KSR.info forum

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  • discuss Robinson's works
  • discuss "KSR-like" real-world issues
  • discuss anything that might come up

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For other venues for discussing KSR's works, see the external links on the right: Facebook group, Reddit, GoodReads...

For the time being, comments on the individual novels and stories pages are closed.


Dear all,

I am a PhD student in English linguistics, and I came across the verb "adrenalate" in the novel 2312. Here is the extract if it helps:

<< The cat began to shift onto Swan’s branch. Quite a weight to sway it that much.

“Pauline, any suggestions here?”

“Scare it,” Pauline said. “Adrenalate fully, then do something bizarre.”

Swan twisted and let go, fell feetfirst into the face of the cat, screaming as loud as she could. When her feet hit something else, she clasped branches to her and felt something smash into her ribs. Air knocked out of her, no more scream. She scrabbled with her feet for some purchase, found none, looked down. The cat was on the ground, looking up at her. Swan screamed again, felt the stab of a cracked rib. She changed to a raging shout, cursing the cat foully. Kill it like Archilochus. Grating, painful snarl of a voice, bitter shrieking that hurt her throat and screeched unbearably in her own ears, the sound making her aware she had lost it. The cat heaved a heavy sigh and padded away >>

Well, I am very interested in this verb "adrenalate", as I might include it in my data to analyse, but I don't understand what it means or where does it come from. Could anyone help me out?

I thank you very, very much in advance

Dear Kim,
I have read many of your books, with very high level of sociological, scientifics and search for empowering vision. These experiences are mainly in closed areas ( mars, spaceship, earth..).
Is possible to support/reboost humankind vision, after this today Covid-19 experience, with aiming at spreading humankind more widely in universe (solar system for starting) to guarantee that we could not disappear through one microbe (like prion on Aurora)?
What political/social trend or industrial leader to convict ?
What financial added value to support their decision (iron in comet, deutherium on moon, gold on mercure...)?

By reflecting away 30% of the incoming solar energy the albedo, created and maintained by the atmosphere, cools the earth much like that reflective panel behind a car's windshield.

Remove the atmosphere and the albedo goes with it, i.e. no water vapor, no clouds, no snow and ice, no vegetation, no oceans - the earth becomes a desolate barren rock much like the moon, blazing hot lit side, bitter cold dark.

The terrestrial surface without an atmosphere would receive 30% more kJ/h of solar energy and become warmer.

These observations are supported by lunar studies performed by Nikolov and Kramm (Univ of AK) and data collected by the UCLA Diviner lunar mission.

Radiative Green House Effect theory postulates exactly the opposite incorrectly claiming that a naked earth would become a -430 F ball of ice.

No greenhouse theory means there are no greenhouse gases, no carbon dioxide warming and no man caused climate change or global warming.

Contemplate the consequences if the statements above are correct.

Hi Kim,


I am an artist who lives and works in London, United Kingdom. My art practice focuses on moving image and sculpture.


I am currently researching for a new work, which is titled Space Mongers. This is going to be a short film that will be filmed in Sutherland, Scotland. Where a partnership of UK space agency, Orbit and LockheedMartin are building the first European SpacePort, to launch small scale satellites from. 


The film is exploring how we arrive to perceptions of place and our relations to its ecology.  By looking into the past cultural histories and speculated futures of Space, Space Mongers, investigates how specific Private Corporate Bodies mediate our understanding of locations. By deconstructing these mediators, Space Mongers will examine the responsibility and power that mediation holds in altering collective relations. In doing, Space Mongers hopes to explore the ecological other of Space and considers how this newly tangible location should be processed and orientated within ecological thought.


The film is going to be shot in one single take of 39 minutes - the length of time in the timeslip, so well articulated in your Mars Trilogy. The film is going to be set within this space and time.


I'm interested in exploring the conceptual context of the moment of the timeslip- for want of a better cliche- where time stands still. Within your literature, the timeslip appears to occupy the time and space as a wonderful abstract construct, I was wondering if you could share any insight into your thought on this time and what the TimeSlip means for you as a concept and construct.


Thank you in advance for reading this email.


All my best,


Ted Le Swer



In chapter 2 of Red Moon, it says:

The two edges of the circule, you know - extending up from the south pole along longitudes ninety and one-eighty?

It should actually be 90 and 270 or plus and minus 90.


I want to thank Mr. Robinson for getting me interested in Reading again. Red Moon is so descriptive that I feel like I was there with them on the moon. A certain science fiction masterpiece.

Thanks to Antifada and KSR for a wonderful interview, and to Kimon for bringing it to me/us.



Thanks to Antifada and KSR for a wonderful interview, and to Kimon for bringing it to me/us.



Hey everyone! 

Just finished the Mars trilogy. Can your boy stop punctuating every chapter with a stereotype about Arabs?

As an arab myself, I'm tired of every white person (wherever they stands on the political spectrum) giving their unsollicited two cents about my people.

I'm equally irritated at both positive stereotypes (ahah the arabs seem like savages but once you get to know them you might be surprised) to negative ones (ahah the women staying in the kitchen ohlala...). It doesn't produce any kind of relfexion or observation. It's just sport for white people. I say that because for every arab or POC of color who intervenes on a forum to say what I just said there is a torrent of negative reactions from white ppl getting irritated at any mention of racism. So at the end of the day, by doing this, your boy just created a bone for racist dogs to chew at at the expense of arabs.

This, in itself, is a form of cultural imperialism.  Please tell you boy to shut the F up. Thanks

Do alternative history authors have a desire to change history? While every author places characters in motion, alternative history writers change events in a timeline.


Does this come from a yearning to be a decision maker? From a drive beyond escapism to being a participant? A quilt for not fulfilling a lost chance?


Let’s look at some possible scenarios. Born in 1947, Stephen King might have watched the TV in 1963 as Jack Ruby killed Oswald. Did  the young King think of a cover up, a potential for a change that could have occurred if someone had stepped in to prevent JFK’s assassination? Was that the genesis of his alternative history novel 11/22/23?


When Eric Flint wrote 1632, did the origin arrive from a desire to think of another chance for Germany other than the one chosen through our timeline? Did he foresee a different course had King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden lived longer? Maybe the finances of that era posed other outcomes he saw. Did a different Germany aided by Sweden offer a stability not seen then?


Alan Smale’s world of a Native American league standing up to ancient Rome played with two areas with the series Clash of Eagles. Could a Native league have formed? What if Rome survived into the 1200s? While Smale’s fascination may have come from his aerodynamic skills, he showed the Native strength coming from powerful Thunderbird gliders. But was Smale drawn into the concept of a Native league from discovering the history of Tecumseh’s dream of a Native union? Or the knowledge of the Iroquois Confederation? Was the novel a glimpse of Smale seeing decisions that could have led to another timeline?


Do alternative history writers seek to change history? Correct a wrong? Most writers start with the “What if” of a character development or a question about a plot twist. Science fiction writers like to speculate about how an element of science affects people. But these examples don’t require the author to enter the fictional world as a player. Using existing timeline facts that lead to different decisions makes the writer a participant — does it not?  



Is there a way to do display comment showing most recent at top?


Robinson likes EO Wilson's concept of confining humans to a portion of Earth's surface so other species have a better chance to survive. I wonder if he knows of Alan Savory's (controversial) work reclaiming land through cattle grazing management. I wonder what KSR thinks of it.

Hi. I recently started reading New York 2140. While it is based on an interesting premise, I did find some of the language and the way God's name was used a couple times hurtful. I think the book could still convey the characters' passion and emotions without using God's name in that way.

Thanks for listening.

Whatta ya mean, non-series? If ever the ending of a book cried for another, that was it. Talk about a cliff hanger.

Well done!


Red moon has no end. I can't believe...

How could he have left the story half-finished, without an end? When is the next book planned to be published?

KSR recently penned an essay for the Sierra club, referring to the environmental crisis that may very well overwhelm us all and titled: The is no plan B. Well that is no longer the case! And for those who are rightly convinced by hard experience, that mankind is unable to change direction sufficiently to avoid an eco apocalypse, and even human extinction, the only plan B able to do the job is already getting underway at http://www.energon.org.uk


Nate Hagens is doing some great work that forward thinking KSR readers may find interesting. His program works to provide a synthesis view of energy, economy, ecology, and psychology, to help us understand how to progress as we exceed to the limits to growth. Check out the lecture to get ready for his upcoming free books.                                                                           https://youtu.be/YUSpsT6Oqrg

Excited when I found it at BN, and read it, with great interest, in 6 hours. Now I sit saying over and over to myself  "Oh NO, you did NOT!!!" Great plot, smooth flow throughout, twists and turns abound, and then I was left hanging onto nothing at the end. Leadin to another? Nope Exerpt from a follow on the same line? Nope

Just 5-6 blank pages leaving me to ask WTH? Far too many possible directions that were triggered by the main characters (no spoilers from me :-) to leave it with a simple one liner.


I am a french editor and I am looking Kim Stanley Robinson's literary agent. But I don't find him/her. If any one knows, could he contact me ?

thank you very much


The book Green Earth is the first one I read by KSR and I love it. It is really great and I recommended it to some friends. Unfortunately, my friends understand only a little English and therefore I would like to ask if this book will be translated into German. If yes, I could present it to my friends.

Kind regards,





I would like to ask when and if "2312" will be released in Italy market. 

I hope soon as much of Kim Novels...

I just finished reading the Red Mars chapter “Homesick”. It is a powerful state of mind that I’m left with. An incredible rush of new insight leading to nothing short of the peace and tranquility of love. But then I’m just an old hippie with unfinished dreams. Thank you Kim Robinson. 

I love The Martians and whole Mars trilogy.
I wonder if there's any chance yours books get a portuguese edition?

I'm catching up on KSR's work- my last read was Rice and Salt- so I slogged through Shaman.  Well worth the effort but a bit too long.  One question for whoever reads this:  "mamma mia"?  

Hi all - does anyone know of any speaking engagements by KSR anywhere in California between May 12th and 27th this year?  I'm in the area, I've never had the chance to see him talk live, and I'm holding out hope that he might have something on.

I knew since I read the Mars series (and gave up on the last book) that Kim has an excellent knowledge of science and its possibilities, but that his knowledge of politics and finance is strictly lower class.

2312 was an excellent book, full on interesting ideas on the future of our solar system and the transforming of celestial bodies and the creation of new ones. It was a really interesting idea.  The novel kept one moving and anxious to continue to read.

However, now we come to New York 2140.  It has no interesting plot, it is boring, and it is a propaganda essay, which in its full context is an insane lie. Let’s point out some interesting observation on the book:

1.       Kim condemns, like most current liberals, the massive faults in our current government, industry and blames the 1% for their greedy “find the place that makes the most profit.”

2.       The issue with this is first, Kim is part of the 1%.  Of 7 billion people on earth, the 1% comprises anyone with an income of $400,000/per year and/or a new worth of around $800,000.

3.       That is a lot of people, (70M) including him and me.

4.       Kim seems to forget that without unbridled capitalism we would all still be living in caves and gathering roots and berries.  Is that what he wants?  Kim would condemn our ancestor who picked up a stick, hooked it to a horse and displaces four guys with sticks.  That is productivity and it is the only reason we are not still living in caves and gathering roots and berries.

Bottom line:  Great scientific ideas.  Poor understanding of capitalism and how it has created the “wealth of nations.”  Suggestion: Stay with the kind of novel like 2312.  That way, he will not demonstrate his poor understanding of the modern world of finance.

From Slate "Space isn't a void"


"In an interview for the book, renowned science fiction author and longtime space watcher Kim Stanley Robinson elegantly summarized the problem: “We don’t need space. We need sustainability in this biosphere. Space is a luxury problem and a luxury opportunity. It’s what we get to explore in some detail, in the centuries after we succeed in inventing permaculture here, if we do.” 

Mostly agree with this. But I think it misses the historical evidence that frontiers spur innovation, and the best of that innovation flows back to improve lives in the home country which is sending people to the frontier.

Definitely we need sustainability in our biosphere, and space dev is very costly and risky compared to similar efforts on Earth. But look at the USA frontier's effect on Europe - monarchies over, all the cars, skyscrapers and modern tech, the internet.

This is a simplistic example, but I'm sure a strong case could be made for frontiers sending back innovations which improve lives in the origin culture. 


I had never heard of Kim Robinson. I was sitting in a coffee shop in a B&N while my wife shopped. I read, but I was not in the mood to book hunt. I love science fiction books, fantasy, and classics. This f*cking book kept catching my eye for some reason. I looked at it about ten times. I could not figure out why and walked to it, picked it up, and began reading it. It was 2312. My wife came over and said, "Funny, the title of this book is the same as our address." Boom. Mind blown. I bought it immediately. I still have not read it, but it sits on my bookshelf because I live there!

-Chris Kessel

I kust now heard only 5 minutes of an interview with Mr Robinson where he spoke of the fundamnetal issue of law reform. I am not familiar with his work but learned within that 5 minutes that he is visionary and clearly grounded in his analysis. I teach a course at a law school where I address the necessity of altering our concepts of what is "property", property law and use, and the extention of natural "personhood" to ecosystems and wildlife (to protect them under law). I would like two things - 1) recommendations for me on his essays, etc., and 2) to contact him for possible contribution to my law course. 

Matthew Stanton




Hi Kim,
I love your writing! I just finished Aurora, Shaman and New York 2140. (Reverse order of reading). I am in awe of your writing. Did I say I love your writing? I wish I could articulate my thoughts to you about your characters, stories, research, science and most of all connections to nature. You are brilliant!
I am telling everyone to read your books and will be gifting several. Thanks for your amazing stories.

I am abundantly impressed with the level of research that is found in the Mars series. I am embarking on a research project with students in a School of Architecture. Rather than reinventing the wheel I was wondering if you could share some of your research resources that may be your favorites or may offer a concise account of the research that you engaged in

Since the quantum computer is smart enough to narrate the story, it is probably smart enough to raise children. It would be advantageous to just freeze sperm and eggs and then combine them when reaching Tau Ceti instead of having people trapped in a ship for that long. The rest of the life support could be frozen, or could just be allowed to live for the duration of the trip. 

I am totally gobsmacked after finishing KSR's "Red Mars". The detail and world building, the character building and the explanations about the (not geology) aerology and everything else in this book totally amazes me. KSR's attention to detail is the best. If he is like this in real life, he is probably hard with which to live.  Amazing author, amazing story. I look forward to "Green Mars" (when I can afford it in an e-book format). Thank you so very much, KSR. Wonderful!


I am a space enthusiast.

recently I was in a conference from AIAA (53 confreence Atlanta 10-12 July). in that conference, in some speech some one talk above the possibility to using the sand of Phobos and Deimos for aerobraking on Mars.

I am not an engineer then  I don’t know if the idea works or is just poppycock. But if works, that means that Phobos and Deimos could

On page 378, "a) the citizen" gives an inspiring overview of the non-carbon-based energy technologies, some already in existence, some imagined. I think this would be a wonderful excerpt to put online and spread it everywhere.I wonder if Mr. Robinson would think this a good idea? Just a thought, I'm not doing it!!!

Currently I am enjoying reading "Blue Mars" in Japanese. Now I saw two characters' name which is Priska and Irishika. I am wondering if these two names show the different person. I think they are Swiss persons who is familiar with law and consitition.

Does anyone know of a list of the unique vocabulary words that KSR has invented & used in NY 20140?  (e.g., bacino, graphene, skyvillage)  I'd love to have a list of those words with definitions. It would help me understand a little better what I am reading. 

Hi Kim,

I'm Jordi Bruno, your neigbourgh at Zurichberg when your wife and I were young postdocs at Eawag

I saw you today on a Spanish newspaper and I thought I'll send you a big hug to both of you

Take care


http://northwardho.blogspot.tw/2017/03/the-character-in-ksr-novel-ny2140.html -- Octaviasdottier in NY2140 is homage to Octavia Butler?

Good day dear sir(s), 

I read your article in Scientific American here: 



May I suggest a different approach: 

Humans need not migrate themselves to colonize the Milky Way. The could migrate life, in the fom of microbes, engineered to survive in an environment. What if we could place microbes on Venus that can survive its temperature, and reproduce ?  And then let nature take over, and evolve these bacteria into something more complex, perhaps altering the atmosphere and creating animal life in the process ? Im not saying that "building" such microbes will be easy, but I certainly believe it to be easier and more feasible than moving ourselves into the universe using spaceship arcs. 

I think microbes is the correct way to continue. The reason it is not popular, is because it will take about one billion years for the Venus microbe to evolve into intelligent life, and that is the best case scenario. And none of us is ready to wait that long! 

So perhaps it is our vanity that prohibits us from colonizing space ? We want immediate results so that the people involved in the program get the credit while they are alive. I do not think that interstellar travel will work at such small scales. 


Thank you for your time to read this, I would be interested in a response at dim DOT tripakis At gmail dot com. 


Aurora (German ed.) contains many "interesting words" like "Wahrscheinlichkeitsblindheit" (e: blindness for probability?) or "Ankerheuristik" (e: anchoring heuristic) which I searched for.

The combination of both (in german) yields in just 1 (!) hit: Dean Buonomano: Brain Bugs.

I assume, Kim read it?



P.S.: I enjoyed "Aurora" very much - it IS a thrilling novel, serios & inspiring with many facts...

Fantastic interview in High Country News! As a fellow resident of Davis who has worked for decades to protect the Sierra Nevada, thank you.


My name is Patrick Haney, and I want to send a letter to Kim Stanley Robinson for a school English project about his short story "the Lucky Strike". Does anyone have his contact information (even email), or is there anyway I can get to it? If you've already seen this comment, sorry about that: it didn't show up so I wrote a new one.



My name is Patrick Haney, and I want to send a letter to Kim Stanley Robinson for a school English project about his short story "the Lucky Strike". Does anyone have his contact information (even email), or is there anyway I can get to it?


I wonder what KSR thinks about these private corporations readying to go into space (like Elon Musk's Space X, etc.). Sorry, I haven't had time to read all the comments to see if this has already been discussed. My qualm is, will there be any utopians on board as in the Mars Trilogy? I somwhow doubt it!

However "ligjht" a treatment R's article in Scientific American, "What Will It Take for Humans to Colonize the Milky Way?"  may be, I am distressed that he isn't writing instead on what it will take for us earthlings to survive on this rapidly-warming planet beyone the end of this         century.  Similarly for most of the other larg-ish species with whom we share the Earth. The exponential release of methane in the arctic and the exponential rise in temperatures, especially in the Arctic, have collaborated to produce run-away warming-- as we have seen in the past (nearly-) three years of unprecedented record global temperature averages. It is happening NOW.  Does anyone else think of the flashback scenes in David Bowie's film, "The Man Who Fell To Earth"-- a man in search of a still-habitable planet, as his own has been cooked?  Could Robinson's colonizers survive a multi-generational voyage on an interstellar vessel-- seems not worth a thought as we watch our own "spaceship Earth" crashing, ecologically   (For those who have not been following the problem of Artctic methane releases, google  (1) methane from the melting tundra, (2) the dissociation of methane hydrates underwater- particuylarly on the Siberian shelf, and (3)b, burps" or plumes of pure methane released beneath the seas as the thinning hydrates are no longer strong enough to continue capping off seams of this gas beneath the comtinental shelf.  And/or watch a few of the youtube talks by Prof. Guy McPherson on the subject.)

Brilliant as usual, but possibly overly pessimistic? Human interstellar travel seems highly unlikely given our self destructive instincts but a world ship is not technically impossible as KSR shows us. The idea that alien worlds with life would kill life from elsewhere is interesting. I think it's more likely that since evolution would have proceeded separately we wouldn't make a good host for alien prion like diseases or other single celled organisms and viruses. Getting to a habitable planet will be the hard part. Unlikely as it seems since we haven't even managed to get back to the moon in the last 40 years I think humans will eventually achieve the goal if we get through the next 100 years or so.

Dear futurists/sci fi fans

just by chance -- a new book on the future of New York City comes out just before Kim's in October, 2016, called Ecotopia 2121. It's filled with 100 full-color pics of what 100 Green cities of the future will possibly look like (if they survive the eco-catastrophes of today and go on to become super ecofriendly, that is).

You can get more info, and see some of these illustrations, at:


On pp. 282-283 of Red Mars, the author has character John Boone drive a rover from Bradbury Point to Acheron, some 5000 kilometers to the west. From the map of Mars at the front of the novel, we see that Acheron is at the far left, and Bradbury point is well right of center. But since the map shows the entire planet -- i.e., all 360 degrees of Mars -- that would mean it would actually be a shorter distance to drive if Boone went east to Acheron rather than west. Can anyone explain this apparent discrepancy?

Kim Stanley Robinson will be giving the keynote lecture at the April 15th event sponsored by Columbia's Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture. More information can be found here and here. Free and open to the public. We hope you can make it!



"Power and the Space of the Planet"

Friday, April 15th, 2PM

Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall, Columbia University


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