Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Forty Signs of Rain (Science in the Capital #1)Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can firmly say that any of Kim Stanley Robinson's novels will be more Science than Fiction, and this one is pretty much banking on it, drawing from experiences in DC to bring science and politics and science politics to the forefront, skirting around the BIG issue until it finally hits near the end.

You can probably guess this is a Climate-Punk novel. Great science, handling all the problems surrounding it (including those who deny it) as well as detailing the actual climate issues as it would have been seen in the early 2000s.

So far, so good, and I do understand this is a full trilogy, but this is NOT on the same level as, say, his Mars Trilogy.

It may be colloquial and charming and sometimes a bit... um... odd in certain character viewpoints (um, breastmilk) and a bit too heavily reliant on a Mr. Mom view, but that might just be me. I mean, I am a Mr. Mom, myself, so I GET it. Maybe it reads a bit too close to home but just strange enough to make me wonder if I was just normal. I think it's the uncanny valley effect, honestly.

The rest, or rather, any storytelling that isn't about science and politics was fine. I think, maybe, I would have preferred a bit less of that and more on the big issues. Pining after a girl and having a personal transformation is fine, mind you. I actually loved the Buddhist visitors, too, and their viewpoint.

Suffice to say, this whole novel was just FINE. After reading Ministry of the Future, however, it suffers a GREAT DEAL in comparison. Like-to-like, I probably would give it a 2 star to Ministry's 5, but on its own, I don't have much positive or negative to say about it. It was a trending novel and a necessary one for the time and it's even more trending and necessary now, but it's necessarily dated after everything we've already seen in RL.

Alas.

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