Sunday, March 1, 2020

Peregrinus OriorPeregrinus Orior by John Robertson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Climate fiction is a pretty popular thing these days.

Just look at the last winner of the Hugos in 2019, Mary Robinette Kowal's The Calculating Stars, which graces the climatization effect as a major plot point, or Paolo Bacigalupi's The Water Knife. These are stories of survival when the world turns against us. What could be more dramatic?

The Wanderer Rises matches good solid science with storytelling in the style of the old Science Fiction masters like Asimov or Clarke in that it popularizes real science in the hearts of real people. I get the impression that this novel is bringing the discussion back to the basics. Back to the roots.

It sidesteps a lot of political necessities by imagining a different kind of world in 10 years that has (mostly) reasonable politicians following the advisories of good scientists, behaving (mostly) admirably to neighboring countries getting hit by natural disasters, and when interesting hostilities do break out, the book still describes a rather optimistic view. Aside from a very Sons of Anarchy plotline, most of the book has rather good people making do.

Most importantly, science takes a front-row seat. Global warming takes on global cooling. Possible solutions and complications are the real heroes of the tale. This isn't disaster fiction as much as it is deeply optimistic fiction.

I can appreciate that.



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