Summer Book Study:
"New York 2140"
Wednesdays at 7pm in the Parish House starting June 7.
It’s spring in New York City. At Twenty-sixth and Park, the waves shine in the sunlight, and the breeze is briny with seaweed. Morning commuters are boarding a crosstown vaporetto. Out on the canal, finance guys in speedboats weave between the bigger ships. Workers in an inflatable raft are repairing the Flatiron dock; a superintendent, in diving gear, is checking his buildings for leaks. The super-rich live uptown, in a forest of skyscrapers near the Cloisters. The poor live downtown, in Chelsea, which is half-submerged.
This is the vision of the city in “New York 2140,” a science-fiction novel by Kim Stanley Robinson, out last month. It’s surprisingly utopian. New York may be underwater, but it’s better than ever.
The New York of 2140 is both dramatically altered and still the biggest small town in the world. A costal water level of 50 feet higher than today has reshaped both the physical geography and the civic ecosystem, but Robinson aims to make it feel like home. Sure, millions of clams have to filter the water in the new Manhattan intertidal zone, but commuters also have to decide if walking the skybridges is going to be faster than waiting for a vaporetto.
In true New York fashion, our disparate protagonists all come and go from the MetLife tower for a while before their plots begin to leisurely converge: Finance coders (and semi-squatters) Mutt and Jeff, who go missing after trying to hack the planet; cloud-video star Amelia; suspiciously-bro day trader Franklin; gruff social worker Charlotte; gruffer superintendent Vlade; gruffest police inspector Gen Octaviasdottir.
But the book itself is far from gruff, and the character reveal themselves to be far more well-rounded than their initial impressions might indicate. And as the plot tichkens, be ready for thrills and spills, plot twists and surprising insights.
Join us as we read, discuss, and think theologically about the message of the Gospel in a world wracked by change, and yet very much like our own. Those interested in Anglo-Catholic Economics and Social Theory will want to be part of this “and now for something totally different” book encounter!
New York 2140 is available electronically for $17 – or, even better, in hardcover through a local bookseller for $18. Let the church office know, and we will be glad to pick one up for you.