"The presidential reading list also includes two big page-turners: Neal Stephenson's Seveneves, a sci-fi adventure about space explorers returning to a post-apocalyptic planet Earth."
"At some unspecified date in the near future, an unknown force causes the Moon to shatter into seven pieces. As the shattered remnants of the Moon begin to collide with one another, astronomer and science popularizer "Doc" Dubois Harris calculates that the number of collisions will increase exponentially. A large number of moon fragments will begin entering Earth's atmosphere, forming a "white sky" and blanketing the earth within two years with what he calls a "Hard Rain" of bolides; this will cause the atmosphere to heat to incandescence and oceans to boil away, and make Earth uninhabitable for thousands of years. ... The Cloud Ark is to be based around the International Space Station (ISS), currently commanded by American astronaut Ivy Xiao. The ISS is already bolted onto an iron Arjuna asteroid called Amalthea, which provides some protection against moon debris."
Keith's note: Hmm ... I wonder if this has anything to do with the White House's continued interest in the Asteroid Retrieval Mission and lack of interest in the Moon. Just kidding. FWIW I am a big Neal Stephenson fan and I really liked "Seveneves".