Seveneves: A Novel

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic—a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years.

What would happen if the world were ending?

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .

Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.

An Amazon Best Book of May 2015: Stephenson is not afraid of writing big books—big in page count, big in concept, and big in their long-lingering effect on the reader’s mind. Newcomers to Stephenson should reject any trepidation. This science-fueled saga spans millennia, but make no mistake: The heart of this story is its all-too-human heroes and how their choices, good and ill, forge the future of our species. Seveneves launches into action with the disintegration of the moon. Initially considered only a cosmetic, not cosmic, change to the skies, the moon’s breakup is soon identified as the spawning ground of a meteor shower dubbed the Hard Rain that will bombard Earth for thousands of years, extinguishing all life from the surface of the planet. Now humanity has only two years to get off-world and into the Cloud Ark, a swarm of small, hastily built spaceships that will house millions of Earth species (recorded as digital DNA) and hundreds of people until they can return home again. But who goes, and who stays? And once the lucky few have joined the Cloud Ark, how will the remaining seeds of humankind survive not only the perils of day-to-day of life in space but also the lethal quicksand of internal politics? Slingshot pacing propels the reader through the intricacies of orbit liberation points, the physics of moving chains, and bot swarms, leaving an intellectual afterglow and a restless need to know more. An epic story of humanity and survival that is ultimately optimistic, Seveneves will keep you thinking long past the final page. –Adrian Liang

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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3 Comments

  1. Neal Stephenson is back at his best with Seveneves – aka Neil deGrasse Tyson and Elon Musk save the human race I’ve been a Neal Stephenson fan since the early 90s when I read Snow Crash and I’ve been a massive fan ever since. He has pulled off an amazing feat, he CONSISTENTLY writes novels that are powered by profound ideas, well-developed characters, and hair-raising action. His earlier novels had all of these elements (and I love them deeply) but as he moved into “long form” novels like Cryptonomicon, The Baroque Cycle, Anathem, and Reamde, he put more emphasis on the ideas and how they…

  2. Great technical guide for escaping a doomed planet, but not much of a novel Neal Stephenson isn’t a writer to shy away from BIG topics. With “Seveneves” he returns to his hard sci-fi roots, but that doesn’t mean he’s scaled back his interest in big broad topics. Given that, this novel will no doubt create a lot of excitement among Stephenson fans. Unfortunately, just as the this author’s strengths – a passion for details and hard science – have only sharpened, his weaknesses have likewise only gotten more so. 

  3. Highly Literate & Exciting Hard Science Fiction by an Ultimate Insider of Science and Technology. Great Story & Credible Tech… Neal Stephenson, is the ultimate science and technology insider, indeed the basic skeleton of this novel began as he consulted for Blue Origin, Jeff Bezo’s (Amazon Founder) Space Tourism Start-up, and this book accurately reflects current thought in Astronautics, Genetics and Asteroid Mining. But, Stephenson is also a literate author of multiple genre’s including historical scientific fiction, and is above all a consummate story teller. There is enough fast-paced action (indeed the moon…

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