The years of rice and salt is an alternate history novel by american science fiction author kim stanley robinson published in 2002 the novel explores how world history might have been different if the black death plague had killed 99 of europes population instead of a third as it did in reality. In his grandest work yet the acclaimed storyteller constructs a world vastly different from the one we know the years of rice and salt it is the fourteenth century and one of the most apocalyptic events in human history is set to occur the coming of the black death history teaches us that a third of europes population was destroyed. In years of rice and salt the world develops on a parallel timeline starting in the middle ages each chapter takes you into a different part of the world and a step further in history the characters are reborn and keep developing while keeping their core traits which is very compelling but most of all it gives you food for thought about inherent characteristics of human nature cultural . This immense tapestry of history that never happened is constantly illuminated by the small comedies tragedies romances and triumphs of memorably real individuals the years of rice and salt is a brave new landmark in alternate history deservedly shortlisted for the british sf association and arthur c clarke awards. Looking back at all the long years all that happened this way and that i think i liked most the rice and the salt the years of rice and salt is a thick dense alternate history spanning continents and centuries its vast cast of characters includes as the blurb puts it soldiers and kings explorers and philosophers slaves and scholars
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