Seveneves

Another fine novel from the great Neal Stephenson!

Though not by any means his best, Seveneves is still a five-star story. Go read it. At only 880 pages, you’ll be able to finish it in a day or two.

Well…no.

It really is 880 pages, so it will take you more than a day or two, but it’s well worth it. Seveneves is a sprawling apocalyptic science-fiction story about an astronomical event in the near future that wipes out almost all life on earth except for those who escape into space or underground. It’s hard science fiction, but…like a “true” mainstream novel, it’s much more than plot and setting, relying more on character development and conflict. The character development can be a little weak, but it’s there.

The novel takes place over two very different time periods: the near future, when the earth is pretty much destroyed, and 5000 years from now, when it’s finally safe to return. Stephenson handles the transition well, revealing just enough of what happens during the long gap but not dwelling on it. His one real flaw, IMHO, is one that has infected some of his other books as well: a tendency to indulge in (slightly) disguised racial/ethnic stereotyping. I’m sure that’s not how Stephenson would look at it, and it’s all done with good intentions, but still…



Categories: Books