Monday, January 28, 2013

An Interstellar Co-incidence?




A few months ago I read a science fiction novel called Blue Remembered Earth, by Alistair Reynolds.. The story revolves around a grandmother who dies under mysterious circumstances. She leaves behind a secret message for her grandchildren. The granddaughter is an artist. These messages send the grandchildren on a quest across the solar system in search of a universe-shattering secret science project that the grandmother was working on before she died.

A few weeks ago I picked up 2312, the new science fiction novel by Kim Stanley Robinson. 2312 is a story about a grandmother who dies under mysterious circumstances. She leaves behind a secret message for her grandchildren. The granddaughter is an artist. These messages send the granddaughter on a quest across the solar system in search of a universe-shattering secret science project that the grandmother was working on before she died.

Donʼt believe me? Check out the cover art on these two books. Co-incidence? Conspiracy? Science Fiction writersʼ late-night wager after a few beers? I have no idea. Itʼs just too bizarre.

Admittedly, they are two very different books. Blue Remembered Earth has a fairly straight-forward plot line: what was the secret technology that the grandmother was guarding and how did the grandkids solve the mystery and promote that technology?

2312 is a richly-textured science fiction meditation on humanityʼs role in space, artificial intelligence and what it means to be human. The plot line of grandmothers, grandchildren and alien space technology is simply the jumping-off point of a much bigger story.

But itʼs still kindaʼ odd, donʼt you think?

You can reserve Blue Remembered Earth here, and 2312 can be reserved here. Check them both out and see if you don't perceive an inter-stellar co-incidence of your own.

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