FACTOID # 17: Though Rhode Island is the smallest state in total area, it has the longest official name: The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > The Years of Rice and Salt

The Years of Rice and Salt (2002, ISBN 0553580078) is an alternate history novel written by science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson, a thought experiment about a world without Christianity. 2002 (MMII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... ... DeFoes Robinson Crusoe, Newspaper edition published in 1719 A novel (from French nouvelle, new) is an extended fictional narrative in prose. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Kim Stanley Robinson at the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow, August 2005 Kim Stanley Robinson (born March 23, 1952) is an American science fiction writer, probably best known for his award-winning Mars trilogy. ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ...

Contents


Synopsis

The book is set between about AD 1405 (783 solar years since the Hegira), and AD 2002 (1423 after Hegira). In the eighth Islamic century, almost 99 per cent of the population of medieval Europe is wiped out by the plague. This sets the stage for a world without Christianity as a major influence. Events May 29 - Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmoreland, meets Archbishop Richard Scrope of York and Earl of Norfolk Thomas Mowbray in Shipton Moor, tricks them to send their rebellious army home and then imprisons them June 8 - Archbishop Richard Scrope of York and Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Norfolk, executed in... Hijra may refer to: Hijra (Hegira/Hijrah/Hejira) is an Arabic term referring to the migration of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622. ... 2002 (MMII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... World map showing Europe Europe is conventionally considered one of the seven continents which, in this case, is more a cultural and political distinction than a physiogeographic one. ... Illustration of the Black Death from the Toggenburg Bible (1411). ...


The novel follows a jati of three to seven main characters and their reincarnation through time, in very different cultural and religious settings. The book features Muslim, Chinese (Buddhist, Daoist, Confucianist), American First Nations, and Hindu culture, philosophy and everyday life. It mixes sophisticated knowledge about these cultures in the real world with fictional developments, partly resembling the actual history, but shifted and reflected by different cultural settings. Jatis (the word literally means births) comprise the subcastes found within the four major castes, or varnas, of the Indian caste system. ... The protagonist is the central figure of a story, and is often referred to as a storys main character. ... Past Lives redirects here. ... A watch Attempting to understand time has long been a prime occupation for philosophers, scientists and artists. ... Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Culture The neutrality of this article is disputed. ... Fishers of men; Oil on panel by Adriaen van de Venne (1614) Religion (see etymology below) —sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system—is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine; and the moral codes, practices, values, institutions and rituals associated with such belief. ... A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم) (sometimes also spelled Moslem) is an adherent of Islam. ... Shakyamuni Buddha teaching. ... For other uses of the words tao and dao, see Dao (disambiguation). ... Sage Confucius——孔子 Confucianist temple Thian Hock Keng in Singapore Confucianism (Chinese: 儒学, Pinyin Rúxué‚, The School of the Scholars; or, less accurately, 孔教 Kŏng jiào, The Religion of Confucius) is an East Asian ethical and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of the early Chinese sage Confucius. ... Carved mask in Vancouver First Nations is a term for ethnicity used in Canada to replace the word Indian. It refers to the Indigenous peoples of North America located in what is now Canada, and their descendants, who are not Inuit or Métis. ... ÊItalic textBold text:This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ... These five broad types of question are not the only subjects of philosophical inquiry, and there are many overlaps between the categories which are subsumed within the discipline under the four major headings of Logic, Ontology, Epistemology, and Axiology. ...


The main characters, marked by identical first letters throughout their reincarnations, but changing in gender, culture-nationality and so on, struggle for progress in each life. Each chapter has a different style, reflecting its setting.


The ten chapters (theme) are:

  • Book One - Awake to Emptiness (plague in the west; the Golden Horde; Zheng He's explorations and imperial China). This book is written in a style reminiscent of the Chinese classic, the Journey to the West.
  • Book Two - The Haj in the Heart (Mughal India and colonization of empty Europe)
  • Book Three - Ocean Continents (discovery of the New World by the Chinese military)
  • Book Four - The Alchemist (Islamic renaissance in Samarqand)
  • Book Five - Warp and Weft (Native Americans league cum Samurai)
  • Book Six - Widow Kang (Qing dynasty meets Islam in western China)
  • Book Seven - The Age of Great Progress (Southern India as origin of modernity; Japanese diaspora to Chinese North America)
  • Book Eight - War of the Asuras (a world-wide Long War, fought with 'modern' weapons)
  • Book Nine - Nsara (science, urban life and feminism in Islamic Europe's post-war metropolis)
  • Book Ten - The First Years (globalisation and sustainability)

Robinson infuses the novel with a poetic style which readers of his other works will find familiar, and also fills it with tidbits of historical trivia to delight the careful reader. Quite a few historical characters make large and small appearances this world, including Tamerlane, Chinese explorer Zheng He, Akbar the Great, and Japanese shōgun Toyotomi Hideyoshi. This article refers to the medieval Turkic state. ... Zheng He wearing formal official dress Zheng He (Traditional: é„­å’Œ; Simplified: 郑和; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Cheng Ho; Birth name: 馬三寶 / 马三宝; pinyin: MÇŽ SānbÇŽo; Arabic name: Hajji Mahmud) (1371 – 1433),is the most well-known Chinese mariner and explorer who made the voyages collectively referred to as the travels of Eunuch... The four heros of the story, left to right: Sun Wukong, Xuanzang, Zhu Wuneng, and Sha Wujing. ... The Mughal Empire (alternative spelling Mogul, which is the origin of the word Mogul) of India was founded by Babur in 1526, when he defeated Ibrahim Lodi, the last of the Delhi Sultans at the First Battle of Panipat. ... Carte dAmérique, Guillaume Delisle, c. ... By region Italian Renaissance Spanish Renaissance Northern Renaissance English Renaissance French Renaissance German Renaissance Polish Renaissance The Renaissance, also known as Il Rinascimento (in Italian), was an influential cultural movement which brought about a period of scientific revolution, religious reform and artistic transformation, at the dawn of modern European history. ... Samarkand (Samarqand or Самарқанд in Uzbek) (population 400,000) is the second-largest city in Uzbekistan, capital of the Samarkand region (Samarqand Wiloyati). ... A Hupa man, 1923 The scope of this indigenous peoples of the Americas article encompasses the definitions of indigenous peoples and the Americas as established in their respective articles. ... For other uses, please see Samurai (disambiguation) Japanese samurai in armour, 1860s. ... The Qing Dynasty (Manchu: daicing gurun; Chinese: 清朝; pinyin: qÄ«ng cháo; Wade-Giles: ching chao), sometimes known as the Manchu Dynasty, was founded by the Manchu clan Aisin Gioro, in what is today northeast China, expanded into China proper and the surrounding territories of Inner Asia, establishing... Islam (Arabic: ; ( â–¶ (help· info)), the submission to God) is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions and the worlds second-largest religion. ... Feminism is a diverse collection of social theories, political movements, and moral philosophies, largely motivated by or concerning the experiences of women, especially in terms of their social, political, and economic situation. ... Globalization is a term used to describe the changes in societies and the world economy that are the result of dramatically increased trade and cultural exchange. ... Sustainability is a systemic concept, relating to the continuity of economic, social, institutional and environmental aspects of human society. ... For the chess engine Tamerlane, see Tamerlane. ... Zheng He wearing formal official dress Zheng He (Traditional: é„­å’Œ; Simplified: 郑和; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Cheng Ho; Birth name: 馬三寶 / 马三宝; pinyin: MÇŽ SānbÇŽo; Arabic name: Hajji Mahmud) (1371 – 1433),is the most well-known Chinese mariner and explorer who made the voyages collectively referred to as the travels of Eunuch... This topic is considered to be an essential subject on Wikipedia. ... In Japanese history, a shogun (将軍 shōgun) was the practical ruler of Japan for most of the time from 1192 to the Meiji Era beginning in 1868. ... Hideyoshi in old age. ...


In the last chapters the book becomes increasingly reflexive, citing fictional scientists and philosophers introduced in previous chapters as well as referring to Old Red Ink, who wrote a biography about a reincarnating jati group.


Key issues

Key issues of the novel are hybrid cultures; progress and science; alternate history; philosophy, religion and human nature; politics; feminism and equality of all humans; and the struggle between technology and sustainability. In biology, hybrid has three meanings. ... Progress can refer to: The idea of a process in which societies or individuals become better or more modern (technologically and/or socially). ... Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Science For the scientific journal named Science, see Science (journal). ... ... These five broad types of question are not the only subjects of philosophical inquiry, and there are many overlaps between the categories which are subsumed within the discipline under the four major headings of Logic, Ontology, Epistemology, and Axiology. ... Human Nature is an Australian boy band and pop vocal group. ... Politics is the process by which decisions are made within groups. ... Social equality is a social state of affairs in which certain different people have the same status in a certain respect. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Sustainability is a systemic concept, relating to the continuity of economic, social, institutional and environmental aspects of human society. ...


Not only because of the long time scale, but also because of its realistic-utopian elements, and because of the frequent reflections about human nature, The Years of Rice and Salt resembles Robinson's Mars trilogy. Cover of Red Mars The Mars trilogy is a series of three science fiction novels by Kim Stanley Robinson, chronicling the settlement and terraforming of the planet Mars. ...


Quotes

  • "Reincarnation is a story we tell; then in the end it is the story itself that is the reincarnation."
  • "'But I don't want that to end,' she said.

'No. And yet it does. This is the reality we were born into. We can't change it by desire.' '...The Buddha says we should give up our desires.' 'But that too is a desire!' 'So we never really give it up...What the Buddha was suggesting is impossible. Desire is life trying to continue to be life. All living things desire, bacteria feel desire. Life is wanting.'"

  • "The religions that say you should sacrifice or even pray to a god..., to ask them to do something material for you, are the religions of desperate and ignorant people. It is only when you get to the more advanced and secure societies that you get a religion ready to face the universe honestly, to announce that there is no clear sign of divinity, except for the existence of the cosmos in and of itself, which means that everything is holy, whether or not there be a god looking down on it."
  • "My feeling is that until the number of whole lives is greater than the number of shattered lives, we remain stuck in some kind of prehistory, unworthy of humanity's great spirit. History as a story worth telling will only begin when the whole lives outnumber the wasted ones. That means we have many generations to go before history begins. All the inequalities must end; all the surplus wealth must be equitably distributed. Until then we are still only some kind of gibbering monkey, and humanity, as we usually like to think of it, does not yet exist."

External links

  • Trivia and study guide to The Years of Rice and Salt
  • Timeline of the events in The Years of Rice and Salt's world

  Results from FactBites:
 
SF REVIEWS.NET: The Years of Rice and Salt / Kim Stanley Robinson (970 words)
SF REVIEWS.NET: The Years of Rice and Salt / Kim Stanley Robinson
The Years of Rice and Salt is a sprawling, sumptuous fantasy novel about civilization, set against an alternate-historical backdrop of a world in which the Black Death of the 14th century wiped out almost the entire European population (in reality it took about half of it).
When the cleric is exiled from his homeland years later, he undertakes the pilgrimage to Mecca, where he meets a young princess in whom he seems to recognize the spirit of the tiger who once protected him.
The Years of Rice and Salt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (783 words)
The Years of Rice and Salt (2002, ISBN 0553580078) is an alternate history novel written by science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson, a thought experiment about a world without Christianity.
In the eighth Islamic century, almost 99 per cent of the population of medieval Europe is wiped out by the plague.
Key issues of the novel are hybrid cultures; progress and science; alternate history; philosophy, religion and human nature; politics; feminism and equality of all humans; and the struggle between technology and sustainability.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m