Review: Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

It’s Review Time, Happy Readers!

This is the 1st Review of 2022. I plan to make it one of many. In fact, my goal is this year is to read a book a week… ‘book’ being defined by me as 250~300 pages. That might mean some gaps in review blog timing. This book, for instance, clocks in at around 872 pages. There will be some novellas in the mix to even things out! 🙂

Oh, and if you follow my blog for Homestead or Nerdiosity stuff, don’t worry, I’ll be throwing those in still too. I just had a major issue to deal with regarding my flock over the New Year, so i’ve been holding back on reporting about it. I’ll get to it eventually though.

In the mean time, here’s the book review!

Here’s the blurb & links to Seveneves on Amazon.

Amazon Blurb

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic—a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years.

What would happen if the world were ending?

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .

Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

My Review

It has been a while since I read an Epic science fiction novel. It has been an even longer while since I read an Epic Apocalyptic novel. It has been an I Can’t Remember When I Ever time since I read an Epic Hard Science Fiction novel covering a 5000 year timespan. So, this is a first of its kind and I have to say that it is absolutely terrific!

Review contains spoilers from this point forward

The thought of the moon’s shattering leading to the slow hot death of the Earth was a new concept for me, even though I have read many many books with apocalyptic Earth destroying scenarios in my years. To find a new one, and one that is ‘hard science’ that could actually be real is both refreshing and kind of scary.

The near-future scale of the human space-race that has to be jump started to serve as a potential (and not guaranteed) method of survival for the human race in a mere 2 year time frame was more than I actually believe, but I gave it the willing suspension of disbelief for the sake of the story. The potential ways of making it happen are scientifically feasible, if not nearly as stable and survivable as the story allows for in its pages. The events that make things possible are also quite fortuitous… being able to harness a large asteroid and have it on hand, then being able to quickly rush out, grab and return a comet for propellant just in the nick of time… well, it made for a good story.

The later part of the tale is where I found I had some issues with believability. Not because I doubt the ‘possibility’ of restarting the human race from 7 women alone with the right technology in place, but because of the heavy lean toward the liberal feminist political slant. This is the only thing that keeps me from giving the book the 5th star rating. At least it was not a heavy hammer that was wielded by the author.

Part 3 of the book, the aftermath of the apocalypse and the ‘5000 years later’ aspect was both overly detailed and rushed. A lot of information about a society that emerged from the ashes was dumped on me, along with a tremendous (and very fun and exciting) speculative technology. I have all kinds of doubts about the viability of any of it, especially the genetics tinkering that happened to the spacefaring ‘races’. I also have a heaping helping of doubt about the Diggers and the Pingers ability to even exist. All that aside, the story was great.

This book is an Epic Adventure both in length and scope of story. The characters, while detailed in part, take a back seat to the science, events and info-dumps of the plot. I cannot flaw the writing style in any way, though, and I will be looking for other works by Stephenson as a result.

I can highly recommend this book and give it 4 Epic Stars!

That’s all I have for now, Happy Readers!

Until next blog…

Happy Reading!

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Coming Soon: Odyssey, Rumble

Check out my books on Amazon.

Or, even better, support me by buying some Autographed ones directly.

If Science Fiction Space Adventure is what you crave, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.

HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.

In this volume:

Quicksilver (short story)

The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.

Null Gravitas (short story)

New crew and new relationships form above the skies of Venus. A post-prequel to Escaping Aurora.

Escaping Aurora (novella)

The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.

If you like intrigue, humor and a bit of speculative technological supposition, you should pick up a copy of my technothriller-comedy eConscience Beta from Amazon today!

Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?

Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.


HAPPY READING!

Oh, and check out these Corner Scribblers anthologies. I have stories in them all! Here are some links!


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