The Years of Rice and Salt is an alternative history novel published in 2002. Its working title was A World Without Europe. It explores the shape the world would have taken if 99% of the European population had been wiped out by the 14th Century Black Plague. It follows 700 years of human toil and development unto a time where world civilization is one step ahead of our own. Through monologues, discussions between characters and parallels with our world, the novel explores the way history is made and discusses ideas on the evolution of history and the purpose of civilization (if any).
Antarctica is Robinson's first novel published after the success of the Mars trilogy. However, because of the similarity in the themes of both works, Antarctica has been called "White Mars" by some. Antarctica describes the small Antarctic society and their struggle to keep Antarctica safe from the potential exploitation of its fossil fuel resources.
Thomas Ligotti is one of the greatest living authors of the Weird Tale. His take on the genre dominated by the right wing conservative HP Lovecraft takes a different approach. Referred to as "Corporate Horror" by some his more recent tales focus on the mind numbing horror of work in a capitalist society. Whilst never explicitly anti-capitalist, or even political, the horror here, whilst drenched in the supernatural, is found in the familiar. The familiar viewed from a slightly odd perspective, true, but familiar all the same.
The Mars trilogy is a series of award-winning science fiction novels by Kim Stanley Robinson that chronicles the settlement and terraforming of the planet Mars through the intensely personal and detailed viewpoints of a wide variety of characters spanning almost two centuries. Ultimately more utopian than dystopian, the story focuses on egalitarian, sociological, and scientific advances made on Mars, while Earth suffers from overpopulation and ecological disaster.