- Capa comum: 880 páginas
- Editora: William Morrow Paperbacks; Edição: Reprint (17 de maio de 2016)
- Idioma: Inglês
- ISBN-10: 0062334514
- ISBN-13: 978-0062334510
- Dimensões do produto: 13,5 x 5,1 x 20,3 cm
- Peso de envio: 653 g
- Avaliação média: Seja o primeiro a avaliar este item
- Lista de mais vendidos da Amazon: no. 110,312 em Livros (Conheça o Top 100 na categoria Livros)
Seveneves (Inglês) Capa Comum – 11 jul 2016
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Sobre o Autor
Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, and the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World), as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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Seveneves is an 880 page novel, ostensibly about a very near-future catastrophe where the world must work together in a short amount of time to build out an orbiting habitat (using the ISS as a core), to save what tiny fraction they can of the human race. As you can imagine, this rush to save the essence of humanity is a perfect stage to explore every near-future space technology and Stephenson takes every opportunity to do so. And then some.
Unlike Cryptonomicon, for example, where the Turing code-break/world net/Axis gold story lines are different enough for the reader to enjoy or slog through, the technology in Sveneves is so dense, so similar in purpose, and so relentless, it’s easy for one’s eyes to glaze over. A six page description of delta-V and how to achieve it might be interesting in and of itself, if it weren’t part of many, many more pages of orbital mechanics and how to use a nuclear reactor to power a space-borne craft. And although the subjects he deeply delves into range from genetics, to asteroid mining, water from comets as propellant, and zero-g sex, these components are all in service to a very specific technology problem the survivors are trying to solve.
The first two-thirds of the book relate the challenges of creating the habitat and stabilizing its existence. Unfortunately, the story is but a mere framework on which to hang gobs of technical dissertation, and the characters are poorly formed, used only as chess pieces around which the technology can orbit. No matter how much you may adore hard SF (and Stephenson admits he did play fast and loose with bits of the tech), Seveneves ends up reading, for the most part, like transcribed lectures.
The last third of the book, when the survivors can finally return to Earth, exalts similarly in forward-derivative tech, although the story itself picks up a little more steam. The ending is meh and satisfactory only in that it is an ending.
The secret to Seveneves, however, is spelled out in the author’s five pages of acknowledgements at the end. He tells how he started developing ideas for the book in 2006, and lists the huge cadre of techies, space scientists and enthusiasts, and geeks that helped him vet any number of ideas in his book. The real telling line, comes at the end when he thanks his editor for her patience with him while he spent seven years deciding what to do with all these ideas. To me, that’s tech in search of a story and that’s exactly what you get in Seveneves.
Many reviewers either loved it because it was NEAL STEPHENSON, while many just stopped reading and tossed it on the floor. When I realized less than half way through that I really fell into the latter camp, I nevertheless struggled through to the end because I adore Stephenson’s snarky prose, which is definitely on point. I gave the book three stars, though it really deserves two and a half stars because you have to admire a writer with his cojones to put this out.
Should you read Seveneves? If you’re a Stephenson nut, you can’t not read it. If you’re new to Stephenson, stay away and try some of his earlier books from the 1990s. He is no doubt a very fine writer and I would hate to have a newbie be influenced by what I hope is a vanity project that has emptied Stephenson’s pent-up rolodex of very near-future space tech, and that his next book is more accessible.
You start out decently. You're getting into it, and psyching yourself up for the full journey. Then, you start to hit your stride. You get into a good pace and make good progress. You start to get fatigued, and you look ahead and realize just how much is still left to do. "No!" you say "I signed up for the this, and I've made it this far. I have to keep going". You keep going, but you're losing steam. Your pace and patience are wearing thin. Finally, fully exhausted, you cross the finish line. Was it worth it? Will you ever do it again? After that experience, you can't imagine try anything like this again anytime soon.
To be more specific: it is clear that the author did a lot of research and work to make this seem scientifically accurate and authentic. There are few deus ex machinas and much of the premises feel believable, but in a book nearly 900 pages long, some brevity would have been appreciated. The author spends multiple paragraphs to multiple pages explaining concepts that - while accurate and correct - don't need to be spelled out in such detail for the purposes of the story.
The best example is, as another commenter put it, the pages-long explanation that a massive, fast moving object needs to slow down a LOT before it can enter Earth orbit and meet up with the ISS, otherwise it will just burn up or shoot off in another direction back into space.
See that? See how I wrote that in just two sentences, Neal Stephenson? The rest of the story around that effort doesn't change, but the multiple pages about altering "delta V" on a comet can be thrown out now. There are multiple times in the book that whatever dialog, situation, tension, or build up and interrupted by these long-winded, highly-technical asides; they are very jarring and really pull you out of the moment.
Likewise, there are what feels like 30-40 primary characters over the course of this book, and the point of view switches between them abruptly and awkwardly in a few places. While you might be following one character for 400 pages, suddenly you're seeing things from someone else's eyes without a break or warning.
Speaking of breaks, holy hell the sections in this were long. Some "chapters" were hundreds of pages, it felt like. Given that so much of the story and in-universe history is broken into so many smaller, named segments, it was a little odd that the text itself wasn't as well.
Let me throw one other thing that slows down reading the book: every single thing gets a proper noun. It totally makes sense that language would change over thousands of years, which the author does address well with the evolution and contraction of words (ex: varp, kupol, dukh), but it seems over the course of world building, the author felt that every place, every technology (or version of technology), or every idea needed to be given a name to refer to it, regardless of how often those terms are used or needed. A good example is stopping to explain the evolution of the tech and name for the "ambots". Again, just take a moment and say "these weapons fire little robots that do X" and move on. The etymology of some things isn't important to the story.
The ending of the final act sort of just happens, with whatever resolution to the conflict described in one or two paragraphs, almost like the book had meant to go on a little longer and explore the things introduced in the final 50 pages or so (like literally anything about the Pingers or whatever the Purpose is). What was the point of the final act? We head to the beach to find Pingers, they show up, and it all kind of just ends?
In some ways Heinlein-esque, especially with various oddball characters and the way he describes them. But, you don't really get to know anyone deeply (as other reviews have mentioned). But even though the characters were not that well developed, the book was deeply presented for the most part.
He covers so much in this book, and could have covered more -- it could have been longer than its nearly 900 pages. Because there were a lot of holes. Might have been better as a trilogy.
It still keeps me thinking though. Very interesting read. At first it reminded me of "The Martian" for the use of current or near-future technology (for the most part). Very inventive. Lot's of improvising going on. And from the acknowledgements (at the end), it was well researched.
That being said, it's still riveting. And, if you're a geek like me, it's even moving.
Seveneves brings up all kinds of important questions about where the human race is going and what it even means to be human.