ONE OF BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR
“The best science-fiction nonfiction novel I’ve ever read.” —Jonathan Lethem
"If I could get policymakers, and citizens, everywhere to read just one book this year, it would be Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future." —Ezra Klein (Vox)
The Ministry for the Future is a masterpiece of the imagination, using fictional eyewitness accounts to tell the story of how climate change will affect us all. Its setting is not a desolate, postapocalyptic world, but a future that is almost upon us. Chosen by Barack Obama as one of his favorite books of the year, this extraordinary novel from visionary science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson will change the way you think about the climate crisis.
"One hopes that this book is read widely—that Robinson’s audience, already large, grows by an order of magnitude. Because the point of his books is to fire the imagination."―New York Review of Books
"If there’s any book that hit me hard this year, it was Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future, a sweeping epic about climate change and humanity’s efforts to try and turn the tide before it’s too late." ―Polygon (Best of the Year)
"Masterly." —New Yorker
"[The Ministry for the Future] struck like a mallet hitting a gong, reverberating through the year ... it’s terrifying, unrelenting, but ultimately hopeful. Robinson is the SF writer of my lifetime, and this stands as some of his best work. It’s my book of the year." —Locus
"Science-fiction visionary Kim Stanley Robinson makes the case for quantitative easing our way out of planetary doom." ―Bloomberg Green
Bestseller Robinson (Forty Signs of Rain) again tackles climate change head-on in this gutsy, humane view of a near-future Earth careening toward collapse. Mary Murphy, head of the Ministry for the Future, a UN watchdog agency created as a result of the Paris Agreement, takes to heart the ministry's mission "to advocate for the world's future generations." Mary spends her days promoting relief for the afflicted and wrestling with the financial powers-that-be to change the carbon balance before it tips too far. She must also be on the watch for ecoterrorists, even as she plans to use their attacks in her pitch for a carbon sequestration cryptocurrency to a group of influential bankers. Then Molly is abducted by the traumatized survivor of a heat wave that killed 20 million in India, who furiously cuts through the political weeds to demand change ("You're killing the world and you want me to remember what words you used to cover your ass?"). Galvanized by his demands, Molly attempts to start a "black wing" working in secret within the Ministry for the Future to make larger changes than she can aboveboard only to discover that such a group already exists. Robinson masterfully integrates the practical details of environmental crises and geoengineering projects into a sweeping, optimistic portrait of humanity's ability to cooperate in the face of disaster. This heartfelt work of hard science-fiction is a must-read for anyone worried about the future of the planet.
Maybe I didn’t get it all?
I love the theme and the experiment of the idea… but I found myself not caring by the end and just trying to finish.
This book is both inspiring and frightening. While I found some of the proposed "solutions" to be a bit extreme, it does make you contemplate whether this is the necessary path to fixing things. It is a must-read that will definitely leave you deep in thought.
Dull and Depressing
After 35 pages - just could not read any further.