Brenda Cooper

Reading Recommendation: New York 2140, by Kim Stanley Robinson

I finished reading 2140 the day that the United States announced it would pull out of the Paris agreement on Climate Change.  I believe today may go down in history as the day we lost global political power and destroyed the global good will of other nations towards us, and maybe worse. But that’s a different blog post, and maybe after I calm down I’ll be able to write that.  This post is to recommend that everyone read 2140.

This ambitious look at a future when sea level has risen to swamp coastlines and New Yorkers travel through canals in a “super-Venice” is brilliant.  It’s full of believable and interesting characters.  It’s well-researched and deeply imaginative.  I was quite sad to have finished it and to leave the world Robinson created behind.

I’ve read a lot of climate fiction, and this may be the best climate fiction book written so far.  While it pulls no punches, it is also hopeful. It’s characters are as full of foibles, hope, despair, and ingenuity as real people.  The future in this book feels plausible. It’s also a bit of an emotional antidote to the current political crazies. It’s also long — so it may be a healthy way to avoid taking in too much news all at once while still thinking deeply about the things that matter.

Note that I listened to this in the Audible version (and then went out and bought the hardback).  The narration is quite good.