31 Jul 2009

Even though Galileo's Dream comes out this week in the UK, I'm not going to talk about it here: in this entry we are already looking ahead to 2010!

Jonathan Strahan, Australian editor, publisher and reviewer of science fiction, will be editing a new collection of Kim Stanley Robinson's short stories and novellas. Tentatively titled "The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson", the single hardcover volume will be published by Night Shade Books in the USA, in March 2010 (date also tentative).

Strahan has long expressed interest in publishing a collection of KSR's short stories: see a 2006 blog entry of his where he made a selection of stories -- including the lengthier novellas The Blind Geometer, Green Mars and A Short, Sharp Shock -- which could fit into a single volume. This selection is certainly a good indication at the contents of the future collection.

KSR himself has also acknowledged that he believes some of his best work is featured in short stories, a format he has stopped writing in, at least momentarily. In interviews he has expressed the desire to see them republished, since older collections (such as Remaking History And Other Stories) have now gone out of print or are hard to find. Surely the publication of the short story The Lucky Strike later this year is a move in that direction as well.

26 Jul 2009

A few days ago, the world celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, 40 years after July 20, 1969. The International Space Station celebrated with a space walk and wiht a record crew of 13 astronauts and cosmonauts. Coincidentally, a few days prior to that, iconic American news announcer Walter Cronkite passed away.

For the occasion, Kim Stanley Robinson wrote an article on the Washington Post, asking the question of whether it is legitimate to spend money on space when there are enough problems on Earth.

More after the jump.




The creation of a cosmic diaspora is just one argument for putting humans in space -- a bad one. But now, as human-made climate change has thrust us into the role of stewards of the global biosphere, new reasons, good ones, have emerged. Indeed, keeping our space ambitions relatively local -- within our own solar system -- can help us find solutions for the climate crisis.


So, what actions, taken today, will help our children, and theirs, and theirs? From that perspective, decarbonizing our technology and creating a sustainable civilization emerge as the overriding goals of our age. If going into space helps achieve those goals, we should go; if going into space is premature, or falls into the category of "a good idea if Earth is healthy," it should be put on the science fiction shelf, where I hope our descendants will be free to choose it if they want it.

For once, I do not necessarily agree with everything he says. Sure, space probes are cheap and of great scientific value. Fair enough, there might be more urgent things here, such as pollution and poverty -- but this was always the case when empires and countries and entrepreneurs sent out explorers around the world. What was the share of GDP that 16th century Spain devoted to exploration of the Americas? Does it compare to NASA's budget?

Also, I'm not convinced of the orbital solar power microwaved back to Earth argument. It is much cheaper, let alone safer, to do it on Earth's surface, despite the reduced radiation.

Read the entire article here. The interview list has been updated.

Also, the MangalaWiki has been updated quite extensively with Mars trilogy articles.

19 Jul 2009

Another book to be published is The Lucky Strike. It will feature KSR's short story The Lucky Strike, which has already been published in short story collections by Tor -- The Planet On The Table and Remaking History And Other Stories -- which may be now difficult to find.

The Lucky Strike will also feature an exclusive and "extensive interview with the author, offering insight into his fiction and philosophies" which sounds enticing. Judging from the length of the story (45 pages in previous editions) and the length of this book (144 pages announced), the interview could be quite extensive indeed.

It will be published by PM Press, an independent firm from California that specializes on radical and committed media.

The Lucky Strike page on KSR.info, for book comments and reviews

The Lucky Strike page on MangalaWiki

19 Jul 2009

Kim Stanley Robinson's next novel is Galileo's Dream and deals with themes dear to KSR: history, science and science fiction. Frankly, it does sound a bit out there, compared to the realism of most of KSR's previous works. It appears to be a mix of a historical novel on science and religion and world-building science fiction on time-travelling (?) Jupiter-dwelling future humans.

The description reminds me of Olaf Stapledon's Last And First Men, in which humans from the far future (the eighteenth race of humans, actually) contact a member of our present (the first race) and recount all the future history and evolution of humans throughout billions of years. A mind-blowing novel that is one of a kind, which I really recommend. Since KSR is quoted recommending it in the back cover of its latest edition, it might very well have been somewhat of an inspiration for Galileo's Dream.

Interestingly enough, Johannes Kepler, German astronomer contemporary to Galileo, wrote Somnium ("dream" in Latin): an account of how the Earth could be seen from the moon. Does Galileo's dream parallel Kepler's dream?

It is due to be published very soon in the UK, August 2009. The first reviews have started popping up. Check out this very appetizing reviewer's blog entry -- in latin! This is the UK cover that has been in online announcements, on the right. The Daily Mail quote refers to the Mars novels, let's hope it will be removed for the final printed cover.

It is due to be published in December in the USA.

Galileo's Dream on KSR.info: post your comments and reviews

Galileo's Dream page on MangalaWiki

7 Jul 2009

Welcome to KimStanleyRobinson.info !

This site is dedicated to the works of Kim Stanley Robinson, and the discussion of the issues presented in them.

This site was created because for years I felt that there was a vacuum to be filled, that a place for those who appreciate KSR to gather was necessary. Despite its potential, a place such as this did not exist and as a result efforts to gather and discuss and inform were disparate and died off. KSR.info aims to be the reference site for all things KSR, and hopefully even more.

A significant part of KSR.info is MangalaWiki, an encyclopedia on the works of KSR that you can help to build. KSR.info will also touch upon themes, issues and subjects addressed in KSR's works -- the environment, politics, soft and hard science -- and on that point as well, you can be a part of what is posted and discussed. The focus of this site is international and not necessarily english-speaking.

Through the following days I will be adding content to this site, so do check back to see how it is growing. This is an evolving effort and I am counting on the contributions of visitors and members to make this a community-based website. Find out how you can contribute here, and register to the encyclopedia wiki here!


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