Bow before King Neal: Review of Seveneves

Seveneves cover

Author: Neal Stephenson

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: 19 May 2015

Length: Novel (880 pages)

Format I read: Hardback



What would happen if the world were ending?

When a catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb, it triggers a feverish race against the inevitable. An ambitious plan is devised to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere. But unforeseen 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.


Stephenson is my KING. Like, for serious, y’all need to bow down before his giant brain! Seveneves is yet another masterwork of epic proportions that still somehow leaves me wanting more.

This is Stephenson turning his eye on the world of hard sf, imagining a complex but totally believable future for a humanity bereft of earth. In fact at one point I was having a total squee because he’s created a world where both the old sf imaginings of the future with their great dumb machines, and the newer sf with its knowledge of computers, come together to form this intriguing vision of the world.

And, for a book that deals with a lot of tech and the annihilation of a lot of the human race this is a book with a lot of heart and a careful focus on the human side of the equation. The characters were interesting and varied, some symapthetic, some heroic, some (very literally) screamingly awful.

Finally, Stephenson’s writing is wonderful; easy to read and yet injected with complex ideas and some lesser known nuggets of vocabulary, I always come out of his books feeling a little bit smarter than when I went in.

To conclude: OMFG, read this book.