rating: 3 of 5 stars
Finally able to finish up this trilogy from the excellent Robinson. The Three Californias Trilogy is a re imagining of what different futures would be for an area that is loosely based around Orange County. The first novel, The Wild Shore, is post-apocalyptic. The second, The Gold Coast, is hyper technological and this novel I would call Utopian or ecotopian.
I would say that this is the least sf of all the novels; it's almost a straight fiction or even a romance set in a re imagined future. Kevin Claiborne lives in a small town in California sometime in the twenty-first century. He is an environmentally sensitive carpenter and makes houses for folks in town. He plays on the local softball town and has recently been elected to the town council.
In this world all corporations are limited in size, everyone bikes except when you need to you can sign out an electric car and everyone contributes communally to town labor. The story revolves around something of a love triangle between Kevin, the mayor and his girlfriend. There is some conflict involving a development supported by the mayor and a group of people trying to stop it.
Robinson has some really cool ideas about how we can live sustainably while retaining technology and development. The problem with this book, however, is that the story of the people he uses as characters I found to be trite and a bit dull. I would suggest that if you are interested in reading about utopian futures in America then you check out Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach.
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