Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140: A review

less than 1 minute read

I reviewed Kim Stanley Robinson’s new novel, New York 2140, for The Conversation. I argue:

[C]limate fiction can play a critical role in the face of the large-scale experiment we humans are conducting with the world’s climate system: inspiring creative rethinks of the designs and technologies needed to reshape how we relate to our environment.

Science tells us that, by reshaping our global energy and agricultural systems, we can avoid the magnitude of planetary change that Robinson depicts. But to make those changes and to adapt to the changes we don’t avoid, the world’s best minds need to focus, not on new apps or financial innovations, but on the civilizational challenges at hand.

Works like Robinson’s – starkly beautiful and fundamentally optimistic visions of technological and social change in the face of some of the worst devastation we might bring upon ourselves – can inspire that focus in a way that myopic discussions of the near term or grim, apocalyptic tales cannot.

I will also be on a panel at Rutgers-New Brunswick with Kim Stanley Robinson and with other Rutgers faculty discussing this novel on April 5.