"New York 2140" is a Kim Stanley Robinson novel published on March 14 2017 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook) in the USA, Canada and Australia (March 16 for UK). 624 pages. The paperback was released on March 14 2018. It is a comedy of coping in a future where climate change and sea level rise has happened, but life goes on.
A new vision of the future from Kim Stanley Robinson, the New York Times bestselling author of science fiction masterworks such as the Mars trilogy, 2312, and Aurora.
The waters rose, submerging New York City.
But the residents adapted and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been. Though changed forever.
Every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island.
Through the eyes of the varied inhabitants of one building Kim Stanley Robinson shows us how one of our great cities will change with the rising tides.
And how we too will change.
The novel is broken down in 8 parts, each consisting of several chapters following one or a group of the central characters. Most chapters are written in a limited third person narrative, except the Franklin chapters, in first person narrative, and the citizen chapters, which are transcripts of in-universe logs or articles. The Mutt and Jeff chapters are entirely written in dialogue, like theater. Quotes from a variety of sources on New York are interspersed between chapters.
Characters are connected by the Met Life building, most of them being neighbors inside that building.
Mutt and Jeff: quants for financial markets, get abducted when they unleash some disrupting code in the way financial markets work; a comic-tragic duet; a riff on the comic strip cartoon of the same name, invented in 1907 in San Francisco
Inspector Gen: respected New York police inspector, with a good knowledge of her district, looks into their disappearance
Franklin: hedge fund manager at WaterPrice, creator of the financial product IPPI (Intertidal Property Pricing Index), womanizer, likes to cruise the New York canals with his hydrofoil bug
Vlade: the Met Life building's superintendent, solves all issues that arise, particularly anything that has to do with water
a citizen: a disgruntled sarcastic citizen with an acute knowledge of history, in particular New York local history (could be Mr. Hexter, that the boys Stefan and Roberto become friends with)
Amelia: cloud (internet) video superstar, travels the world in her airship Assisted Migration, often does environmental documentaries and participates in animal conservation missions
Charlotte: social worker at the Householders' Union, helps run the Met Life building, has run-ins with local, coop, city-wide, state-wide and national politics
Stefan and Roberto: orphan 12-year-olds that try to survive, and try to salvage sunken treasures; the Dickensian water rats
Part One: The Tyranny of Sunk Costs
Part Two: Expert Overconfidence
Part Three: Liquidity Trap
Part Four: Expensive or Priceless?
Part Five: Escalation of Commitment
Part Six: Assisted Migration
Part Seven: The More the Merrier
Part Eight: The Comedy of the Commons
- Gerry Canavan for the Los Angeles Review of Books
- Adam Roberts for The Guardian
- Robert Kopp for The Conversation
- Everdeen Mason for The Washington Post
- Aaron Rutkoff for Bloomberg
- John Clute for Stange Horizons
- Niall Alexander for Tor.com
- Cory Doctorow for BoingBoing
- Gary K. Wolfe for Locus (also for the Chicago Tribune)
- Joshua Rothman for The New Yorker ('along with a nice NY2140 illustration by Vincent Mahé)
- Alan Scherstuhl for The Village Voice (along with a nice photo of KSR in front of the present-day MetLife tower)
- Andrew Liptak for The Verge
- Nisi Shawl for the Seattle Review of Books
- James Wallace Harris for Auxiliary Memory
- Mat Coward for Morning Star
- Alex Good for The Star
- Kev McVeigh for Performative Utterance
- Alvaro Zinos-Amaro for the InterGalactic Medicine Show
- James Bradley for The Australian
- Abigail Nussbaum for New Scientist
- Rjurik Davidson for the Syndey Morning Herald
- Michael Berry for the San Francisco Chronicle
Dominc DeAngelo for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette