Book Review: AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson

 From the Goodreads site summary . . . . .  


 3.72  ·   Rating Details   ·  8,497 Ratings  ·  1,412 Reviews
A major new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful voices, AURORA tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system. 

Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers. 23197269
Our voyage from Earth began generations ago.

Now, we approach our new home.

Hardcover466 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by Orbit
  OUR REVIEW OF AURORA . . . . . . . . .
  really liked it

     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.


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