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Kim Stanley Robinson’s “New York 2140” (nymag.com)
134 points by hownottowrite on Apr 4, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 92 comments

I took a graph of a map of Manhattan and of the greater New York region and U.S. Geological survey’s print then looked at the streets and the contour levels and I simply marked the 50-foot intervals to see what kind of an island was left, what kind of a bay. And then I walked around town with a tourist-map version of that that I had altered so that I could have a smaller version of that. I wandered around and I looked at the terrain and I looked at the streets running from like Fifth and Sixth avenues between the Empire State Building and say 20th — there’s a 10-foot drop there that would [in a 50-foot sea-level rise] be the tidal zone that is actually several blocks of the wetland at low tide, but underwater at high tide. Even though it would be the shallows with waves breaking.

That actually sounds incredibly fun. Taking pictures and photoshopping in water at the appropriate levels would be pretty cool too.

I have to say, not having been to New York and having nothing on the line, that actually does sound like an incredibly cool setting.

Would it really be remotely cost-effective to take a skyscraper and refit the bottom three stories to be underwater? Sounds like a stretch. It would probably be cheaper to abandon low-lying areas and demolish the buildings there.

Given that skyscrapers seem to describe buildings of 40+ floors, losing 3 is less than 10% of the total floors, possibly a little more of the total floor space given that upper floors may not have the same dimensions, offset by possibly fewer elevator shafts beyond certain points. If the bottom can be retrofitted to be very secure in water (extra concrete?), then I don't see why you would abandon it. It's not like you're constructing a whole new building and have to forego three floors, it's already existing and it's just a matter of putting the work in to make sure it's still usable.

These things are all anchored into bedrock anyway, so it's not like you should have to worry about the material under the foundations shifting or eroding.

Most of the things that skyscraper needs in order to be a viable structure - electricity, data, water, sewage - lie underground in systems that will not survive extended submersion beneath seawater.

Kim Stanley Robinson has this problem in general. It's as if he just doesn't care about the science in his sci-fi. Engineering problems just get hand-waved around whenever they're inconvenient. Terraforming Venus? No problem! Ten kilometer tall spiral launch structures? Sure! A service corridor that goes all the way around a planet? Easy! I might be more inclined to forgive him if he could write a halfway interesting character, or manifest some semblance of a theme, but I'm just constantly disappointed. His work seems more ambitious than spaceships and rayguns, but it always comes up short. I'd rather spend my limited leisure reading time on mindless space potboilers like The Expanse.

that's interesting to hear your opinion. Mine couldn't be more different. To start with in 2312, the science has largely been explained in the Mars Trilogy - whereas 2312 is more detective novel set in space than sci fi. I'm not sure why the service tunnel (or the rail system and city of Terminator itself, actually) are so far out there given just how far off things we are talking. You've got thousands of hollowed out terria and genetic engineering of humans where sex changes to one side and back again before settling in the middle are commonplace, and it's the metamaterials that defy your belief?

Part of good literature and movies is being sold the story so as to suspend disbelief. This has always happened with KSR's books for me. Funnily enough, it didn't happen with Breaking Bad - I couldn't finish it.

Anyway, diversity makes the world an interesting place!

"Terraform Venus" didn't bother me. "Terraform Venus and completely stymied by let's say 4 degrees of global warming on Earth" bothered me.

I didn't think that dichotomy was all that ridiculous. It was always pretty clear that terraforming was still a blunt instrument in his setting. With Venus, they blocked the sun and slammed the surface temps so low that the CO2 was freezing, and on Mars it was pretty much just "Pump as much heat into the air as you can lol"

A planet with a huge human population and associated infrastructure is way more fragile. If you threw a lens in front of Earth, all sorts of frightening things would happen to circulation in the air and seas. In the books, Mars got some batshit crazy dust storms in the middle of its process, and Mars' atmosphere had wayy less energy capacity than Earth's at that point.

I guess my point is this didn't hurt my suspension of disbelief. Presupposing the orbital lenses are possible, it's not utterly insane to conceive them as imprecise tools that would make a mess of a full fledged biosphere.

As usual, it's someone that has questions about a theory in fiction that instead of looking for a way it could be right, assume they are correct and easily find a way it could be wrong.

The same reason the future is so hard to predict is the same reason outcomes that don't necessarily make sense at first should be given the benefit of a doubt and reasons should be looked for, not discounted.

Not only does it make things more enjoyable, but you end up learning a lot more. It does take admitting you may not be the genius you thought you were though, so some people have trouble with that...

With Venus, they wanted the CO2 to freeze because they wanted to sequester it. They had plenty of ability to fine-tune the temperature of the planet to whatever they wanted, and indeed they do so over the course of the book.

It's obviously fatuous to suggest that, oh no, 4 degrees of global warming is a huge problem but also, given the ability to finely control global solar influx with essentially infinite variability (they are, after all, suggesting that they'll use their sunshade to give Venus a day-night cycle, so they can open and close the damn thing every 24 hours indefinitely), you can't find a solution to Earth's global warming problem that's better than four degrees of global warming. A perfect solution? Perhaps not! But better than their status-quo.

And what was their amazing solution? Literally air-drop animals everywhere. Think that might have some unintended consequences?

The whole thing was absurd. KSR seemed to have no ability to stitch together terrestrial problems that were plausible within the framework of the rest of his solar system.

I've just about given up halfway through Years of Rice and Salt. If the writing is this pedestrian, I need more of a point than reincarnation!

In truth, I'll probably read the whole thing eventually, since I bought the paperback already, but it's certainly not a page-turner.

The point isn't reincarnation -- that's just an excuse to have similar characters in different eras. The point is to think about how different (better in some ways, worse in others) the world would have been if Western Europe hadn't been as dominant as it was in our history.

People can have wild differences of opinion. The Years of Rice and Salt is one of my favourite books. I hope you come to enjoy it :)

Isn't much of Manhattan's subfloors already below sea level? I imagine there are already sump pumps in all of them that have subfloors. Cementing off the exterior of the first few floors and/or raising the street level with landfill (as your sibling comment tpurves suggests) seems like it would be sufficient.

One thing to consider, though, is that this flooding would have taken place slowly over decades; it would have started with flooding during storms, which became more frequent over time until the sea slowly moved in. So they had plenty of time to move or waterproof that infrastructure.

Though that calls into question the premise of the book, because they would have likely either filled in the land or built levees sometime in the half-century or so that the sea was rising.

The interview mentions "the catastrophic flood in 2100" in the context of the book, so it sounds like the book includes a runaway problem at some point.

In many coastal cities sky scrapers extend far below the water table. One architect in Houston described the city's sky scrapers to me as more floating platform than traditional building.

(Flooding them could never happen, but sealing them against 50 feet of sea level rise seems like a comparatively minor feet.)

You aren't taking into account the degradation sea water has on infrastructure. The pounding waves and salt would most certainly make the buildings unsafe.

Well, the concrete that actually takes all the load would be safe; that's how pretty much any caissons or foundations in water are built anyway. Electrical delivery would have to be completely re-thought and redeployed. There wouldn't be 'pounding waves' since the rest of the city would be diffusing large waves.

Simpler solution would be to bring landfill to raise the ground level of NYC. The first floors of buildings would be converted to extra levels of sub-floors and new lobbies/entrances built higher up. Or other buildings could be potentially jacked up to new higher up with new subfloors built inbetween to keep them connected to their old foundations. Or lastly, tear down the old structure and build a new building at the higher level. A lot of cities today are build on top of fill on top of remains of old or ancient cities still below ground.

I thought I heard once that quite a bit of Manhattan is already landfill (and many of the subfloors are already below sea level). If so, this sounds like it would be the obvious chosen solution.

I don't know how much is in total, but the west side was expanded with landfill in the 19th century, and Battery Park City is made entirely of excavated dirt from other construction projects, mainly the Twin Towers.

Why not just build dykes to prevent the flooding in the first place?

Two problems: the ocean and the Hudson river. The sea approaches NYC from two directions. To the south is the passage between Long Island and Staten Island, and to the east is the passage between the mainland and Long Island.

If your goal is to protect all five boroughs of NYC, you have to protect Brooklyn, which faces the open sea directly. So a huge seawall south of of Brooklyn, crossing over to Sandy Hook. That looks to be closer to 10 km straight across.

The east is also tricky, because the Bronx reaches so far north and east. Your best bet is probably a dam at Sands Point, but it will have to be a good 4 km long. That should be fun.

Finally there is the Hudson river, which flows north to south. You are going to have to divert that somewhere, or it will just pool up in New York harbor until it finds a way to the sea. A Yonkers-New Rochelle canal perhaps?

If this is your plan, you will have the gratitude of an entire generation of civil engineers, construction workers, and financiers. Your taxpayers may be less enthusiastic.

Or build a few dams here and there. Doesn't seem very hard to do.

I'm sure it would be much more effective to go full Netherlands on Manhattan and set up dikes and seawalls and pumps.

Hello, Reinhardt Gehrke here from Deutche Bank Municipal Bonds. We got the the RFP you sent around. We are eager to be of service of course, but is this a misprint? You want to borrow trillions of dollars for infrastructure projects?

I don't think it would be prohibitively expensive.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Petersburg_Dam to compare to - 15mi of dams built for a much less wealthy city.

They're certainly not skyscrapers, but that's what has happened with the lower floors of buildings in Venice, as they sink into the muck.

It's be cheaper to build a dike around the city.

I've very mixed feelings about KSR. His ideas are interesting and worth thinking about, but I've always found his writing style unbearably flat and boring. I really wanted to read the Mars trilogy, but gave up after the first volume, the writing was so dull and lifeless.

So here we go again - a book that seems like it's focused on interesting ideas, but is that worth plowing through acres of arid prose?

I got through about 2/3 of Red Mars and put it down a few years ago. Even though it was fascinating and unbelievably well researched, it just felt like work to read it. A few years later I decided to try again and ended up reading the whole trilogy. And loved it. I think you have to adjust your expectations a bit and look at his writing for what it is; an exploration on "what would it really be like if X happened".

Most sci-fi is a narrative set in some kind of technologically-different universe. His is more like a serious meditation on what that universe would be like if it really did exist.

Red Mars has kind of a weird rhythm to it. I think Robinson was trying to make a sort of "fake history", so plot lines and characters kinda peter-out or go no where in a way that happens in real life, but not in most fiction (GRR Martin is the only other author I've read with a similar style). I really like the technique, but I can see why its not everyones thing.

The later books in the series slowly take on a more traditional structure, with focus more on a smaller cast of "heroes" about whom most of the action takes place.

It's not the structure of the narrative. It's the writing style itself. Feels very detached and cold, very clinical. The characters have the emotional personality of shadows on a wall; they may have guts but have no heart. When people were dreaming in the 1960s about computers writing literature, this was the stereotype of computer-written text.

Meandering plot lines I'm fine with. I kinda like it in fact.

That's an interesting critique that is very opposed to my own reading. Do you have specific examples? From my perspective, things like the Sax/Anne debate about terraforming Mars, or Frank's resentment at living in Boone's shadow, or Boone's amusement at/exploitation of being a larger-than-life figure struck me as very well developed emotionally.

I put down Red Mars around 2/3rds of the way through a few years ago for the same reasons. Maybe I'll give it another shot.

A matter of taste, I suppose. The Mars trilogy was the first thing I read by him, and I was completely sold by the time I realized the reason people suddenly seemed different was he'd switched narrators without explicitly saying so. I felt he perfectly managed to make a very technical story primarily human and personal without significant compromises. That said, if you didn't buy into it from the start, the trilogy would have been a pretty tough slog.

I read the whole trilogy when I was 16 I think.

What a great set of books, and I secretly hope it will one day be made into movies or a serie (HBO please ? ;-) )

Apparently a series has been in the works under a number of networks for a while now, with SyFy and AMC failing to produce and currently Spike TV working on it. From the reporting it seems it's not exactly a sure thing yet, and given the nature of the books, I'll be surprised if anything other than a bastardized good-vs-evil story every comes out in moving picture format.

The story is great, and I would probably watch those movies.

I found the same thing but would also recommend checking out Aurora, one of his later books; he's definitely less dry when it's a self-contained story.

Very intriguing article - I'm going to get the book. A major nitpick that made me stop reading the article though..

>To truly spoil the end of the book...

You've just convinced me to buy it, and now I can't read further in your article. I don't know if its safe to keep reading, and I'm not going to tempt spoiling the book. Even if it is tongue-in-cheek, how would I know that for sure?

Knowing the ending may make you want to read it even more.[0]

I know, atleast for me, it can help influence what I should consume when given time constraints.


I know that, when I read/see a surprising or exciting twist in a story, I get a thrill of excitement and delight; if I knew it was coming, though, it's replaced with, at best, a duller sort of "yep, there it is" sensation. Knowing that I've missed out on that thrill is upsetting.

Relatedly (because I have actually had people argue with me about this before) I really don't get why so many people (like these researchers) feel the need to tell me that those sensations I just described are invalid or imaginary.

It's a tonal spoiler, I guess you could say. It mostly spoils whether the book ends on an upbeat or dim note, although I guess there's also some vague detail as to a large event that results in this ending.

I read the paragraph and still want to read the book.

The spoiler is pretty general, but if you've already decided to get the book, the rest of the interview can be skipped. They don't reveal the contents of the Voynich manuscript or anything.

Here's a higher res copy of that nice cover art by Stephan Martiniere (http://www.martiniere.com/):


(Looks slightly upscaled, but probably from a better source than in the posted article.)

Very cool. The one thing about this picture is that I imagine there would be a lot more sky bridges in a situation like that. Perhaps that's covered in the story. I guess I'll have to find out. :)

It would make the picture too cluttered, I think.

Very nice cover...and looks like a cool place to visit.

Any thoughts on KSR's thoughts on hacks?

> What I wanted to say with that part of the plot is you can’t hack the system, you have to legislate the system. Because hacks are reversible and they are too secret and they’re kind of like a desire for a technical, silver-bullet solution like you might get out of Silicon Valley people but in fact these are laws, global laws. So what you really need is legislation to change them and Piketty-ing the tax code.

I didn't understand that point. Wouldn't legislation be more reversible than hacking (eg, healthcare, USDA, EPA, etc at the moment due to change of government)? I must be missing something.

One of my favourite authors. I like how optimistic his books are, reminds me of the Culture series.

This is a surprising to me since, of Robinson's work, I've only read Aurora. One of the primary impressions it had on me was the overwhelming bleakness of the universe and the futility of space exploration/colonization.

Perhaps I should muster the courage to try some of his other work.

The unfortunate part about Aurora is that it is "optimistic" only in the context of all of the Red Mars trilogy, and 2312, and really only in the last chapter, where...


the characters go "well, eff it, I guess we have to make it work here on Earth". It seems to me that, in the arc of KSR's work, Aurora is the effective acceptance that humans will have to make Earth work for them, for better or worse, even as they collectively wrecked the planet. And that seems a nice segue into New York 2140.

Aurora is also told from the PoV of characters that are extremely anti-extrasolar travel.


Note however at the end of the book cryo-sleep is developed. This technology removes the main moral argument and technological difficulty against extra-solar travel as presented in the book. It is even noted in the book that a new wave of human colonization is taking place. KSR seems to be making both arguments at once but only telling one side of the story.

(more spoilers)

You do make an interesting point which I didn't emphasize: Aurora also makes a moral argument against generation ships.

But I think things get more complicated still. If you accept the book's argument, accept cryogenic sleep, but also accept that Earth is something like the biggest generation ship we have, then where do we stand? If we accept that cryogenic sleep solves that part of the moral argument, then we kind of walked into Woody Allen's plot for Sleeper (that is, why not sleep right here on Earth until things improve?) These are really tough questions to consider.

Needless to say, I think Aurora is the deepest, most introspective work that KSR has produced.

> This technology removes the main moral argument and technological difficulty against extra-solar travel as presented in the book.

Not quite. The other difficulty presented is the sparsity of places suitable to settle at. And what you do then if you're not very lucky on arrival.

>And what you do then if you're not very lucky on arrival.

Option 1: Go to sleep and go home.

Option 2: Setup a small research station in a spun up asteroid and get terraforming.

Option 2 is much nicer with cryo-sleep. Try a terraforming experiment and sleep for 50 years to see how it worked out. You can even cycle people between Earth and the research station (see the plot of Alien). Planetary Geologists can live their lives on geologic time scales.

Or you could improve your odds by sending robots or small teams to many different stars (sleep, explore, sleep). You don't need to bring a full-cycle ecosystem until you decide to stay. Find good planetary sites and then send over the supplies.

My read of Aurora was that interstellar colonization was about to take place, but the PoV characters were against it.

"futility of space exploration/colonization."

You definitely won't get that from the Mars trilogy (or indeed Antartica which is pretty much "White Mars").

I have to say I rather liked Aurora though - I thought the Ship character was well done.

I was devastated when I first read it because I was expecting it to be like Red Mars for a colony generation-ship, but after I had some distance my impression is that it is super optimistic about how Earth is.

It's a relief to think that even if we do fuck up Earth in ways which seem like they may be very likely to happen, it is still such a good place for humans to live, ie better than any other planet we know of, even with serious terraforming efforts.

I thought Antarctica was pretty good. Optimistic but tempered by realism about how change happens in human societies. Not a particularly fast moving story, but it held my attention and I've re-read it a couple of times since.

Aurora was extremely disappointing due to that bleakness.

Do read the Mars trilogy, which has strife, but also hope.

Aurora was his worst book, IMHO, and definitely shouldn't dissuade you from his other work.

I've enjoyed 5 of his other books: Mars trilogy, 2312, and Aurora (Aurora I enjoyed so much I've read it twice).

But I'm struggling with 2140 (just checked and I'm 41% of the way through). Despite living in New York and having a lot of fun with the description of a venetian New York it's just not grabbing my interest yet. I'm going to keep plodding through it but at this stage I'd rather just start re-reading Red Mars again.

I haven't read Robinson's book, but the interview is intriguing ... many speculative worlds based on the premise of man-made ecological catastrophe are positively grim (On The Beach, Jem, etc.) but Robinson's NYC is (apparently) coping quite well.

JG Ballard tackled a somewhat similar scenario in 1962 with The Drowned World. (1) It was London, not NYC, and the catastrophe was still progressing, which would lead ultimately to human extinction or the triumph of the reptiles. The beauty in the book was Ballard's language, the evocative descriptions of the world, and the sad main character living out his remaining days in a skyscraper penthouse. Worth reading (and comparing with Robinson's book).

1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/10273413/Will-Self-...

Yes, I love Ballard's catastrophe novels. But of course as prophetic as the The Drowned World seems to us today, Ballard wasn't writing it as a serious prediction of the future -- he just liked writing about the world ending in weird ways -- water, fire, a mysterious wind, etc.

My theory about most of Ballard's "sci-fi" was that he just liked to throw his characters in (or immediately after) some world-shifting event (mostly in the sense of "catastrophe") and see what kind of neurosis or madness would emerge from the new environment. So the external environment was mostly a backdrop for the development of the characters' mental maladies.

It's pretty rare to find a character in Ballard's stories who acts "rationally" and usually (at least in my experience) the few that do tend to look alien/mad because they are still using human logic and common sense in a world that has obviously moved in a totally different direction.

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi is another candidate. In that post-ecological catastrophe, things are a good deal worse than they are today, but life isn't hopeless. Well, for many it is, but is that so different from our reality?

Related, this is a fun tool to play with - well if your idea of fun includes enacting disaster fantasies anyway:


The cover has a similar asthetic to SimCity 2000's box art:


I read it already and really enjoyed it. It's a mixture of the quiet descriptiveness of the science in the capital series with the forward thinking genius of his earlier scifi, interspersed with some serious nerding out over the economy and it's role in the world. Thumbs up.

I have lived in his small home town of Davis for a decade, and I still haven't bumped into Kim Stanley Robinson. From his writing, I was sure I'd run into him at Delta of Venus café one day. No such luck.

He even mentions a "Delta of Venus" in 2312; however, his preferred spot seems to be Mishka's.

Interpreting personality from books to predict hangouts is a funny endeavor, but I can see how Mishka's would be his choice. If it isnt the good coffee, tea, and pastries, Mishka's is filled with college students and professors, many of whom are scientists. Obviously scientists play a central role in his writing. Delta of Venus attracts the more alternative crowds, as well as english lit students and the like. The people there have edremind me of some of the characters and settings in Green or Blue Mars.

In any case, these are just passive musings. I frequent Delta of Venus because I like the patio.

Love this, from one of the answers the author gave:

> "You can indeed become enormously wealthy and still be a good person just playing the game. That point needed to be raised because, as Orson Welles once pointed out, everybody has their reasons. Very few people are thinking as a sociopath might think, that nothing matters to me."

Glad to see this sentiment is a driver in this book's dystopia. A little slice of healing for our political climate.

>"why neoliberal capitalism is the only real villain of the book"

I doubt that neoliberal capitalism will be "the real villain" 100 years from now. Capital is in the process of being superceded by information (a further rarification/reification of social relations).

Either way, it's hard to imagine neoliberalism making a good sci-fi villain. At all.

> Capital is in the process of being superceded by information

Sometimes I really can't follow comments on HN for technical jargon, this one I can't follow because I have no idea what you're on about.

How do you see capital being replaced by information?

I'm not the GP but here's an example of larger trend that they might point to in support of their argument:

Excerpted from Matt Levine's Money Stuff newsletter: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-04-04/hacienda-...

> One simple story to tell here is that globalization and technology have shifted the bargaining power between entrepreneurs and providers of capital. These days, if you want to start a social-media company, you don't need to raise a lot of money from investors to build a factory. You just need a dorm room, and your parents are probably paying for that. And if your social media company is a success, it can go global instantly with near-zero marginal costs. (Yes, I know, this does not exactly describe Snapchat, which is focused on developed economies and which has weirdly enormous costs, but still.) The path to being a gigantic profitable company is paved relatively more with ideas, and less with capital:

Vivek Wadhwa, a distinguished fellow at Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering, says the “winner-take-all” culture in which a few tech companies emerge as hugely profitable from among a far-larger number that fail encourages investors to give tech executives more leeway.

Meanwhile the same forces of globalization and technology mean that there are a lot more people with capital. U.S. tech companies can raise money from China, or the Middle East, rather than limiting themselves to New York and San Francisco. Globalization opens up new markets, which makes good business ideas more valuable, and new sources of capital, which makes those ideas easier to fund.

So winning entrepreneurs are more valuable, while capital is less valuable and less scarce. Of course the bargaining dynamic between the people with ideas and the people with capital has shifted. You'd expect to see some of that playing out in price -- investors paying billions of dollars for unprofitable social-media companies -- but at some level, if you are a young billionaire entrepreneur, you don't really need any more money. You might as well bargain for more power, or more freedom.

>are a young billionaire entrepreneur, you don't really need any more money

Oh good, I'm glad the future can only be described as how the options of a select few are going to be different

That's my mistake, I included a paragraph that wasn't relevant to this specific topic but was covered in the article itself.

Capitalism as a mode of production has many things in common with other modes of production and certain salient qualities that set it apart from other modes of production. In our current situation, the qualities unique to capitalism are being superceded (which is different from being replaced) by qualities unique to the information age, or whatever you want to call it: 1. value is increasingly extracted from peoples' information rather than their labor, 2. informational rather than industrial technologies are in the driver's seat, 3. commodity reification is no longer the most striking aspect of our social relations, etc.

At what point do these new aspects of our current "mode of production" reach a critical mass? I assume that by 2140, "neoliberalism" will not have much currency as a concept.


Neoliberalism is the villain in so much cyberpunk if you look closely enough.

Lots of interesting ideas in the book spread out through a really mundane story. The best part of the book for me is the chapters with the New York Citizen telling us the history of the city and how it got to be to where it is in 2140. The story itself has some highlights, but overall it was mostly a slog to listen to.

Funny, he really seemed interested in drowning NYC in his book 2312 (very good novel). I suspect he wanted to expand on the topic, besides the drowned city just being the setting for a few situations in the book. It might be worth comparing both descriptions of NYC to see what changed after his research.

It seems more likely they would go damns and dikes then let the water over run the city. Manhattan surrounded by a wall where the ground of the city is were it always is, and a 50ft wall around it.

This is great, I want to see a whole series of these scifi books for other cities of interest around the globe.

There's at least one scene that's similar to the premise of this book in one of the Mars Trilogy books—but set in London, where the Thames is flooded.

Nitpick about New York 2140 - did KSR mix up neap and spring tides at one point?

All the bitcoins will be mined

Really excited to read this book! I live by the Mars Trilogy, and by 2312, and I'm currently in 40 Signs of Rain. I'll add this to the list!

Note that there's a key typo in the introduction, suggesting the setting is 2040, and that made for a confusing first few minutes, but really, the book is set in 2140 indeed. Can't wait!

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