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Kim Stanley Robinsons (born in 1952) is a Californian through and through. He grew up in Orange County, surfed his way through UC San Diego (writing his doctoral thesis on Philip K. Dick), and now lives in Davis with two kids and a beautiful scientist wife. He spends several weeks a year above 11,500 feet in the high Sierras. Not surprisingly, he’s a good friend of Gary Snyder.

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The Lucky Strike
By Kim Stanley Robinson
ISBN: 978-1-60486-085-6
Pub Date October 2009
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 128 pages
Size: 7.5 by 5
Subjects: Fiction


Combining dazzling speculation with a profoundly humanist vision, Kim Stanley Robinson is known as not only the most literary but also the most progressive (read “radical”) of today’s top rank SF authors.  His bestselling Mars Trilogy tells the epic story of the future colonization of the red planet, and the revolution that inevitably follows. The Years of Rice and Salt is based on a devastatingly simple idea: If the medieval plague had wiped out all of Europe, what would our world look like today? His latest novel, Galileo’s Dream, is a stunning combination of historical drama and far-flung space opera, in which the ten dimensions of the universe itself are rewoven to ensnare history’s most notorious torturers.

The Lucky Strike, the classic and controversial story Robinson has chosen for PM’s new Outspoken Authors series, begins on a lonely Pacific island, where a crew of untested men are about to take off in an untried aircraft with a deadly payload that will change our world forever. Until something goes wonderfully wrong …

Plus: A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions,  in which Robinson dramatically deconstructs “alternate history” to explore what might have been if things had gone differently over Hiroshima that  day. As with all Outspoken Author books, there is a deep interview and autobiography: at length, in-depth, no-holds-barred and all-bets off: an extended tour though the mind and work, the history and politics of our Outspoken Author. Surprises are promised.


"The foremost writer of literary utopias."

“The best nature writer in the U.S. today also happens to write science fiction.”
--The Ends of the Earth 

“It’s no coincidence that one of our most visionary science fiction writers is also a profoundly good nature writer.” 
--Los Angeles Times

“If I had to choose one writer whose work will set the standard for science fiction in the future, it would be Kim Stanley Robinson.”   --The New York Times

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The Lucky Strike
Publisher's Weekly
January 11, 2010

Hugo-winning novelist Robinson (Galileo’s Dream) began his career with short fiction. “The Lucky Strike,” a novelette first published in 1984, posits an alternate history in which the Enola Gay crashes on a test run before dropping the first atomic bomb. Replacement bombardier Capt. Frank January deliberately misses Hiroshima, but the Japanese analyze the explosions and surrender anyway. January is executed for disobeying orders, becoming a martyr who inspires total nuclear disarmament by 1956. Robinson’s skill with human drama lends credibility to an otherwise wildly optimistic scenario. The volume also includes a short essay on whether history follows laws akin to physics, and an interview with Robinson conducted by fellow radical SF author Terry Bisson. This stimulating little chapbook would work very well as a basis for classroom debate on speculative fiction, history, or the notion of free will. (Mar.)

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Kim Stanley Robinson's Lucky Strike
By Paul Buhle
Swans Commentary

In a remarkable conjunction, the finest of left-leaning SciFi writers and liveliest of new radical presses has produced a small gem. The Lucky Strike, launching the Press' "Outspoken Authors" series, manages to get one of the most articulate of the outspoken, tapping a favorite genre (that is to say mine, since childhood) to explore what a writer can do without holding political office or throwing tons of money at some good cause.

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Galileo's Dream: A Q & A with Kim Stanley Robinson
By Terry Bisson
Shareable: Life & Art 

Kim Stanley Robinson is one of America’s most important science fiction authors—and an underappreciated utopian visionary.

Last month, PM Press published a special edition of Robinson’s classic novelette The Lucky Strike. In the following excerpt from that book, award-winning science fiction author Terry Bisson (editor of PM Press’s Outspoken Authors series, of which The Lucky Strike is part) interviews Robinson about real and imaginary shareable communities, global warming, capitalism, and what science fiction can teach us about living in the future.—Jeremy Adam Smith, Editor of

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