Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
A Novel

75%

28 Critic Reviews

And what thrills me, is that he makes it interesting. That he makes life and death in space about actual life and death...he has basically sent a bunch of on-the-spectrum superheroes into space...but he has done so in service of a story that requires precisely that. Big brains and hard hearts to handle problems with no mushy solutions.
-NPR

Synopsis

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic—a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years.

What would happen if the world were ending?

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and 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.

A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.

 

About Neal Stephenson

See more books from this Author
Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, the three-volume historical epic The Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World) as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington. Author Image 1
 
Published May 19, 2015 by William Morrow. 881 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon5
Peak Rank on Jun 07 2015
icon2
Weeks as Bestseller
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Seveneves
All: 28 | Positive: 25 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Good
on Mar 02 2015

...all those exploding planetoids make a good argument for more STEM funding. Wise, witty, utterly well-crafted science fiction.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Mar 06 2015

...it’s only here, over halfway through the story, that Stephenson (the Baroque Cycle) really shows his hand, moving ahead 5,000 years to explore the moral and political implications of the earlier events. There’s a ton to digest, but Stephenson’s lucid prose makes it worth the while.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Charles Yu on May 27 2015

If the moon ever does crumble in the sky, and we can choose only a few novels to preserve for posterity, this one wouldn’t make my list. But that’s not the point of it anyway. Meanwhile it is ample praise to say that “Seveneves” would be a great way to pass the time while waiting for the end of the world.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Steven Poole on May 13 2015

Stephenson’s people are vivid and terrified: they bicker and cry and perform heroic deeds. But still, he does give himself all the time in the world to describe giant space gadgets.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Jason Sheehan on May 20 2015

And what thrills me, is that he makes it interesting. That he makes life and death in space about actual life and death...he has basically sent a bunch of on-the-spectrum superheroes into space...but he has done so in service of a story that requires precisely that. Big brains and hard hearts to handle problems with no mushy solutions.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Mark Whittington on May 21 2015

One can hand it to Stephenson because he throws the readers concepts with both handfuls right and left as the nations of the world...desperately proceed to build the space habitats...Nevertheless, “Seveneves” comes highly recommended. It is a long book, filled with technical detail, about the literal end of the world and what comes after.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by James Lovegrove on Jun 12 2015

Seveneves is a superhuman achievement, dense, eloquent, exhaustive, exhilarating, powerful, utterly readable, and ultimately uplifting.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel | See more reviews from Financial Times

LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Douglas Wolk on May 29 2015

"Seveneves" is as hard as "hard science fiction" gets: cool bits of science and speculation about the future of technology, space and culture, with a plot and dialogue bolted on to make it more enjoyable to follow. That said, Stephenson's speculation is fascinating.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel | See more reviews from LA Times

Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by ERIC RENNER BROWN on Jun 08 2015

The nearly 900-page journey is a doozy, but Stephenson’s clever prose keeps it lively as he catapults readers from a Neil deGrasse Tyson-inspired scientist deciphering what “the Agent” did to the moon to exploring what became of humanity millennia later.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

The Boston Globe

Above average
Reviewed by Ethan Gilsdorf on May 19 2015

Stephenson tosses similar caution to the wind when he ends the Cloud Arc story arc two-thirds of the way in, jumps 5,000 years into the future, and returns to earth. That’s a tough leap to ask readers to make, let alone digest new lexicons of people and jargon...Still, “Seveneves” can be fascinating.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

BookPage

Good
Reviewed by Matthew Jackson on May 19 2015

Stephenson’s not just interested in setting the stage for the future of the human race. He wants to bring it full circle, and Seveneves does exactly that in spellbinding fashion, driven by Stephenson’s practical, yet mesmerizing, prose...Science fiction fans everywhere will love this book...

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

20Something Reads

Good
on Jun 19 2015

Selfishness and selflessness are both on display, and Stephenson masterfully explores the notion of how decisions matter, even little ones, and how they affect everything and everyone. Even at the end of the world.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

Tor

Above average
Reviewed by Niall Alexander on May 19 2015

In short, Seveneves startling first sentence sets the tone for much of what’s to come, but in a novel approximately a thousand pages long, there’s just so much to come that it’s hard to know where to start, and when to stop.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

The Sydney Morning Herald

Above average
Reviewed by Colin Steele on Jun 05 2015

...it would have benefited from more ruthless editing. Seveneves blends many aspects of science, especially astrophysics, robotics and bio-engineering into a flawed, but undoubtedly epic, SF narrative. Stephenson is a science geek extraordinaire.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

SFFWorld.com

Good
Reviewed by Rob B on May 26 2015

Seveneves is, in the end, enthralling and tedious, glorious and wonderful. A novel that is far better as a sum of its parts, for it is an uneven, thick beast of a book that requires patience, but is ultimately very rewarding. Recommended

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

Fantasy Literature

Above average
Reviewed by KATE LECHLER on May 19 2015

...in SevenEves, I felt like it was too much engineering talk for a book that was not really about engineering...I believe that many people will love this book, perhaps with the level of fervor that I feel for Anathem. However, despite the impressive ending, I felt largely frustrated and let down by a sub-par execution of a fantastic story.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

The American Book Center Blog

Above average
Reviewed by Guest on May 19 2015

The book is about the fate of those first human colonies in space...It feels like an extravagance to say that a book that spans almost 900 pages might be rushed, but I did find that feeling creeping up on me after finishing Seveneves. That said, this shouldn’t be a reason not to dive into this charming ode to human resourcefulness and tenacity.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

Scientific American

Above average
Reviewed by Clara Moskowitz on Jun 16 2015

Relatable heroes rise to the occasion...nefarious actors attempt sabotage in this scientifically rich and realistic picture of how people manage to endure.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

SciFiNow

Above average
Reviewed by Jack Parsons on May 21 2015

Stephenson’s thorough research makes the plot seem believable, even as his speculations grow ever wilder as humanity adapts to living in outer space...However, these endless fact bombs can also be exhausting...Sadly, one area where he doesn’t get bogged down in detail is characterisation.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

Upcoming4.Me

Good
on May 11 2015

To conclude, "Seveneves" is a book that will probably polarise the readers. The premise is unquestionably great but the duality of the book might be off putting to some...Conceptually it is simply unlike anything I've read before and it is only after I've re-read it that I've truly realised how consistent it really is.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

She Treads Softly Blog

Excellent
Reviewed by Lori L on May 28 2015

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson is a thought provoking science fiction disaster scenario and space saga covering 5000 years that is very highly recommended. This complex, epic tale is the kind of end-of-the-known-world science fiction that many of us crave.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

Christy's Love of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Christy on May 10 2015

It was slow going at points, but I ultimately loved it and found myself totally engrossed with the story...Overall, Seveneves is quite an epic journey. That statement is actually kind of funny if you’ve read the book. At least a lame attempt at being funny...The author did a fantastic job and I look forward to reading more of his work.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

https://litreactor.com

Above average
Reviewed by BH Shepherd on Jun 05 2015

Seveneves begins to read even more like a textbook than a novel, as the well-developed and likable characters from the first half are replaced by cardboard mouthpieces spouting exposition about the future...Seveneves is an intriguing trip through some strange and complicated places, but it will suffer from comparison to Stephenson’s previous work.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

The Speculative Scotsman

Above average
Reviewed by Niall Alexander on May 26 2015

In short, Seveneves startling first sentence sets the tone for much of what's to come, but in a novel approximately a thousand pages long, there's just so much to come that it's hard to know where to start, and when to stop.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

Charlotte's Library

Above average
Reviewed by Charlotte on May 22 2015

So a very interesting story. I regret to say, though, that Stephenson's style does not work for me. There are pages and pages of scientific exposition. I don't mind some technical detail to give me a sense of what's happening, but all I need is enough to get a general idea that things make sense.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

http://whimpulsive.net

Above average
Reviewed by SuziQoregon on Jun 12 2015

When the story got back to the people, however I never lost interest. It was a suspense thriller in space with a huge cast. There are good guys, bad guys and a lot of political gamesmanship. I would have rated the book higher if it had been about 200 pages shorter.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

Sense of Wonder

Above average
Reviewed by Odo on May 18 2015

I strongly believe that, if you are into science fiction, you need to read this book...It also has some scenes that can only be described as truly brilliant. I, however, cannot help feeling that Seveneves would have been a much better story had it been half its actual size.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

The League of Ordinary Gentlemen

Above average
Reviewed by Burt Likko on May 25 2015

Perhaps a bit more exposition than was strictly necessary, but then again, it’s Neal Stephenson, so the exposition is going to make you smarter. And after reading it, you’ll never look up at the moon in the sky in quite the same way again.

Read Full Review of Seveneves: A Novel

Reader Rating for Seveneves
77%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 2922 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×