Monday, March 14, 2016
Seveneves seems to be a kind of sensation that has blown up the internet. Well, the part of the internet populated by SF geeks, fan artists, and make-it-into-a-movie advocates. I wasn't aware of this until I started writing this review and did a search. Folks seem pretty excited about this book, the artwork on the end papers, and the illustration(s) inside haven't got there yet There is even a companion book written by another author out already. Amazing.
At the halfway point, there are still some things that are hanging out there, that as readers, we just don't know the answers to. Not least is where the title comes from. I have an idea, but its not clear in my mind yet. And that's not all, but leaving some things hanging is what keeps us reading. Stephenson is great at developing a premise (even if its crazy) and attacking the idea the way that science would, digesting the problem, analyzing it, and developing solutions that could work, and then playing them out--along with a host of complications and ramifications that may attend these solutions.
What would we do, Stephenson asks us, in the face of a doomsday event in the not to distant future? His answer: we would do what we could, based on solutions we have already developed, and limp along as these solutions are tested in the real world, with no back-up plan available. How will all come out in the end? We don't know, but Stephenson gives a glimpse of one possible future.
Looks like I'm going to publish this as a two part review. Stay tuned for more.