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The Years of Rice and Salt

Robinson, Kim Stanley (Book - 2003)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Years of Rice and Salt
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With the incomparable vision and breathtaking detail that brought his now-classic Mars trilogy to vivid life, bestselling author KIM STANLEY ROBINSON boldly imagines an alternate history of the last seven hundred years. In his grandest work yet, the acclaimed storyteller constructs a world vastly different from the one we know.... The Years of Rice and Salt It is the fourteenth century and one of the most apocalyptic events in human history is set to occur-the coming of the Black Death. History teaches us that a third of Europe's population was destroyed. But what if? What if the plague killed 99 percent of the population instead? How would the world have changed? This is a look at the history that could have been-a history that stretches across centuries, a history that sees dynasties and nations rise and crumble, a history that spans horrible famine and magnificent innovation. These are the years of rice and salt. This is a universe where the first ship to reach the New World travels across the Pacific Ocean from China and colonization spreads from west to east. This is a universe where the Industrial Revolution is triggered by the world's greatest scientific minds-in India. This is a universe where Buddhism and Islam are the most influential and practiced religions and Christianity is merely a historical footnote. Through the eyes of soldiers and kings, explorers and philosophers, slaves and scholars, Robinson renders an immensely rich tapestry. Rewriting history and probing the most profound questions as only he can, Robinson shines his extraordinary light on the place of religion, culture, power, and even love on such an Earth. From the steppes of Asia to the shores of the Western Hemisphere, from the age of Akbar to the present and beyond, here is the stunning story of the creation of a new world. From the Hardcover edition.
Authors: Robinson, Kim Stanley
Title: The years of rice and salt
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2003, c2002
Edition: Bantam mass market ed
Characteristics: 763 p. :,ill., maps ;,18 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Kim Stanley Robinson
ISBN: 9780553580075
0553580078
Branch Call Number: SF ROBINSON
Subject Headings: Black Death Fiction
Genre/Form: Alternative histories (Fiction)
Topical Term: Black Death
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Three connected souls are born again and again through the course of a history in which the Black Death wipes out the Western world, and Asian and Muslim culture dominates.

If the medieval Black Death had killed 99 percent of the people in Europe, how would that shift world history? Robinson takes readers from the fourteenth century to the turn of the twenty-first, highlighting a series of important slices of time along the way. But it's also a reincarnation novel... Read More »

Three connected souls are born again and again through the course of a history in which the Black Death wipes out the Western world.


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Sep 16, 2012
  • gstark123 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

His best book to date - which, given his other stellar work, is really saying something!

The more you put into this book, the more you get from it.

Mind boggling,

Sep 10, 2012
  • arllynh rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This novel is dense, idea-heavy, plot-light and at times the actions/characters are almost impossible to keep straight. But it is well-worth reading, if perhaps one section at a time rather than all the way through in one sitting.

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In an alternate history world, the population of Europe is almost completely wiped out by the Black Death during the fourteenth century. Three superpowers - China, India, and the nations of Islam - battle for supremacy in a World War destined to create a new world order.

This novel sets up the premise that Europe's population was decimated by the Black Death plague in the 14th century and China was the country that discovered and colonized the New World.

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app10 Version draggan_fix Last updated 2014/11/20 11:49