Seveneves – Neal Stephenson

The Mining Colony now comprised eight modules, plus an inflatable dome that was attached directly to the asteroid. The robots had spent several weeks welding a three-meter-diameter ring into a circular groove that they had prepared on Amalthea’s surface. The inflatable had been mated to it about a hundred days ago, and filled with breathable atmosphere. It was not quite a shirtsleeves environment, since the asteroid was cold and chilled the air in the dome. And many of the robots’ normal operations produced gases that were toxic, or at least irritating. But that wasn’t the point of having a dome.

Seveneves is a book of what is called hard scifi, a category of science fiction focusing on scientific accuracy and technical detail. Neal Stephenson did a fantastic job in researching and writing this book, which is arguably one of the best scifi in the last years. The technical detail is incredible and the plot is perfectly built and sustained.

What will humanity do if we have to leave Earth?

The novel starts with the destruction with the Moon in a cataclysmic event, an action that will destroy life Earth, leaving only the space as a refuge. After this strong hook for readers in the introduction, which kickstarts the entire action, Stephenson brilliantly describes the logical steps that human race takes for its survival. The author pays considerable attention to scientific accuracy, making the book a true voyage of discovery and imagination.

It is also extremely entertaining: the action has great pace, the descriptions are just enough to understand what is happening, the plot leaves the reader guessing what will come next and the personages are truly easily identifiable and memorable. The reader finds out by the last chapters why the novel is called this way.

The book is recommended by both Financial Times and Bill Gates. It’s incredible how you keep wanting to continue, even after more than 800 pages. A masterpiece.

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