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[personal profile] juli  and I were talking about four "cohort novels":
  • The Boat of a Million Years (Pol Anderson) follows ten naturally immortal humans over about four thousand years as they weave in and out of eachother's lives and history.
  • Red Mars and Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson are told from the point of view of the first hundred Martian colonists. They cover fifty years, and even after Mars is fully colonized and they have dispersed into the general population following their own concerns, the First Hundred spent so long as the only human beings on the world that they can easily recognize each other, no matter how distant or disguised.
  • First Among Equals (Jeffrey Archer) is about four fictional British MPs, following their careers from 1964 to 1981 and their reactions to changes in politics and the world.
  • The Years of Rice and Salt is another Kim Stanley Robinson book about a group of people reincarnated together repeatedly through an alternate history (though they don't know it) 

So I guess the characteristics of the novels in question are:
  • A longish timespan
  • Not focused around a single crisis or problem
  • Multiple viewpoint characters...
  • ... who don't interact very closely
  • ...but share a bond which affects each differently


I don't know why, but I love novels like this (even Boat of a Million Years, which is not actually very interesting otherwise). Does anyone know of others? Is there an actual name for this kind of thing? Help me, book people!

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