feats of the human population of the Ship, and the blending of ethical, psychological, sociological and even philosophical aspects, all masterfully personified and reflected by the AI's dawning consc
Susan May
Jul 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Thought I'd better add a few comments. I haven't written a formal review, because I didn't love this book. I love the idea of it ... a generational spaceship. It felt like a bit of a slower version of the Arthur C. Clarke Rama series, minus the aliens.

However, it just got a little bogged down in the middle and then the end became repetitive, sadly. It's quite a large book to read as well. I don't think I've ever read Kim Stanley Robinson before, even though I'm a big sci-fi geek. Can anyone tel
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Right up to the seventh and final section entitled ‘What Is This’, I was hovering at three stars for this novel. Typical of KSR, it makes for a seemingly non-cohesive read. The language is dense, there is a lot of jargon and science – KSR is never one to talk down to his readers, so you better keep up – and the characters are frustratingly opaque and generic. But KSR has always been a Big Ideas writer more than anything else. And Aurora is probably the purest distillation of his vision and philo ...more
Should be titled "Things that Could Go Wrong in A Generation Ship". Lots of interesting speculative stuff on that. However, this is not my favorite KSR novel. It is a bit messy, too many tangents with the author's voice coming through the so-called conscious ship, flat characters and less than satisfactory ending. ...more
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015, e-books
4.5 Stars

Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson is a bold edition to the hard science space opera. This is a powerful story about one of man’s first journeys to the beyond. A story about 2000 people making their way to populate and terraform a new home in the Tau Ceti system. The story spans more than 250 years and we are treated to a few different points of view.

The story works by being grounded in both physics/mathematics and also in humanity, while in the end it turns out that biology should have bee
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I was invited to a faculty-staff book club of sorts where we discussed this book. An interesting choice!

The book starts with a daughter noticing her mother is angry, and the camera pulls back to show the generation ship they are living on. It is designed with multiple biomes to imitate earth, but there is some movement between them, while being large enough for some children to not know they are on a ship until a coming of age ritual. (But what if earth is also a ship? Cue mind exploding sounds
Karen’s Library
I enjoyed the first half of this book as we get to know Freya and her family as they journey to Aurora to colonize this planet (actually a moon). I thought the premise of the story was good! The descendants of the original colonists (and several generations before them) have been traveling on a starship for about 170 years and this generation are the ones to finally arrive and start the process of learning about their planet.

And then, things go wrong. The POV shifts completely to Ship, the AI.
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-to-a-ksr, sci-fi
What a difference from the previous book I read…
KSR is indeed a wizard of words. I said it before and I will say it again that I never encountered in other authors’ works such mastery of writing.

Main theme of this novel is the journey of around 2,000 people toward Tau Ceti, in an enormous ark-ship. What is different from other works with similar themes is the focus, which is not on the expedition itself, but on the habitat built to sustain the several generations. Looking at the big picture, it
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There is a danger in praising a book to the point that it seems overhyped. So I'll just say this book is okay, by which I mean this book is amazing and I hate using that word but there it is and does anyone feel like dancing? I feel like dancing.

KSR is the best. (although I do wonder if 2000 is really a viable population number for all of those biomes, but whatevs.)
Two thousand, one hundred twenty-two people are living in a multigenerational starship, headed for Tau Ceti, 11.9 light-years from Earth. The starship’s voyage began in the common era year 2545. For most of that time the ship has been moving relative to the local background at approximately one-tenth the speed of light. The presence of printers capable of manufacturing most component parts of the ship, and feedstocks large enough to supply multiple copies of every critical component. The narrati ...more
Executive Summary: An interesting premise, but I found the execution uneven, and I'm not really sure the point of the ending. There were parts I really enjoyed, just not as many as I'd like.

Audiobook: Ali Ahn does an excellent job with this book, especially the parts of the ship. She definitely adds a little something extra that makes the audio a great option in my opinion.

Full Review
Kim Stanley Robinson is one of those authors whose been on my radar that I just never got around to. I'm not
42nd book for 2017.

KSR is one of my favorite scifi authors, but this was just terrible.

The KSR writing style is there, which I happen to like, and there are some interesting set pieces, but overall the book feels like kludged together. The book is gloomy throughout, which would be OK if the plot made more sense.

Spoilers ahead.

The cultures and biomes described in the book make no sense given the size of the populations and land area (4 sq km is not enough to have a tundra ecosystem). They get a
Yes, what did I think ? Hmmm, as the sorting hat says, difficult. I struggled for the first 100 pages or so to really get into this book, just didn't get it or couldn't connect (both sound pretentious, but you know what I mean). This was one of my nominations for Sci Fi Aficionados monthly readers pick (along with 6 other of my choices) and this book was voted the one to read by my fellow group members.
Now remembering it was (one of) my nomination(s) I thought I had better read it, I did really
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The usual with Robinson. His characters do not really come alive in the story, but the story itself is amazing and there is always one character that is memorable. In this particular case it is a ship, which develops an awareness of its sentience and of the responsibility attached to sentience. The story itself is an attack on heroization of space exploration and especially on the idea of colonizing other planets. The point the author makes is that humans cannot possibly fit into an already deve ...more
Ron Sami
Dec 23, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The book tells about the ships of a different generation and the problems of interstellar space travel.

Plot. Rating 3
The book's plot is pretty straightforward, although it has an unexpected twist in the middle of the book. This gives the story some originality, but at the same time introduces illogicality into the book.
There are quite a few strange plot situations in the book, due to the inability and unwillingness of the heroes to solve the problems that arise. Some problems are presented to th
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Lazarus Men
  • Seveneves
  • When the Children Fight Back (Children of the Eye Book 3)
  • Crossroads and the Himalayan Crystals (Crossroads, #1)
  • The Eden Paradox
  • Blindsight (Firefall, #1)
  • Matching Configurations (Quantum Roots, #3)
  • Time Chain
  • Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch, #1)
  • Children of Time (Children of Time, #1)
  • Citizen of the Galaxy
  • Termination Shock
  • House of Suns
  • Absolution Gap (Revelation Space, #3)
  • Planetfall (Planetfall, #1)
  • Komarr (Vorkosigan Saga, #11)
  • Virtual Light (Bridge, #1)
  • Ancillary Mercy (Imperial Radch, #3)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Kim Stanley Robinson is an American science fiction writer, probably best known for his award-winning Mars trilogy.

His work delves into ecological and sociological themes regularly, and many of his novels appear to be the direct result of his own scientific fascinations, such as the 15 years of research and lifelong fascination with Mars which culminated in his most famous work. He has, due to his

Related Articles

Cast naked into the wilds of the Paleolithic Ice Age, a young apprentice braves the elements in Shaman, a prehistorical novel by the science...
62 likes · 17 comments
“So, you know, Fermi’s paradox has its answer, which is this: by the time life gets smart enough to leave its planet, it’s too smart to want to go. Because it knows it won’t work. So it stays home. It enjoys its home. As why wouldn’t you? It doesn’t even bother to try to contact anyone else. Why would you? You’ll never hear back. So that’s my answer to the paradox. You can call it Euan’s Answer.” 15 likes
“One acts, and thus finds out what one has decided to do.” 11 likes
More quotes…