Book Review: Perihelion Summer by Greg Egan

Cover of the book Perihelion Summer by Greg Egan
Perihelion Summer
by Greg Egan
Tor, 2019

This review was first published by Booklist on March 15, 2019.

Once again, Egan (Phoresis, 2018) demonstrates his mastery of short-form science fiction. In Perihelion Summer, he takes on climate change from a unique angle—a micro-black hole passes close to Earth, changing its orbit and making the seasons more extreme and deadly, with swaths of the planet rendered uninhabitable. A group who built a self-sustaining aquaculture rig in the Indian Ocean to ride out the black hole now find themselves needing to navigate dangerous seas in search of survivable temperatures. Egan packs quite a lot into such a short book: science and engineering, family relationships and personal conflicts, global politics and danger. He presents a human tapestry in a time of disaster through evocative highlights of how people adapt to sudden crisis. This is a warning for how bad things could get if climate change is left unchecked. It’s a cautionary tale of the need for us to be prepared. But it’s also a beacon of hope—a story of survival at great cost. Difficult and painful as it may be, we find a way.

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