NPR

Writing On The Terrifying Beauty Of The Human Future

Author Kim Stanley Robinson deserves a place as a true visionary: He has done more than just write good science-fiction — he's mapped out new territory in what it means to be human, says Adam Frank.
American science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson, photographed during a discussion with SFX Magazine on June 8, 2012. / Getty Images

There are some authors you go to for good stories — and others you go to for good ideas.

Then there are those who do both, giving readers complex characters, richly imagined stories and, finally, ideas that reach beyond the narrative to change how you see the world.

When it comes to thinking about human beings, their future, and their place on the planet (this one and others), I'd argue that Kim Stanley Robinson deserves a special place as a true visionary. Reaching both backwards to our

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