Aurora
by Kim Stanley Robinson
Orbit, 2015 (($26))

Robinson has built a career crafting scientifically realistic novels that probe our deep prehistoric past, our crisis-wracked present and our possible interplanetary futures. Here he turns his talents to the final frontier, envisioning humankind's first interstellar voyage. Aurora is Robinson's best book yet. The action takes place on a terrariumlike spaceship in which successive generations are born and die without ever making planetfall, bound for promising worlds orbiting the nearby star Tau Ceti. Mixing equal parts ecology, sociology and astrophysics, Robinson's heart-wrenching, provocative tale makes plain that even though humanity may someday reach the stars, we can never truly escape the pull of Earth.