By Neal Stephenson
SF is an ambitious mode of writing, with a long tradition of advanced world-building and space operas that take place over eons on the stage of the cosmos. But even by the standards of the genre, Seveneves is an ambitious novel, and one that succeeds magnificently in its ambitions.
We begin with the explosion of the moon sometime in the near future, an event which leads to the forced evacuation of Earth before it is destroyed in a “hard rain” of debris. Civilization, exiled to a swarm of satellites orbiting our now dead home, has to hit the reset the button.
Neal Stephenson is a master of exciting, long-form storytelling, and this epic of the forging of an entirely new human ecology in space is another thrilling adventure that never flags. Particularly effective are the explanations of all of the complex science and technology involved, and Stephenson’s ability to convincingly project a jerry-rigged ark of humanity thousands of years into the future.