Sci-fi and Cli-fi: Which Is for You?

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson & The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

Sometimes science fiction skews local and hopeful. Other times it's doomy and far-out. Two modern masters--Kim Stanley Robinson and John Scalzi--have new books, and they happen to fall on opposing ends of that spectrum. Which one’s for you?


Collapsing Empire is a space opera set Circa AD 3500 (the Gregorian calendar is passe by then). Faster than light travel is impossible-until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field available at certain points in space-time, which can take us to other planets around other stars.

By riding The Flow, humanity spreads to innumerable other worlds and Earth is forgotten. A new empire arises called the Interdependency, based on the doctrine that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It's a hedge against war-and, for the rulers, a system of control.

The Flow may be eternal-but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well. In some cases, entire worlds have been cut off from the rest of humanity. When it's discovered that the entire Flow is moving, possibly separating all human worlds from one another forever, three individuals-a scientist, a starship captain, and the emperor of the Interdependency-must race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.


Set in New York during the 2142 congressional election. As The sea levels rise and supersize hurricanes strike-- every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island. For the residents of one apartment building in Madison Square, however, New York in the year 2140 is far from a drowned city.

There is the market trader, who finds opportunities where others find trouble. There is the detective, whose work will never disappear-- along with the lawyers, of course.
There is the internet star, beloved by millions for her airship adventures, and the building's manager, quietly respected for his attention to detail. Then there are two boys who don't live there, but have no other home-- and who are more important to its future than anyone might imagine.

Lastly there are the coders, temporary residents on the roof, whose disappearance triggers a sequence of events that threatens the existence of all-- and even the long-hidden foundations on which the city rests.

Both titles can be found in the NEW BOOKS section of the library.

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