This month, io9 read Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest novel Aurora. Today, from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. (Pacific time), he’ll be joining us to answer questions about lives lived amidst interstellar travel, artificial intelligences, the familiarities and eccentricities of terraformed planets, and anything else you want to know.
Start asking your questions about Aurora in the comments now and he’ll answer as many as he can while he’s here. Please be polite!
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Do you think the fast prion scenario is likely, or even plausible, in real life? The prions we know couldn’t reproduce on their own, so I didn’t understand how would they evolve at all on an otherwise dead planet.
A character says that other planets are either alive or dead, and we can’t live on either. Generally to make use of human metabolism a disease has to co-evolve with humans, so to me it seems pessimistic to expect alien life to be inimical to human on a cellular level. Did you put this stuff in because you think it likely, or was it a McGuffin to explain why the characters returned to Earth?
PS the book made me quite angry, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Mostly it was that they committed to the journey home so quickly, without spending several decades researching options. That was more challenging for me than the “science/survival is hard” stuff or the politics.