Book Review: AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson
From the Goodreads site summary . . . . .
|really liked it|
|futuristic, science-fiction, survival, technology|
In AURORA, Kim Stanley Robinson tackles the concepts of multi-generational starships, an interstellar journey of light years beyond our solar system, and attempts to establish a human colony on new planets and moons. One of the facets I enjoyed most is the contrast between optimism and reality. Robinson is not afraid to raise questions regarding the feasibility of space travel and colonization. The crew face many challenges and setbacks. On one level Aurora serves as an engaging tale of survival and the human spirit. On another level it deals with psychological, social and political issues. The characters are very well developed, something I don't always find in a hard science fiction novel. Despite all the scientific, mathematical and technological details throughout the story, it's the characters I began to care about and that's what pulled me through the story.
I had consciously avoided Robinson's earlier works because of the hard science. I confess to becoming confused by details in some of his other works, and this caused me to lose interest. In AURORA it's still very much a part of the story, but it's blended in with the social interactions and is conveyed in a method that is easier to digest. I still needed to keep a dictionary handy while reading this, but I appreciated his command of the language and ability to write prefect descriptions of some highly complex actions.
Robinson must have amassed a giant pile of notes while writing AURORA. It's amazing how plausible he makes the most advanced concepts seem.
Almost the entire book is narrated by the artificial intelligence that controls the starship, which presents a unique point of view. The interactions between the ship and the chief engineer are fascinating and often amusing.