The Wandering Earth by Liu Cixin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If I had been thinking, "What I really need right now is an awesome Big-Idea story that turns the earth into an inter-solar spaceship, reminding me pleasantly of some of the early Stephen Baxter tales," then after reading this, I'd say, "Holy shit!"
Well, as it so happens, I've been in a Bigger-Is-Better frame of mind for the last few days, so getting something like this was like unwrapping a mystery gift and actually getting a 24 karat gold ring.
Liu Cixin turned a great tale, following lifetime of one man from childhood to old age as the world prepared against the expected helium flash and transformation of our sun to a red giant, much earlier than anticipated. It was short enough not to need much in the way of characterization, but it was sprinkled generously, anyway, but what character truly broke free from the story was the Earth, itself. What a delight!
I've read a number of Big-Idea stories and I've loved them all, but this one happened to stay pretty damn close to scientific reality and possibility, even if the amount of cooperation and effort was truly staggering.
I heartily recommend this story!
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