Read The Wild Shore by Kim Stanley Robinson Free Online
Book Title: The Wild Shore|
The author of the book: Kim Stanley Robinson
Edition: Orb Books
Date of issue: December 31st 2013
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 32.56 MB
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Reader ratings: 4.1
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I tend to go on binges when I discover a writer I really like, taking down as many of their works as I possibly can voraciously for the first few months of my acquaintanceship with their works. Hell, I read really fast, so it's not like I don't have time. So I'm kind of in that stage with Kim Stanley Robinson.
I've read science fiction pretty regularly since I was pretty young, devouring my father's and uncles' collections indiscriminately. When I was about 14, I decided I was more interested in grown up SF, and read more of the experimental New Wavers, Dick, Delany, Sturgeon and Ellison. Later I discovered the wonder that is Gene Wolfe. They wrote better than the bulk of the hard SF writers that filled the shelves at the used bookstores I frequented, they were more "literary." But in the past year or so, I started rereading some of the authors that I had discarded before high school, and I rediscovered the wonder and joy of great imaginative storytelling. This lead me somehow to the works of Kim Stanley Robinson.
I should say first that Robinson is a stylist of the first order, and the texture of his prose is a beautiful thing. The characters he creates are rich and believable. And I think that that is sort of the miracle of the Mars trilogy, as well as the promise of the Three Californias: these are novels of Big Ideas, for sure, but the narrative is never sacrificed for the sake of lumbering speculative exposition. Sure, the Mars books regularly feature capsule lectures about the possible effects of terraforming on Martian weather patterns, or the psychological effects of long interplanetary voyages, but they feel perfectly balanced by the furtherance of the rich tapestry of narrative and character development.
Such digressions do not make up the fabric of The Wild Shore. It's a tightly constructed, fairly simple narrative set on the West Coast after the United States has been largely destroyed by a nuclear assault. This is a very well traveled sf conceit, but the simple, narrative-oriented approach makes it much different from Alas, Babylon or A Canticle for Leibowitz. The focus here is not so much survivalist porn or the extrapolation of how society would crawl out of the ruins, although both themes are present. It focuses more on how normal people balance the necessities of survival with the dream of a return to an almost mythical lost civilization. In Robinson's scenario, America was destroyed in a terrorist-style attack by an unknown enemy, and there was no time for retribution. The rest of the world, mediated by the UN has elected to quarantine the United States, rather than escalate into war over who controls the blasted territory.
America exists for the postbellum characters in this novel only through fragmented reading and the stories of a handful of survivors, crystallized in the character of Tom Barnard, who is the memory of the fishing village of San Onofre and the teacher to its youth. He has tried to instill a knowledge of the past in the young people of the village so that the ideas of civilization and learning don't vanish in the slide back into primitive subsistence-based existence. This creates a sense of having had something stolen from them from them in the younger characters, and after making a trip south to the relatively-civilized metropolis of San Diego, it ignites the hope that they might be able to strike back at their oppressors. This leads to predictably tragic consequences.
The Three Californias is not a trilogy in the traditional SF sense. Rather than each novel moving forward in time, each novel covers the same period in a different possible future, with characters and themes recurring. In The Wild Shore Robinson plays with mirror structures that indicate the approach of the books to come. This is really a minor detail, but I think that it's good to note that with Robinson, the book doesn't end with the pages. His writing is the sort that bleeds into the rest of our realities, and that's really the best kind, isn't it?
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Read information about the authorKim Stanley Robinson is an American science fiction writer, probably best known for his award-winning Mars trilogy.
His work delves into ecological and sociological themes regularly, and many of his novels appear to be the direct result of his own scientific fascinations, such as the 15 years of research and lifelong fascination with Mars which culminated in his most famous work. He has, due to his fascination with Mars, become a member of the Mars Society.
Robinson's work has been labeled by reviewers as "literary science fiction".
Excerpted from Wikipedia.
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