16th March 2017
New York 2140
The latest novel by Kim Stanley Robinson depicts a scarily plausible future, in which New York has been inundated by rising sea levels.
Kim Stanley Robinson is an award-winning science fiction author, best known for his Mars trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars), which follows the terraforming efforts on Mars over a 200-year period. He also wrote 2312, depicting a number of futuristic concepts including asteroid terrariums and rewilding of extinct species on Earth. His many other books explore a wide range of scientific, environmental, cultural and political themes. He is noted for his use of "hard" science fiction to convey a sense of realism and plausibility.
Now, Robinson is back with his latest novel: New York 2140. With yet another futuristic storyline, it tells the tale of a 22nd century Manhattan that is struggling to survive amid rising sea levels. A synopsis of the book reads as follows:
"The waters rose, submerging New York City.
But the residents adapted and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been. Though changed forever.
Every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island.
Through the eyes of the varied inhabitants of one building, Kim Stanley Robinson shows us how one of our great cities will change with the rising tides.
And how we too will change."
For those who might be wondering whether New York: 2140 is set in the same universe as the Mars trilogy or 2312, Robinson had this to say in an interview with sfsite.com:
"I don't like linking up my various projects into one larger future history. I've never done it, and so of course now it's too late, and I don't regret it. I don't see that the advantages of some larger macro-history are very large, compared to the flexibility that I've gained by making each novel have its own future history. Even within my Mars stories there are a couple alternative historical lines to the main one described in the trilogy. I think it's best to keep on updating one's views on what is "most likely to happen," and write accordingly. And doing it this way means each time I have a chance to invent a whole new history, and even if they are somewhat similar, there's still a lot of pleasure to be had there in the details."
New York: 2140 is published this week in hardcover, by Orbit. It is also available in E-book and audio format. A paperback version is scheduled for 2018.
• Follow us on Twitter
• Follow us on Facebook