reviewed Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson (Three Californias (3))

Kim Stanley Robinson: Pacific Edge (1991, Tor Books) 4 stars

2065: In a world that has rediscovered harmony with nature, the village of El Modena, …

Review of 'Pacific Edge' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

3.5 stars

Utopia means 'no place' or 'nowhere'. You can't ignore this irony reading K.S.Robinson' s concluding book of Three Californias series about alternate futures seen from the perspective of Orange County, California. Pacific Edge (first published in 1990) is an ecofiction, it portrays a near-future utopian dreaming scenario that it is only slightly shifted from our own reality.

Most of the region has undergone hyper-development but citizen action has limited growth and the expansion of big corporations. The multi-nationals are disbanded and everything from businesses to homes to transportation, is small scale, sustainable and green. Social arrangements are in place, and citizens’ group manage the healed natural systems with democratic governance. Daily life is quite mundane and it is based in close face-to-face relationships.

In Pacific Edge, KSR underlies a few of his concrete ideas for creating a utopia. The year is 2065 and it involves advanced technologies but the economic systems go beyond capitalism. People are part of the biosphere, but not antitechnological. In the Pacific Edge the story is, perhaps, less exciting than the post-apocalyptic society of The Wild Shore, but it is more real and believable. What KSR give us, in a sense, is how it might feels if we decide to take the first steps of reconfiguring the landscape, the infrastructure, and the social and economic sytems of our societies.