Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

Imagine a world decimated by plague in the 1300s, (okay, so it really happened), but what if 99% of Europe's population died? Christianity is gone and the world is dominated by two powers, China and the Islamic states. Mr. Robinson presents an alternative history swirling with Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, women's rights, reincarnation, gods vs. mortals, archetypes........
He has created a very interesting work constructed of 10 novellas, following a group of souls thoughout 1400 years. Sounds dense but it really isn't. Each glimpse is a different set of characters in a different time period and setting. Religion, belief, reincarnation, coincidence, suffering, enlightenment, collapse of civilizations--its hard to wrap up the story in a neat bundle.
I liked it, you may too if you enjoy imagining a different world.

Mark your calendars, Kim Stanley Robinson will be speaking at Riley Library on April 11, 2008.

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