The Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

           Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 11.16.41 PMThe Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

This book must be meant for readers deep into science fiction preferably with a good background in astronomy. I am only a causal student of the above so early on I found myself mostly at a loss what the dialog was all about. It was as if I were immersed in a place where another language was spoken and I only had taken an introductory course  in that language many years ago. However, because I chose to live for awhile in this land ( in other words I was going to continue reading the book although the people were speaking a foreign language) eventually I began to catch on what was going on as is often the case with immigrants settling into a new country

What was going on was quite fascinating and mind boggling One day people on earth looked up at the moon and noticed that it had become split into 8 discrete pieces. Scientists on earth soon realized that as a result of this event there would be a gradual but exponential increase in the number and size of meteorites crashing into earth They confidently predicted that in 20 years there would be a “Reign Of Rocks” that would destroy everything on the face of the earth. The only chance for any humans to survive would be those residents of the space station circling the earth.There was a great effort to expand the space center with numerous small “arklets” attached  to a massive structure floating in space where a  relatively small number of humans could live . There was a worldwide “Casting of the Lots” to choose representatives of all the peoples of earth. There is an attempt also to bring genetic samples up in space and futuristic understanding of genetics is an important part of this story.

This book follows the plight of these humans  and their descendants in space as it takes 5000 years for the surface of the earth to be cooled down where it can be  safe explored  There is character development as a good novel should offer but also an opportunity to follow the various characters  and characteristics of their descendants. There are plots and subplots. Science is an important part of this book and the author stretched our imagination in physics , aeronautics, biology and  robotics. In the epilogue we are told that several scientists in different fields have read drafts of the book and made various suggestions.

I would be very surprised if this book becomes a best seller.  I do think it will make a great movie. There are vivid descriptions of futuristic structures as well as varied human appearances with the passage of time and evolution. These would make  great visuals for a film.  I believe  a creative script based on this novel should be able to capture the futuristic  human interaction described in this piece  and could also highlight  some of the interesting plot developments. For most of you,  wait for the movie rather than struggle through the book.

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