The Ministry for the Future

Kim Stanley Robinson
The Ministry for the Future Cover

The Ministry for the Future


The recent KSR books kinda weird me out. I always love that he's one of the few writers whose scope of writing was always realistic, yet grandiose.

He told nice stories, with good characters, but always the main protagonist was way bigger. Mars, the Solar System, New York. And he was always relentlessly optimistic that we'll have lots of problems, but everything will turn out fine. We'll have issues and false starts, but we, as humanity, will get it done.

But in the last few books, that optimism is kinda gone. What's left is still great writing and reading, but it has a bit of a sour aftertaste. Even this book, which mostly follows the adversity-before-triumph pattern, seems focused on the problem - and it definitely does not help that the problem is real and imminent.

The expositions of the problem are great - multiple viewpoints, kind of like an oral history of the antropocalypse. The preachy and scholarly chapters, those I can do without, although they are a sensible primer on the economy of the world.

However, the resolution of the book, and the turning of the tide of climate change, that part definitely feels like deus-ex-machina. Like a hand-wavy solution, that even the writer does not believe in.

All in all, reading it was good, finishing it - not so much. Hits much too close to home.