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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  16,713 ratings  ·  2,318 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
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Keylime If I read the book correctly, the ship had only been accelerating early on by the 'scissor' array' [high acceleration but brief] and the laser located…moreIf I read the book correctly, the ship had only been accelerating early on by the 'scissor' array' [high acceleration but brief] and the laser located around Saturn (gradual for around a generation), at which point it would have been cruising for a long time without any acceleration/deceleration before the deceleration upon approach. It would have been during this time that the toruses would have been particularly critical.

I don't think it is ever stated how quickly the ship accelerated by the laser nor how quickly it is decelerating, but it is implied to be very gradually (I may have missed this detail), so they may never reach even the equivalent of 1g along the direction of travel. This was my interpretation based on the comparison the characters make between the deceleration changes and the changes in the ship's Coriolis effect

I think the key here is to remember that acceleration is the key, not speed. While the ship is traveling very fast, its speed does not impart any gravitational-seeming effect; changes of velocity do(less)
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3.74  · 
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 ·  16,713 ratings  ·  2,318 reviews

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Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was ok

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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

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
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
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.
Simon Hedge
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Brendon 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
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
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
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
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
"And they can't fix nitrogen. Why does nitrogen break so often?"

Hehe. This book really brings out the biology nerd in me.

Freya's ancestors were propelled into space on a ship crafted as a miniature Earth, with the goal of settling an Earth analogue moon over 11 light years away. The ship is well past the point of no return when their engineers realize the biomes are starting to fail, as emulating the careful balance of Earth isn't as easy as they thought. Oops.

This book is what I imagined sci-fi
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
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
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
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
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.)
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.
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
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, z-to-a-ksr
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
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 su
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
Terence Blake
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction

This is a very involving story, and very intelligent writing. Supposedly "hard" sf: hard for the accurate description of the constraints of space travel, but soft (i.e. magical) for the quantum computer that becomes self-conscious. (Perhaps "speculative fiction" in the sense of half science fiction and half philo-fiction, to be seen in the light of François Laruelle's call for a "philo-fiction" using "quantum thought").

The text is multi-layered: a hard science attempt to spell
ashley c
Beautiful epic! Intricately crafted - every word is cleverly chosen and used in his beautiful narratives of the ship, and in its musings. I'm constantly challenged and surprised by the intelligence of his writing, evident mostly in the narration of the ship. I really liked how the story uses the ship as a narrator of the lives of the people on the ship, as the ship has the privilege of commenting and learning about humanity and its language, nature, failings and successes through a objective and ...more
The writing here is absolutely beautiful, the vision is vast. A very special novel indeed.

I've read very little recent sf, and this is my first time reading Kim Stanley Robinson. This beautifully written book defies any stereotypes about hard sf being dry or unemotional. Aurora chronicles the voyage of the first ship sent outside our solar system, launched in the year 2545. Its destination is the moon of a planet in the Tau Ceti system, called Aurora. The idea behind a generation ship is that the original occupants would not live long enough to complete the journey, but their descend ...more
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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
“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.” 11 likes
“One acts, and thus finds out what one has decided to do.” 10 likes
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