- 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 do produto: 653 g
- Lista de mais vendidos da Amazon: no. 53,696 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.
First, I do not believe that the disaster he posits for the Earth is survivable in at least two of the ways that he proposes, including the escape to space. The space group does at least suffer incredible attrition, so I'll give him that. But once they have reached their "safe haven" I find it unbelievable that they could keep their life support functioning long enough to raise generations of replacement personnel. Especially given that the original setting is the near-future. We can barely keep the ISS flying with constant input from Earth!
Second, evolution (and selective breeding) wouldn't work as quickly as he seems to think. He proposes something along the line of "if a wolf can be bred into a poodle" then humans can be selectively bred into seals in 5000 years. Which is bunk, if only because humans have a much longer generation time. And then there is the problem of how the first generation of deep-sea humans survived in the first place. This is not unlike my argument against the survival of the space contingent- how in the hell do you propose that the crews of modern submarines keep their machinery functioning long enough (while sitting on the bottom of deep trenches) to breed a new generation and raise it to adulthood?!?
(The deep tunnels in high latitudes might be somewhat survivable if there were many independent sites. Most would still die, but statistically speaking some might live. But even this is merely "almost" impossible rather than frankly impossible, again for technological reasons- see below..)
Third, wow, epigenetics don't work like he seems to think it works. He has canids and hominids enter a sort of pupae stage and popping out as something else. Epigenetics works between generations, not on mature individuals.
So, epic in scope, and a good book, and it was worth reading, but I expect more from Stephenson at this point. That's probably brutally unfair of me, but that's how I feel.
I will say that I purchased both the Kindle version and the Audible version of this book, and I kind of went back and forth between the two. Audio format can at times be difficult with Stephenson's works because his technical details are generally easier apprehended (by me) in visual form. This ranges from diagrams (there are three or four in this book) to things like mathematical calculations.
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.