I am a fan of science fiction, but it seems like I rarely get around to reading it. When I heard about the premise of Seveneves, and saw the positive reviews on Goodreads, I decided I needed to squeeze it in.
Stephenson sets up the plot immediately when a small black hole, moving very quickly through space, plows in the moon, causing it to explode. What’s left is five large pieces and a plethora of space debris. It doesn’t take long before scientists on earth realize those moon pieces will continue to crash into each other, at an exponential rate, and eventually a “hard rain” of millions of moon asteroids will begin crashing into the earth, lasting thousands of years and making earth inhabitable.
The people have two years before the hard rain will occur, and they make plans to send a contingency of humans into space, in order to attempt the survival of our species.
It’s a great story, and one that becomes quite the page turner. But, Stephenson is one of those authors that enjoys explaining the science part of his science fiction. So much so, that pages upon pages became dedicated to topics that made my eyes glaze over. It wasn’t necessary to the novel, and seemed only a liberty taken by an author that any sensible editor would have overruled. Couldn’t Stephenson have posted a footnote and included the explanation at the back of the book for those who were truly interested?
This book was also clearly set up to be a series of books about the survival of the human race after this moon explosion event. That said, why did Stephenson feel the need to jump 5000 years into the future in this book? I would have saved it for the next in the series, especially since this book was already 880 pages long.
In summary, the story is great, but too long-winded on the science.
3 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2015