Kim Stanley Robinson is one of my favourite authors.
"The Lucky Strike" is a short story suggesting a possible alternate finale to WW2: http://strangehorizons.com/fiction/the-lucky-strike/
In the middle, I loved "The Wild Shore", about life in California after the US has been decimated by a mysterious nuclear strike.
And at the other end of the scale, the Mars trilogy is a hopeful and tragic imagined history of the creative destruction perpetrated by humanity during the greening of Mars.
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