Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson (1990)
This is the final volume in Robinson’s Orange County trilogy, which imagines different versions of a future O.C. In “The Gold Coast,” it’s a dystopian metropolis of speeding cars and densely built high rises; in “The Wild Shore,” a ruined landscape where people struggle to survive the nuclear winter; and in “Pacific Edge,” a utopia of bike paths, backyard gardens, and income equality. Robinson has said he conceived the series on a drive from UC San Diego to Orange County in 1971. More recently, he looked at the county on Google Earth and found that it resembles the landscape he described in “The Gold Coast.” “It will take hundreds of years to restore that landscape to something decently livable,” he told the Los Angeles Review of Books.
FACTOID Robinson will receive the 2016 Robert A. Heinlein Award to honor his body of work, which includes 19 novels, at the Balticon 50 science fiction conference in May.