In the pop milieu wherein the culture does its work, gets its shit together, or doesn’t, writers like Kim Stanley Robinson rise up to insist that the doom that we’ve been asked to accept is false. Robinson offers in its stead The Ministry for the Future. Friends reading it ask me to join them, their enthusiasm for this new discovery of theirs visible on their faces. Defenses down for a time, I climb the book’s first hundred pages. Yet I find it to be ground I’ve trod before. Where once I had enthusiasm enough to write a chapter of my dissertation on Robinson’s Mars trilogy, now I find his outpourings bothersome — each work ever more salesmanlike in its pitch to budding technocrats. Read several such books, and alas: you’ve read them all.