Author: Neal Stephenson
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
What would happen if the world were ending?
A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.
But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .
Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.
A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable.
Dork alert: My initial draw to Seveneves was because of the title. I have a weird attraction to palindromes, so I immediately zeroed in on it. Go ahead and roll your eyes. Then I knew for sure this book was for me after reading the description. It was slow going at points, but I ultimately loved it and found myself totally engrossed with the story.
A catastrophic event occurs that means the demise of human existence, but a small population escapes and returns 5000 years later. I’ve actually thought about things like this. What if something like this were to happen and all of our history was lost. The people thousands or even millions of years from now never really knowing about us. Or … what if something similar has already happened and we’re just unaware. It’s kind of creepy to think about, but I enjoy playing the ‘what if’ game with it. So I was eager to see what Neal Stephenson constructed from the idea.
Seveneves is a long book, but it certainly does take us on one amazing ride. I was surprised at how much of the book was devoted to the before, during the end of the world and the fight to save the human race. It does get very technical and dry at times, to where it felt as if I were reading an academic paper. However, I found it completely fascinating. I think it gave it a realistic feel, as if everything that we read is a possibility that could be put in motion right now. There were also plenty of heart-pounding moments that had me on the edge of my seat.
Obviously everyone we meet in the beginning eventually dies, and then we wind up thousands of years in the future. It was really sad and humbling at times, especially when it came to certain characters and their sacrifices. I absolutely love the mix of these strong, intelligent characters and grew very attached to them.
The last part of the book is what I was most excited for – to see what became of Earth and humanity. I found it to be really interesting and creative, but there’s still that realistic feel to it. As if that could be a possible future. And I have to say that discovering the meaning behind the title gave me a huge smile. Very clever, Mr. Stephenson.
Overall, Seveneves is quite an epic journey. ← That statement is actually kind of funny if you’ve read the book. At least a lame attempt at being funny. Anyway, it’s true. The author did a fantastic job and I look forward to reading more of his work.