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The Ministry for the Future, by Kim Stanley Robinson

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25th September 2020

The Ministry for the Future, by Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson – author of the famous Mars trilogy – has a new book, The Ministry for the Future, being published on 6th October. We are giving away copies to three lucky readers.



Kim Stanley Robinson is an American science fiction writer who has published almost 20 novels and numerous short stories. He is undoubtedly best known for his Mars trilogy – Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars – which chronicles the settlement and terraforming of the planet Mars through the personal viewpoints of a wide variety of characters, spanning almost two centuries.

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 and Nebula Awards for Best Novel. His work has been described by The Atlantic as “the gold-standard of realistic, and highly literary, science-fiction writing” while The New Yorker has said he is “generally acknowledged as one of the greatest living science-fiction writers.”

Robinson’s latest novel, The Ministry for the Future, is due out on 6th October 2020. Publishing company Orbit has the following synopsis:

Established in 2025, the purpose of the new organization was simple: To advocate for the world’s future generations and to protect all living creatures, present and future. It soon became known as the Ministry for the Future, and this is its story.

The Ministry for the Future is a masterpiece of the imagination, using fictional eyewitness accounts to tell the story of how climate change will affect us all over the decades to come. Its setting is not a desolate, postapocalyptic world, but a future that is almost upon us — and in which we might just overcome the extraordinary challenges we face.

It is a novel both immediate and impactful, desperate and hopeful in equal measure, and it is one of the most powerful and original books on climate change ever written.


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Kim Stanley Robinson. Credit: Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA


Robinson has previously explored climate change with his Science in the Capital trilogy, as well as New York 2140. In an interview with sci-fi magazine Tor.com earlier this year, he explained that the new book is set about 30 years from now, when humanity is struggling to deal with environmental collapse:

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“Since that balance doesn’t exist now, and getting to that balance isn’t what we’ve been prioritising, and we don’t have a system for designing or enacting the changes necessary to get to that state, it’s bound to be a time of troubles. Science fiction isn’t exactly about prediction, but that one is an easy call. I’ve been working for a while on stories to do with climate change, and I wanted to try to get all the latest about it into one story.”

In another interview, with Newsweek, he said:

“In The Ministry for the Future I tried to describe the next 30 years going as well as I could believe it might happen, given where we are now. That made it one of the blackest utopias ever written, I suppose, because it seems inevitable we are in for an era of comprehensive and chaotic change.”

Publishers Weekly describes the novel as:

“… a sweeping, optimistic portrait of humanity’s ability to cooperate in the face of disaster. This heartfelt work of hard science-fiction is a must-read for anyone worried about the future of the planet.”

Meanwhile, Booklist comments as follows:

“A breathtaking look at the challenges that face our planet in all their sprawling magnitude and also in their intimate, individual moments of humanity.”

The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson is published on 6th October 2020.

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We are giving away free copies of this book to our readers.

For a chance of winning, just follow these steps:

1. Follow us on Twitter (if you aren’t already doing so!)

2. Tweet a link to this competition page (including the hashtag #FutureTimeline)

And that’s it! We will select three winners at random in 10 days’ time.


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