Termination Shock

 Termination Shock by Neal Stephenson

The opening scene reveals a small plane, piloted by the Queen of the Netherlands, landing in Texas just as a herd of feral pigs swarm the runway beneath them. The result is a wrecked plane,
a number of injuries, and a very messy tarmac. 

Set in the near future, climate change has raised temperatures and water levels all over the planet. The Dutch Queen and other leaders have been invited to witness a demonstration of new, privately owned technology that could prevent weather disasters and even reverse some of the damage already done. While this sounds good, there is one glitch: what will benefit some areas of the world has the potential to cause major problems for others - and they aren't about to let that happen.

What I liked about this book is the matter-of-fact way climate change problems are addressed. It's realistic - it's likely we're headed for exactly some of the situations described - but there's a lack of hysteria that is refreshing. Problems are squarely faced, disasters borne and plans made to mitigate damage in the future. There's a minimum of angst and a maximum of putting heads together to find solutions.

What I didn't like was not getting to know the characters very well. Granted, it's plot driven, but I do wish I'd been able to feel some connection with one or two of them. They are interesting people, but they kept their distance.

Another thing that didn't appeal to me was all the technical detail about how various things are built and how they function. I found it tedious but expect it will be more interesting to some readers.

Interesting concepts and characters, and a good read, just not quite as riveting as Seveneves, the only other Stephenson novel I've read so far.


Post a Comment