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2312 Hardcover – 24 May 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (24 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841499978
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841499970
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4.7 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 330,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kim Stanley Robinson has won the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. He is the author of over twenty previous books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the highly acclaimed FORTY SIGNS OF RAIN. He lives in Davis, California.

Product Description


Robinson blends mystery and suspense with lyrical evocation of a complex future (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Polymathic, visionary brilliance (FINANCIAL TIMES)

Kim Stanley Robinson is one of science fiction's greats . . . fans of the Mars books will delight in this novel; new readers will be astonished by the depth, breadth and power of Robinson's invention (SUNDAY TIMES)

The real energy and allure of this book comes from its often gobsmacking and always richly detailed epic vision of an extra-terrestrial future - of habitable asteroids, space elevators, a terraformed Venus and Mercury's magnificent mobile city, always on the run from the dawn and the broiling Sun. Wonderful (THE DAILY MAIL)

Goes back to the roots of the sci-fi genre and puts at its centre utopian and dystopian visions of the social models our descendants might inhabit, with a flashy travelogue around the places they might live. It is a novel of ideas that also sets out to be tremendous fun (INDEPENDENT)

Inherently epic . . . a wise and wondrous novel (SFX)

Beautifully written and with strong mental imagery (SCIFI NOW)

A challenging, compelling masterpiece of science fiction (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - starred review)

A feast for the imagination and intellect - shockingly clever (THE SUN)

Book Description

The future history of humanity: epic and believable SF from the bestselling and multiple award-winning author of Red Mars

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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By TheManAlive on 19 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was a big fan of the Mars trilogy and not having revisited any of his subsequent books I started 2312 with high expectations and great enthusiasm. Quarter of the way in to the book I was beginning to hope that it would just be a late starter, but by 3/4s of the way through I knew that this would not be the case. Yes the writing is good, yes the science and universe is good, but there is simply no plot. Well, not completely, there is a semblance of a plot that could be summarised in just a paragraph or two. He doesn't really sell what plot there is, there is no tension, excitement or any emotion other than just following a couple of characters through some very bland adventures. Its as if he had a number of scenarios about terraforming or future society and needed something lose to link them together.

Would I read it again? No. Would I recommend it? No. Did I have to make myself finish it? Afraid I did, though I very nearly gave up on a few occasions and that is not something I ever do lightly. Overall, a real shame. It gets 2 stars because the future premise was good but that is it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Poulter on 6 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
This novel is a glorious vision of the Solar System a few centuries hence. Mars has been terraformed. A sunshield is being built for Venus as a precursor to terraformiing it. On Mercury, a moving city keeps its inhabitants out of direct sunlight. The gas giants and associated moons etc are inhabited. 'Terraria', self-contained ark environments, spun to maintain gravity, provide homes for a massive living archive of plants and animals, as well as people. Humans come in all shapes and sizes, live much longer and change gender and other physical attributes at will. At Pluto, special terraria are being fitted out to journey to nearby stars.

The big blot is Earth. Sea level has risen there drastically,and coastlines have shrunk. Only a few ice sheets remain. Despite harnessing the resources of the Solar system, Earth is even more overcrowded than ever and its people as hungry as ever. There is tension between Earth and the rest and national rivalries still smoulder on.

There is a problem here as the background scenery is much more interesting than the miniscule plot, which involves quantum computers. Things are not helped by the cryptic notes/lists that interrupt chapters. These are sometimes obscure, contribute little and give the (probably wrong) impression that the author got bored and decided to leave as notes ideas for more narrative/background development etc. There is a love story here of sorts between the main character, Swan, a headstrong Mercurian and Wahrum, an easy-going music lover from Saturn. But the main character here is our Solar System itself, which is what really makes this novel special.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C.Betts on 18 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an occasional hard-core Sci-Fi reader so maybe I don't have the right "wiring" to fully appreciate such works. 2312 is full of well-realised technology, concepts and ideas with a stronger and more recognisable socio-politico-philosophical slant than other recent sci-fi works I have come across. However, I found the central plot a little random at times and without clear purpose for the first third of the book although there are a couple of segments that concentrate more on a plotline and allows the characters to develop and interact more constructively. I also found the sudden interspersion of the main text with lists and supposed extracts of documents to be disruptive and annoying - a literary device that feels artificially quirky and contrived. For me, this book was rather too much hard work and wasn't all that satisfying, although I appreciated the imagination and scope of the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Edward Beach on 1 Feb. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had mixed feelings about 2312. On the one hand, Kim Stanley Robinson has clearly put a lot of effort into thinking up his various worlds, on the other hand, he sets them in such a lazy narrative it's difficult to really care about what happens on them from one chapter to the next.

Generally speaking, the narrative follows Swan Er Hong, a resident of Mercury's city, Terminator, as she bangs around the solar system from one mission to the next. There's a whole bunch of stuff going on; mysterious dealings involving the recently deceased leader of Mercury, unexplained attacks on people and planets, strange half-human half-computer beings flapping around everywhere, and sex, lots of sex.

But none of it really holds together very well, and I was left with the impression the author just smashed together a few different story ideas, and ended up giving none of them the full attention they deserved. Example: there's an promising parallel between a guy Swan picks up on Earth and some semi-sentient characters called Qubans (haha). It struck me there was plenty of space in 560-odd pages to explore the meaning of consciousness, and how future societies have to balance their dependency on mature AI technology. Instead, the Qubans just get naked and Swan "beats the s*** out of them". Nice.

Similarly, there's a long stretch of narrative where Swan and Wahram (another important character) have to try circumnavigating Mercury in a tunnel just under the sun-side surface. The monotony of the experience, combined with growing radiation sickness and the threat of a slow and painful death, brings out references to existentialism and the nature of mortality - big themes you'd think.
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