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New York 2140

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  10,824 ratings  ·  1,870 reviews
It is 2140.

The waters rose, submerging New York City.

But the residents adapted and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been. Though changed forever.

Every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island.

Through the eyes of the varied inhabitants of one building, Kim Stanley Robinson shows us how one of our great cities will change with the rising
Hardcover, 624 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Orbit
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Andrew TK It does appear that this New York is, at the least, based upon the drowned Manhattan he used in 2312:

"Q: The title of your new book, New York 2140, te…more
It does appear that this New York is, at the least, based upon the drowned Manhattan he used in 2312:

"Q: The title of your new book, New York 2140, tells us where and when the action takes place. How did you decide on the setting and the time?"

"A: I went to my editor, Tim Holman, and said, 'I want to write about global finance.' He said, 'Oh God, never say that again. Horrible idea.' And I said, 'But I want to do it.' So he thought for a while and said, 'Well, remember that drowned Manhattan from your [science fiction novel] 2312? If you want to do finance, New York is the logical place to do it. Could you put the book in that drowned Manhattan?'

In terms of picking the time, it was just a matter of making it far enough off that the sea level rise could be justified but close enough that we still have the current set of problems."

Dan Bloom It's meant to be a near-fiction novel in the subgenre of cli-fi. It's a series of interconnected narratives concerning the residents living in the yea…moreIt's meant to be a near-fiction novel in the subgenre of cli-fi. It's a series of interconnected narratives concerning the residents living in the year 2140 of the Met Life tower, a historic skyscraper converted into a co-op. Exploring this vastly changed cli-fi cityscape, where familiar streets are replaced by skybridges and subways by vaporettos, is great fun and makes for an entertaining read.

You could call it a post-disaster fairy tale that’s light on plot and heavy on improbable coincidences but at the same time a thoroughly enjoyable exercise in worldbuilding, written with a clear-eyed love for the city's past, present, and future. It's mere fiction, what some are calling scitainment, escapist storytelling with a leftwing hook.(less)

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Average rating 3.56  · 
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 ·  10,824 ratings  ·  1,870 reviews

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Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
ARC provided by Hachette in exchange for an honest review.

All of the skyscrapers in the year 2140 are like miniature islands from the extremely elevated sea levels due to the effects of global warming. This book is a two year look into the residence of a very famous skyscraper complex in New York City. We get to see these individuals' lives coincide with one another, and showcase some events that they all take part in to make New York a better place to live. Yes, it can be slow at times, but tha
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a novel of great and towering ideas, indeed!

SF idea novels have a long and fantastic tradition in SF and I'll be honest: I love them all. It's a very specific and niche SF, but thank the heavens, Robinson made it big enough in people's estimations to be able to keep writing the fantastically deep stuff and let the world-building go wild.

Remember 2312? Remember the Mars trilogy? He dives deep into location and gives us a very broad view of a whole world or a whole time, drilling deep into
Jeremy Hornik
Apr 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is a compelling idea ruined by flabby writing and awful dialogue. I got angrier and angrier at the waste of my time as I read this. The level of my anger is totally unwarranted. All I can tell you is how I feel.

Best stuff: descriptions of the disaster and how the city came through it, technical descriptions of the problems of life in partly submerged skyscrapers.


Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5ish stars.

An epic slice-of-life story. Is that too big of a contradiction? It's a behemoth and I don't think it really needs to be. I feel like I still would have caught Robinson's vision and adequately understood all of the relevant points with about 200 fewer pages.

The future vision of New York is really cool, especially because it's so much more recognizable and believable than 90% of dystopian/cli-fi/whatever novels that take place in the future. There are many similar books with much mo
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Liked this one a lot. Lots of commentary on the lack of ethics in the global financial system, climate change, extinction events, species at risk, behaviour of people after major events/disasters...and lots more. There are several characters, and the author shifts between them each chapter. I enjoyed this book with the long, rambling plot; the little details about finance and the relationship between central banks, government and the big banks who are all playing with our money. There's also a m ...more
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
While it is not fair to call this a slugfest, it's pretty close. There were entire sections (*cough* Franklin and *cough* citizen) that made me want to stab my eyes out in sheer boredom, other sections went speedily, entertainingly well! I loved the boys, Roberto and Stefan. I really liked Vlade. The actual climate bits were amazing, everything from the polar bears to the ice boats. I especially loved the treasure hunting.

This is just my humble reader opinion, but I felt that the female charact
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Robinson’s epic of the Big Apple – post-climate catastrophe – follows multiple characters living in the same high-rise building. The various storylines converge around the search for two missing residents who may hold the answer to why a real estate group is suddenly trying to buy out the other residents and take over the building. Like all of Robinson’s novels, New York 2140 is peppered with political and economic lectures – some interesting, some tedious. The most transparent flaw in all of Ro ...more
About a third of the way though and getting so bored I had to stop and make a note about it. There's no story, just a bunch of people wandering around. The few plot hooks are flimsy and small. And some of the characters are just too explicitly mouthpieces for a political message.

Bummed because KSR is one of my all time faves and his latest books have been exciting and interesting.

This needed stronger editing.
Manuel Antão
Jun 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Octaviasdottir: “New York 2140” by Kim Stanley Robinson

“Did you ever read Waiting for Godot?
“Did you ever read Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead?”
“Did you ever read Kiss of the Spider Woman?”
“Did you ever read---“
“Jeff, stop it. I’ve never read anything.”
“Some coders read.”
“Yeah that’s right. I’ve read The R Cookbook. Also, Everything you Always Wanted to Know about R. Also, R for Dummies.”
“I don’t like R.”

In “New
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Don't miss this week's Book Geeks Uncompromised podcast episode!

1.5 stars

Just over hundred years in the future parts of the ice caps have melted, causing the sea level to rise fifty feet, submerging many coastal cities. New York, however, still functions as a major metropolis despite the challenges to city buildings.

While this is a fascinating premise, the delivery was way too bogged down in the author’s apparent passion for New York City and technical descriptions of the financial industry.

Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is amazing how urgent and relevant this novel remains, even though it was published in 2017 and takes place over a century from today. In contrast KSR’s latest novel, ‘The Ministry for the Future’, takes place a mere three decades later, and is a much more urgent call to action in terms of the impact of climate change.

Already UN News reports that this year may be the third-hottest on record, with the average global temperature set to be about 1.2°C above the preindustrial (1850-1900) level in
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Anna by: A review in The Guardian
I have often complained about the lack of climate change novels. This is a novel about climate change and you know what? I absolutely loved it! ‘New York 2140’ was just what I wanted: a big novel about a city, its people, and its politics changing with the climate. As in Red Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson deftly examines environmental influences on society, the emergence of resistance, and a convincing future political economy using appealing characters, vivid settings, and satisfying plotting. More ...more
What an immersive read!

Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, speculative
It’s no denying I’m a KSR fanboy. It’s also no denying I avidly share the same concerns as so many: climate change, rising inequality, the grip of finance on global politics. So I really wanted to like this book. And I did – up unto the first 250 pages. The remaining 363, not so much.

As the cover and the title make clear, New York 2140 follows firmly in the line of Kim Stanley Robinson’s near future novels: there was Washington & climate change in the Science of the Capital trilogy, refurbished
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lena by: Solarpunk
“If our government tries to back the banks instead of us, then we elect a different government. We pretend that democracy is real, and that will make it real.”

Substantially better upon reread! I loved it, I had fun, it did not even feel long!

This was collegiate science fiction: a textbook of inspirational politics and economics with lively likable characters.

A true work of Solarpunk it depicts small New York communities banding together against a tidal wave of global greed to better their c
Joy D
In this science fiction dystopian novel set in the year 2140, climate change has caused the ice caps to melt, increasing sea level by fifty feet and flooding New York’s low-lying areas. Many former offices buildings have been converted to housing and now include boat docks in the lower floors. The plot line follows eleven characters living in the MetLife Tower on Madison Square, whose stories begin separately but eventually converge. One of these characters, referred to as “a citizen,” serves as ...more
Feb 29, 2020 marked it as dnf-not-my-cup-of-coffee  ·  review of another edition
This is the first KSR's which I abandon (at 30%). I just can't get into it; nothing draws me in. Maybe it's a mood thing, but I didn't have this issue with his books so far. Perhaps I will revisit it in the future; time will tell. ...more
Otis Chandler
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction, new-york
A super fun, enjoyable read. A love letter to NYC, and worth reading just for that, especially if you live there or have visited. In the 2140, sea levels have risen 50 feet, and Manhattan is half underwater, up to I believe 34th, with a +-10 ft tide that also creates a huge intertidal zone. Who knew that upper Manhattan had more altitude? Brooklyn is all underwater. The main characters live in the Met and Flatiron buildings, which are in the water by several stories, and now have docks and boat- ...more
Michael Hicks
Aug 30, 2017 marked it as quit-dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I was supposed to read this for a September group read, but I had to quit before I died of boredom. I made it through 17% before reaching this decision, and cannot fathom spending close to another 19 fucking hours listening to this thing.

Bottom line - too many characters, overly bloated writing, and nowhere near enough of a point. I don't really care about what kind of stone people are tying their boats off to in a flooded New York, or if they walk across the man-made footpaths linking building
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This story is one where I feel like it's really hard to rate it so I've gone with a 3.75*s for now. This book is set in New York in the year 2140 when the ice has melted and the sea levels have risen. New York has grown exponentially upwards with more and more buildings soaring for the skies and many of the older ones either cracking, toppling or having to be sured up and made watertight. We follow an entire cast of characters who are all in some way connected to one another and to the building ...more
Megan Baxter
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have not had the easiest relationship with Kim Stanley Robinson. There are things I like about his books, quite a lot - his embracing of complexity and willingness to delve into political machinations, for one. There are things that get under my skin - the overall pessimism and the way many of his female characters are intensely focused on just one thing and shrill as fuck about it, for another. This means that when I finish his books, I generally am all in a muddle about what I want to say ab ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I'm not quite sure how I feel about this one. There was a lot to love about it, but I think there are few things holding it back from being a four star read for me.

The concept was really great. I loved seeing how Robinson imagined New York would operate underwater. He included many details that lent his story a great deal of authenticity: sky bridges between buildings for citizens to traverse the city, the use of boats in place of cars to navigate the water ways (and yes, there was still traffic
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Not flawless - but I could not put it down.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another entertaining polemic from this author, this time on the subject of capitalism and finance continuing to ruin the world, and set in the climate change-affected drowned city of New York.

The story follows an ensemble cast primarily located out of the Metropolitan Life building in the year 2140. After two lots ("pulses") of massive sea-level rise due to climate change, New York has established itself as the "mega-Venice" where streets are now canals and most buildings cope with some level of
Michelle Morrell
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: x-read-2018, library
Aww man, I really wanted to like this book. So much so that I gave it three chances. First I borrowed it from the library. Read a couple chapters, marvelled at the "new Venice" perserverance of a drowned New York, but couldn't get into it. Something about the characters just didn't gel for me. Expired, sent back.

Then I downloaded the ebook. I need something on hand for those middle times when I forget a book, am waiting in a line, so on. Same deal, I got a little further in but just couldn't fin
Mar 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
I made it about a third of the way. I didn’t care about any of the characters, I was bored to tears, and every so often Robinson would veer off the story to ramble off facts about stuff, like how derivatives markets work, or the history of NY architecture. Pages and pages of stuff I didn’t care about. This was my second and probably last KSR book.
John Devlin
Apr 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
Wow, so bad. Almost no plot and the story reads like a bad episode of Star Trek where the narrative is really a shallow cover over today's issue.

There is no science fiction here. Almost nothing about New York is different. People are still worried about their student loans for chrissakes.

This book is not a novel; it's a thin - as the bumper sticker that says Coexist on Robinson's Prius - attack on finance and capitalism.

Robinson has a character, just a chapter heading, where a Citizen tells us h
William Liggett
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I was first introduced to Kim Stanley Robinson through his Mars trilogy. He does thorough research and adds as much detail to the interactions among the characters as he does to his descriptions of the environment. This is also true about his latest book, New York 2140.

He describes a plausible world in which lower Manhattan is submerged, but the skyscrapers are still habitable. The lives of the characters seem to have continued undeterred because the lower floors have been sealed, while life go
3.5 stars. Excellent and masterful worldbuilding with a plethora of distinct characters - some you will like right after you meet them, some you just want to smack on the head. The novel is quite fun actually, I am sure Stan had a good time writing it.
The downside: There are some awkward phasing in it, The denouement was a bit too premature. I liked the slow build up but when the plot strands come together they get concluded too fast and maybe, just maybe, too neat.

I also had issues with the o
May 29, 2018 marked it as dnf-gave-up-or-will-never-read  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 23% (circa 150 pages). I got much further this time than KSR's 2312, which I languished in for the 2013 Hugos -- which is apropos, considering I tried tackling this book for the 2018 awards.

I was going to soldier on, because there were glimmers of things that I really liked: Inspector Gen, Vlade, and Charlotte, and their sleuthing what was going on around their skyscraper; the street urchins (or "water rats") scurrying about their business; Amelia transporting polar bears. But that was of
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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

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“Because life is robust,
Because life is bigger than equations, stronger than money, stronger than guns and poison and bad zoning policy, stronger than capitalism,
Because Mother Nature bats last, and Mother Ocean is strong, and we live inside our mothers forever, and Life is tenacious and you can never kill it, you can never buy it,
So Life is going to dive down into your dark pools, Life is going to explode the enclosures and bring back the commons,
O you dark pools of money and law and quantitudinal stupidity, you oversimple algorithms of greed, you desperate simpletons hoping for a story you can understand,
Hoping for safety, hoping for cessation of uncertainty, hoping for ownership of volatility, O you poor fearful jerks,
Life! Life! Life! Life is going to kick your ass.”
“We’ve been paying a fraction of what things really cost to make, but meanwhile the planet, and the workers who made the stuff, take the unpaid costs right in the teeth.” 7 likes
More quotes…