me2

Book finished

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars on this. I really liked the universe he built in this book - it's a wonderful solar system. The characters were pretty good - not fantastic but certainly enjoyable. The story, well, it was just OK. It was a mystery without much of a sense of mystery. The conspiracy was uncovered without the reader being involved all that much. What makes a good mystery/detective story is tantalizing the reader and encouraging them to think ahead, but I didn't get much of that.

That said, it was a nice story in an enjoyable setting. I would not mind at all living in the world he's built - though not on Earth, which is kind of a hole - which is completely believable.

I'm going to say a solid 3/5 - would have been 4 if he'd managed to make me more interested in the plot.

Some clippings:
  • So often the first time one did things they were contingent, accidental, and not necessarily good things on which to base a set of habits.
  • "The past is always gone," Wahram said. "Whether the place is still there or not."
  • Full employment, if enacted, would remove 'wage pressure'--which phrase had always meant fear struck into the hearts of the ppor, also into the hearts of anyone who feared becoming poor, which meant almost everyone on Earth. This fear was a major tool of social control, indeed the prop that held up the current order despite its obvious failures.
  • Each day has its particulars. Performing the same actions day after day, in a ritual to ward off time, to hold the moment, does not remove these particulars, but rather burnishes them. The animals, our horizontal brothers and sisters, remind us; each day lived is a kind of adventure, a success. Nothing ever repeats. Each breath is a new suck at the atmosphere, a gasp for life. A hope for experience. Feel that and go on.