Kim Stanley Robinson

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Robert Markley
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Award-winning epics like the Mars Trilogy and groundbreaking alternative histories like The Days of Rice and Salt have brought Kim Stanley Robinson to the forefront of contemporary science fiction. Mixing subject matter from a dizzying number of fields with his own complex ecological and philosophical concerns, Robinson explores how humanity might pursue utopian social action as a strategy for its own survival. Robert Markley examines the works of an author engaged with the fundamental question of how we-as individuals, as a civilization, and as a species-might go forward. By building stories on huge time scales, Robinson lays out the scientific and human processes that fuel humanity's struggle toward a more just and environmentally stable world or system of worlds. His works invite readers to contemplate how to achieve, and live in, these numerous possible futures. They also challenge us to see that SF's literary, cultural, and philosophical significance have made it the preeminent literary genre for examining where we stand today in human and planetary history.

Then, he returned to UC San Diego to ... Kim Stanley Robinson's writing may feel old-school, but it's distinctly calibrated to make change happen now—so the future in his books doesn't come true. Kim Stanley Robinson's latest novel, Ministry for the Future, is one such work. A scenario of the next thirty or so years, it tells the story of how we might get out of this "unholy mess" and lay the groundwork for a far healthier and more equitable future.

You describe both sci-fi and science as being "collective" in nature. Is this why Robinson is able to so effectively marry the two with socialism in his work? RM.