Neal Stephenson
Seveneves Cover

Seveneves: A Novel


The moon explodes into seven pieces and then into more, and more, and more. Scientists around the world predict that in 721 days from the day of the moon's explosion, the dissolution of the remnants of the moon will be such that a "rain of iron" will commence over an extremely hot earth and everything living on earth will soon die and the earth will not be again viable for around 5000 years. So how do the nations of the world react? Will human life survive? Will the earth recover?

These are the very broad topics that Stephenson addresses in this long novel of three parts. There is a LOT of hard science in this book. Sometimes it is mind-numbing but mostly it is interesting. The title is a reference to the women of childbearing age that survive an attempt to preserve the human race by sending people into space. What happens to this group of people is explored at length in Parts I & 2. Part 3 concerns the offspring, i.e., the seven races, of the seveneves and the earth 5,000 years in the future.

There are 4968 years between Part 2 and Part 3 of this book. It was hard to say goodbye to some of the characters of the first two parts (and not so hard for others!). Part 3 is very different from the first two parts but equally interesting.