The Years of Rice and Salt

6 Ratings: 4.2
A book by Kim Stanley Robinson

Award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson delivers a thoughtful and powerful examination of cultures and the people who shape them. How might human history be different if 14th-century Europe was utterly wiped out by plague, and Islamic and Buddhist … see full wiki

Author: Kim Stanley Robinson
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Bantam
3 reviews about The Years of Rice and Salt
review by . February 20, 2011
posted in SF Signal
   Back in the 13th and 14th centuries, Europe was moving toward the High Middle Ages. The italianate city states were just starting their roads to power. Byzantium had reached a new apogee under Basil II. The christian kingdoms of Spain were starting their long Reconquista. Europe was still a backwater compared to most of the rest of the world, but the seeds for greatness were there. In our history, the Black Death, the plague that spread through Europe in that era was a calamity, killing …
review by . February 24, 2011
posted in SF Signal
The use of the Tibetan Buddhist idea of reincarnation as a metaphor for human civilizations' evolution and striving for 'enlightenment'/'utopia' is brilliant and moving. Sadly, I have read this book only once, but I loved every second of the experience. The tiger reincarnation chapter was especially cool.
review by . November 21, 2002
KSR presents people grappling with the big questions over millennia, while integrating into his plot an impressive range of insights from religious, cultural, political, and social history. Happening upon this work in the midst of studying Islam, it arrived at a perfect moment for me. KSR blends an astonishing amount of scholarship into his story but stays for the most part with how ideas have an impact upon the individual as well as the group. Trading off between earthly reincarnations of the "jati" …
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