Robinson, Kim Stanley. 2312. New York: Orbit, 2012.
If you have been keeping up with the monthly reading reports from Northern, Central Texas, you might remember that Jim has been reading the book 2312 for the last couple of months. It is a tome of 640 pages. I haven’t read it so I asked him to write a little something about it for this blog. He graciously acquiesced. Here are his thoughts on this book.
The book 2312 takes place in a future where humans have spread throughout the solar system. Mars and Venus have been/are being terraformed. Mercury has a city that forever just stays out of the reach of full sunlight. Even the large minor planets and moons like Ceres/Titan have populations as well as hollowed out asteroids. That doesn’t mean, however, that all is well. Factions exist on Venus. The Earth is suffering from climate change and the ever-present contentions between countries still exists. So, not much has changed over 3 centuries.
Well, not everything is the same. Progress has also brought about artificial intelligences. These intelligences, at least some, are cooperating and making more. Some that appear human. These intelligences have conspired with political forces on Venus to create meteor bombardments. Some bombardments were to test the concept of bringing thousands of small meteors together at a single point at the same time. This prevents the immediate discovery of the attack. Other attacks were to make political statements.
Not all AIs are in on this and help to bring the conspiracy to light. So, as in real life, there is no clear line between good and evil. One must always keep an open mind and be observant.