Kim Stanley Robinson

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Kim Stanley Robinson
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{{For|the late American actress|Kim Stanley}}{{Use mdy dates|date=May 2012}}

| birth_place = Waukegan, Illinois, US| death_date =| death_place =| occupation = Writer| nationality = American| period =| genre = Science fiction| movement =| notableworks =| signature =| website =}}Kim Stanley Robinson (born March 23, 1952) is an American writer of science fiction. He has published nineteen novels and numerous short stories but is best known for his Mars trilogy. His work has been translated into 24 languages. Many of his novels and stories have ecological, cultural, and political themes and feature scientists as heroes. Robinson has won numerous awards, including the Hugo Award for Best Novel, the Nebula Award for Best Novel and the World Fantasy Award. Robinson's work has been labeled by The Atlantic as "the gold-standard of realistic, and highly literary, science-fiction writing."WEB, In 300 Years, Kim Stanley Robinson's Science Fiction May Not Be Fiction,weblink 2015-09-08, Scott, Beauchamp, April 1, 2013, The Atlantic, According to an article in The New Yorker, Robinson is "generally acknowledged as one of the greatest living science-fiction writers."NEWS, Kreider, Tim, Our Greatest Political Novelist?,weblink September 6, 2015, The New Yorker, December 13, 2013,

Early life

Robinson was born in Waukegan, Illinois. He moved to Southern California as a child.WEB, Adams, John Joseph, Sci-Fi Scribes on Ray Bradbury: 'Storyteller, Showman and Alchemist',weblink Wired, September 4, 2015, June 6, 2012, In 1974, he earned a B.A. in literature from the University of California, San Diego.WEB, Potts, Stephen, UCSD Guestbook: Kim Stanley Robinson,weblink UCTV, University of California Television, September 5, 2015, July 11, 2000, In 1975, he earned an M.A. in English from Boston University.


In 1978 Robinson moved to Davis, California to take a break from his graduate studies at UC San Diego. During this time he worked as a bookseller for Orpheus Books. He also taught freshman composition and other courses at University of California, Davis.NEWS, Hudsen, Jeff, Davis a perfect fit for a sci-fi novelist,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, November 22, 2004, September 8, 2015, The Davis Enterprise, October 18, 2004, In 1982 Robinson earned a Ph.D. in English from the UC San Diego. His initial Ph.D. advisor was literary critic and Marxist scholar, Fredric Jameson, who told Robinson to read works by Philip K. Dick. Jameson described Dick to Robinson as "the greatest living American writer." Robinson's doctoral thesis, The Novels of Philip K. Dick, was published in 1984 and a hardcover version was published by UMI Research Press.In 2008, Time Magazine named Robinson a "Hero of the Environment" for his optimistic focus on the future.MAGAZINE, Morton, Oliver, Heroes of the Environment 2008,weblink September 6, 2015, Time Magazine, September 24, 2008, In 2009, Robinson was an instructor at the Clarion Workshop.WEB, Doctorow, Cory, Clarion science fiction/fantasy workshop instructors announced,weblink Boingboing, Boinboing, September 6, 2015, December 8, 2008, In 2010, he was the guest of honor at the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, held in Melbourne, Australia.WEB, Howell, John, 68th World Science Fiction Convention Australia 2010: Kim Stanley Robinson Guest,weblink SFW, SFW, September 6, 2015, May 18, 2009, yes,weblink" title="">weblink October 9, 2015, mdy-all, In April 2011, Robinson presented at the second annual Rethinking Capitalism conference, held at the University of California, Santa Cruz.NEWS, Pittman, Jennifer, Rethinking Capitalism conference at UCSC to examine the cost of sustaining a fragile system,weblink September 6, 2015, Santa Cruz Sentinel News, April 2, 2011, Among other points made, his talk addressed the cyclical nature of capitalism.WEB,weblink Bruce Initiative on Rethinking Capitalism | 2011 Conference, April 26, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink August 26, 2011, Robinson was appointed Muir Environmental Fellow in 2011 by the John Muir College, University of California San Diego.WEB, Iannuzzi, Giulia, Science, Engagement, Estrangement:Remarks on Kim Stanley Robinson’s Californian Ecotopia,weblink EUT, EUT – Edizioni Università di Trieste,

Major themes

Nature and culture

Sheldon Brown described Robinson's novels as ways to explore how nature and culture continuously reformulate one another; Three Californias Trilogy as California in the future; Washington DC undergoing the impact of climate change in the Science in the Capital series; or Mars as a stand-in for Earth in the Mars trilogy to think about re-engineering on a global scale, both social and natural conditions.WEB, Brown, Sheldon, The Literary Imagination with Jonathan Lethem and Kim Stanley Robinson,weblink UCTV, University of California Television, September 5, 2015, 5:00, July 1, 2013,

Ecological sustainability

Virtually all of Robinson's novels have an ecological component; sustainability is one of his primary themes (a strong contender for the primary theme would be the nature of a plausible utopia.) The Orange County trilogy is about the way in which the technological intersects with the natural, highlighting the importance of keeping the two in balance. In the Mars trilogy, one of the principal divisions among the population of Mars is based on dissenting views on terraforming. Colonists debate whether or not the barren Martian landscape has a similar ecological or spiritual value when compared with a living ecosphere like earth's. Forty Signs of Rain has an entirely ecological thrust, taking global warming for its principal subject.

Economic and social justice

File:Kim stanley robinson-bookfair.jpg|thumb|right|250px|alt=Author speaking at the Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair.|Kim Stanley Robinson speaking at the Bay Area Anarchist BookfairBay Area Anarchist BookfairRobinson's work often explores alternatives to modern capitalism. In the Mars trilogy, it is argued that capitalism is an outgrowth of feudalism, which could be replaced in the future by a more democratic economic system. Worker ownership and cooperatives figure prominently in Green Mars and Blue Mars as replacements for traditional corporations. The Orange County trilogy explores similar arrangements; Pacific Edge includes the idea of attacking the legal framework behind corporate domination to promote social egalitarianism. Tim Kreider writes in the New Yorker that Robinson may be our greatest political novelist and describes how Robinson uses the Mars trilogy as a template for a credible utopia.Robinson's work often portrays characters struggling to preserve and enhance the world around them in an environment characterized by individualism and entrepreneurialism, often facing the political and economic authoritarianism of corporate power acting in this environment. Robinson has been described as anti-capitalist, and his work often portrays a form of frontier capitalism that promotes egalitarian ideals that closely resemble socialist systems, but faced with a capitalism that is maintained by entrenched hegemonic corporations. In particular, his Martian Constitution draws upon social democratic ideals explicitly emphasizing a community-participation element in political and economic life.Some Worknotes and Commentary on the Constitution by Charlotte Dorsa-Brevia, in The Martians pp. 233–239Robinson's works often portray the worlds of tomorrow in a manner similar to the mythologized American Western frontier, showing a sentimental affection for the freedom and wildness of the frontier. This aesthetic includes a preoccupation with competing models of political and economic organization.The environmental, economic, and social themes in Robinson's (wikt:oeuvre|oeuvre) stand in marked contrast to the right-libertarian science fiction prevalent in much of the genre (Robert A. Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Larry Niven, and Jerry Pournelle being prominent examples), and his work has been called the most successful attempt to reach a mass audience with a left wing and anti-capitalist utopian vision since Ursula K. Le Guin's 1974 novel, The Dispossessed.WEB,weblink Utopic Fiction and the Mars Novels of Kim Stanley Robinson, Raintaxi, Smith, Jeremy, 2001, June 19, 2015,

Scientists as heroes

Robinson's work often features scientists as heroes. They are portrayed in a mundane way compared to most work featuring scientists: rather than being adventurers or action heroes, Robinson's scientists become critically important because of research discoveries, networking and collaboration with other scientists, political lobbying, or becoming public figures. Robinson captures the joy of scientists as they work at something they care about. The Mars trilogy and The Years of Rice and Salt rely heavily on the idea that scientists must take responsibility for ensuring public understanding and responsible use of their discoveries. Robinson's scientists often emerge as the best people to direct public policy on important environmental and technological questions, of which politicians are often ignorant.

Climate change and global warming

Related to Robinson's focus on the environment is his themes of the imminent catastrophe of global warming and the need to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the present day. His 2012 novel 2312 explores the detrimental, long-term effects of climate change, which include food shortages, global instability, mass extinction, and {{convert|7|m|ft|adj=on}} sea level rise that has drowned many major coastal cities. The novel condemns the people of the period it calls "the Dithering", from 2005 to 2060, for failing to address climate change and thereby causing mass suffering and death in the future. Robinson and his work accuse global capitalism for the failure to address climate change. In his 2017 novel New York 2140 Robinson explores the themes of climate change and global warming, setting the novel in the year 2140 when the New York City he imagines is beset by a {{convert|50|ft|m|adj=on}} sea level rise that submerges half of the city.WEB,weblink Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB), Utopia in the Time of Trump, Canavan, Gerry, 2017, March 11, 2017, Climate change is also the focus of his Science in the Capital series.

Awards{| class"wikitable sortable"

! Year !! Award !! Work honored forWorld Fantasy Award for Best Novella >WEBSITE = SFADB, September 7, 2015, | "Black Air"Locus Award for Best First Novel >| The Wild ShoreNebula Award for Best Novella >| "The Blind Geometer"| "Mother Goddess of the World"John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel >| Pacific EdgeLocus Award for Best Novella >| "A Short, Sharp Shock"| "Vinland the Dream"| Red MarsHugo Award for Best Novel >| Green MarsLocus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel >| Green MarsNebula Award for Best Novel >| Red MarsHugo Award for Best Novel >Mars trilogy>Blue MarsLocus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel >Mars trilogy>Blue MarsIgnotus Award-foreign novel >| Red MarsIgnotus Award-foreign novel >| Green MarsMars trilogy>Blue Mars| Red MarsLocus Awards Best Collection >Mars trilogy>The MartiansLocus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel>| The Years of Rice and SaltNebula Award for Best Novel >2312 (novel)>2312|2016|Robert A. Heinlein AwardACCESSDATE = JANUARY 7, 2016MAGAZINE = LOCUS (MAGAZINE), Locus Online, Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society >ACCESSDATE = JANUARY 16, 2019PUBLISHER = CLARKE FOUNDATION WEBSITE,

Personal life

Robinson and his wife have two sons. Robinson has lived in Washington, D.C., California, and during some of the 1980s, in Switzerland. At times, Robinson was a stay-at-home dad.{{Citation|last=Bioneers|title=Kim Stanley Robinson – Rethinking Our Relationship to the Biosphere {{!}} Bioneers|date=2015-11-12|url=|accessdate=2016-08-27}} He now lives in Davis, California in a cohousing community.Robinson has described himself as an avid backpacker with the Sierra Nevada serving as his home range and a big influence on how he sees the world.Politically, Robinson identifies as a democratic socialist, and in a February 2019 interview mentioned he is a dues-paying member of the Democratic Socialists of America.PODCAST,weblink Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism w/ Kim Stanley Robinson, The Antifada,, Jamie Peck, Sean KB, Will Menaker, February 28, 2018, 54:31, February 28, 2019, He has also remarked that libertarianism has never "[made] any sense to me, nor sounds attractive as a principle."WEB,weblink Toward an Ecologically Based Post-Capitalism: Interview With Novelist Kim Stanley Robinson, March 17, 2018, Javier, Sethness, Truthout, September 16, 2018,




External links

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