Green Earth

Kim Stanley Robinson
Green Earth Cover

Green Earth


Green Earth is a revised version of The Science In The Capital-trilogy, a near future series on climate change, American politics and science. The original trilogy consists of Forty Signs Of Rain (2004), Fifty Degrees Below (2005) and Sixty Days And Counting (2007). They were meant to be one long novel all along. In movies, most director's cuts are longer, but not here so... Robinson cut about 300 pages, still leaving Green Earth to be a mammoth of 1069 pages. It's unclear how much updating took place, if any -- there's about a decade of extra research and data on climate change since the first volume was published, and it's not unthinkable that KSR tinkered a bit with some of the data in the original books too.

You can read the 6 page introduction of the book on io9. It is an excellent text by KSR himself on the reasons for this revision, and he tackles some other interesting topics too. His take on the ethics of contemporary literature & science fiction is bold, and rings very true to these ears.

Also, my original idea had been to write a realist novel as if it were science fiction. This approach struck me as funny, and also appropriate, because these days we live in a big science fiction novel we are all writing together. If you want to write a novel about our world now, you'd better write science fiction, or you will be doing some kind of inadvertent nostalgia piece; you will lack depth, miss the point, and remain confused.

I'll start with some remarks about the book in general, and afterwards zoom in a bit on the 3 parts. I should probably mention that I made about 7 times as many notes while reading as I do for most reviews, and some of that is surely on behalf of the 1000+ page count, but still. Green Earth is an extremely rich book, and this review should have been at least twice as long to do justice to the scope of its ideas: I'll leave a lot unsaid. So, don't forget to read the book too!


Please read the full 2583 word analysis on Weighing A Pig...