New York 2140

"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.

Official synopsis:

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





"...And then in 1664 two men named Albreckt von Treileben and Andreas Peckell who had previous experience salvaging valuables from shipwrecks succeeded where others had failed. They used a diving bell, which was the most advanced diving equipment available at the time. As the name suggests, it’s a large metal bell that traps a pocket of air as it is lowered into the water, providing an air supply for a diver. The divers worked to extract the cannons from the wreck in the pitch-black, frigid waters of the harbor for up to 30 minutes at a time. Despite such abominable conditions, von Treileben, Peckell and their team of divers managed to raise more than 50 of the Vasa’s 64 cannons over the course of a year. ..."


This is just a "thank you" to Kim Stanley Robinson for New York 2140
for the literary variety, from the encyclopedic style of James Joyce to the epigrams of an Adams,
for the believable characterization,
for the detailed setting,
for the provocative plot,
for the edificati0n,
and for the sheer entertainment value.
May his work continue from strength to strength.