Robinson’s dense prose explodes Mary’s and Frank’s stories (among scores of human, animal, and other stories) into a provocative look at the economic, legislative, and scientific leaps that must be made in order to control rampant climate events that seem all too real ... A breathtaking look at the challenges that face our planet in all their sprawling magnitude and also in their intimate, individual moments of humanity.
Robinson’s view of climate change is deeply personal, inescapably human and utterly horrifying ... Although Robinson’s prose is evocative, the book isn’t exactly exciting. Robinson’s writing is sparse, and what plot that exists within the pages of this book is often obscured by its structure. Much like the future, The Ministry for the Future doesn’t lay itself out in a straight and orderly fashion ... Well researched and beautifully written, The Ministry for the Future is a thought-provoking (and sometimes even hopeful) read for anyone looking to the future and wondering what’s coming next.
The Ministry for the Future is Kim Stanley Robinson’s grimmest book since 2015’s Aurora, and likely the grimmest book he has written to date — but it is also one of his most ambitious, as he seeks to tell the story of how, given what science and history both tell us to be true, the rest of our lives could be anything but an endless nightmare. It is not an easy read ... it’s a book that calls on us instead to imagine living through a revolution ourselves, as we are, in the here and now.
Within these pages there is much hard science, of atmospheric and oceanic physics, usually helpfully explained by a passing expert; but also speculative military strategy, plenty of economic history and much comforting detail about the grey civility of Switzerland in winter ... Robinson shows that an ambitious systems novel about global heating must in fact be an ambitious systems novel about modern civilisation too, because everything is so interdependent. Luckily, when he opens one of his discursive interludes with the claim 'Taxes are interesting', he makes good on it within two pages. There is no shortage of sardonic humour here, a cosmopolitan range of sympathies, and a steely, visionary optimism ... Dark comic relief comes from fragmentary dialogues between unnamed speakers.
... a good old-fashioned monster story ... Mr. Robinson’s intrigue and geopolitical drama are well supported by his meticulous research into every sort of environmental theory, proposed solution and geo-engineering possibility, which he deftly incorporates into his work. If you’ve been looking for an environmental monster story in which the heroes are scientists who aren’t above taking off their gloves and getting their hands dirty, this might just be the campfire story for you.
Bestseller Robinson (Forty Signs of Rain) again tackles climate change head-on in this gutsy, humane view of a near-future Earth careening toward collapse ... Robinson masterfully integrates the practical details of environmental crises and geoengineering projects into a sweeping, optimistic portrait of humanity’s ability to cooperate in the face of disaster ... a must-read for anyone worried about the future of the planet.
...detail-heavy ... [A] dry and snarky infodump essays and brief, punchy accounts from people, inanimate objects, and metaphorical forces. Perhaps the author is angry that though he's spent years writing novels exploring the dire results of climate change, the message doesn’t seem to have gotten through ... High-minded, well-intentioned, and in love with what Earth’s future could be but somewhat lacking in narrative drive.