Kim Stanley Robinson

An author who is new to me.

Kim Stanley Robinson is best known as a novelist of scale, a creator of complex futures and universes of sublime magnitude. His Three Californias (or Orange County) trilogy (1984-90), for example, offers three alternative visions — a post-apocalyptic pastoral, a dystopian satire, and a precarious ecotopia — of what California (and the world) might become, while the Science in the Capital trilogy (2004-07) depicts Beltway politics during a period of catastrophic global climate change. The Mars trilogy (1992-96), probably the major accomplishment of 1990s American SF, charts both the transformation of Mars into a planet habitable by humankind and the transformation of humankind (including our political, social, and economic systems) into forms fit for a new world. Even the standalone novels like Antarctica (1997), The Years of Rice and Salt (2002), and Galileo’s Dream (2009) are in the heavyweight division.

A retrospective collection of twenty-two shorter pieces from the last three decades is therefore an intriguing prospect. People have noted that Robinson’s novels, however vast their scope and implications, are usually composed of novella-length parts . . .

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The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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