sturgeonslawyer (sturgeonslawyer) wrote,

Read: Sixty Days and Counting, by Kim Stanley Robinson (2014-22)

So it's a trilogy.

It's actually one really long novel with stopping places at the ends of each volume. But it's called the "Science in the Capitol" trilogy, and that's not a bad name for it.

Some science fiction writers are famous for showing "how science really works," for example, Greg Benford and _Timescape_. What Robinson has done here is shown how science and politics work together (and at cross purposes), over a period of three years which are pretty clearly alternates of the years we are living now or will be soon.

The second volume ended with the election of Phil Chase to the Presidency. This volume covers the first year of that Presidency, with several of the main characters moved into the administration as the Presidential Science Advisor and her staff. And here's where things get really science-fictional: They get things done, major projects that in reality even if you could get government and business behind them wouldn't be done as fast as portrayed, but they illustrate what _could_ be done if we would only set our minds and hearts on it.

It's a decidedly liberal-slanted book, with the President consciously modeling himself after FDR, but as a liberal myself I don't mind. What I do mind is that the politics, which were deadpan realistic in the first two volumes, become almost Utopian here.

Well, that's an exaggeration - but things go too well, too fast for me to believe. My suspenders of disbelief never quite snapped, but they were groaning in places.

Still, it's a good end to an excellent three-volume novel, and things are simultaneously wrapped up and left hanging - the future, beyond the last page, is conspicuously _there_, waiting to happen.
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