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From the award-winning author of the Mars Trilogy comes a thrilling new novel....Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Hugo and Nebula award-winning Mars trilogy, is one of the most original and...
From the award-winning author of the Mars Trilogy comes a thrilling new novel....Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Hugo and Nebula award-winning Mars trilogy, is one of the most original and...
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  • From the award-winning author of the Mars Trilogy comes a thrilling new novel....

    Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Hugo and Nebula award-winning Mars trilogy, is one of the most original and visionary writers of fiction today. Now, in his latest novel, he takes us to a harsh, alien landscape covered by a sheet of ice two miles deep. This is no distant planet--it is the last pure wilderness on earth.

    A stark and inhospitable place, its landscape poses a challenge to survival; yet its strange, silent beauty has long fascinated scientists and adventurers. Now Antarctica faces an uncertain future. The international treaty that protects the continent is about to dissolve, clearing the way for Antarctica's resources and eerie beauty to be plundered. As politicians and corporations move to determine its fate from half a world away, radical environmentalists carry out a covert campaign of sabotage to reclaim the land. The winner of this critical battle will determine the future for this last great wilderness....

    From the Paperback edition.

  • From the book

    Author's NoteDear Reader:

    When I was researching my Mars novels in the early 1990s, I kept running across references to Antarctica. It was the part of Earth most like Mars, and scientists studying Mars often went to Antarctica to do research. I had read about the classic Antarctic explorers when I was young, and now, reading about it again, my interest was rekindled. And in the acknowledgments of one book, the author said "Thanks to the National Science Foundation for sending me down to Antarctic as part of its Antarctic Artists and Writers' Program."

    That caught my eye. I made inquiries, and the administrators at NSF told me that the artists and writers they sent south had to be doing art or literature that was specifically about Antarctica. They would not, for instance, send me down there to do research for a book about Mars (I asked). So, I thought, I'm going to have to write a book about Antarctica.

    I made a proposal; the people at Bantam were agreeable, and NSF selected me for their program in 1994. In October of 1995 I finished Blue Mars, and within two weeks was flying to New Zealand, to wait for an LC-130 Hercules flight to Ross Island, Antarctica.

    In the months preceding my trip I had contacted various Antarctic scientists who had helped me with my Mars books, and they had generously invited me to visit them at their research sites around the continent. But when I got down to McMurdo, I found that all my plans were in the air. Some of my scientists had not made it down themselves, and the Antarctic weather made all scheduling completely unreliable. Only at the moment of a flight could you be sure it was really going to happen. At first this was disorienting, even maddening. But when I became used to, I realized what it was: it was Freedom. I had no idea what I was going to be doing even three or four days in advance. Depending on weather, and other people's plans, I might be at the South Pole, I might be on top of Mt. Erebus, I might be in the Dry Valleys. But no way to tell in advance. It was completely unlike ordinary life in that regard.

    So I relaxed, and had six weeks of unscheduled Freedom. I spent ten days in the Dry Valleys, helping glaciologists set weather stations on glaciers; I went to the South Pole, and partied with the crew there over a wild Thanksgiving. I helicoptered to the top of Mt. Erebus, and crawled inside a glacier with a mountaineer friend. I spent a glorious week with a team of geologists on Roberts Massif, a part of the Transantarctic Mountains that is like a rock island sticking out of the ice sea of the polar cap. I sat in a helicopter fighting winds to get back to McMurdo, and then sat in a hut at Cape Crozier when the winds proved too strong, eating emergency rations with a group of nematode scientists (wormherders) and trying to make radio coms with McMurdo. I got outrageously cold, and ate huge meals, and laughed a lot, and listened to a million stories.

    And of course all the time I was thinking, what about my story? What story will I tell? I wanted Antarctica to be more than just an exotic backdrop for a story that could have happened anywhere. I wanted to do more than just retell the classic stories in updated form. I wanted to tell Antarctica's true story.

    In this desire I found that science fiction was the perfect form for the subject. For one thing, Antarctica is a science fiction place already; it takes high tech to live there at all, and it looks like another planet entirely. Then again, the next hundred years down there are clearly going to be more interesting even than the last hundred. You can see it coming, like a slow motion train...

About the Author-
  • Kim Stanley Robinson is the author of the Nebula and Hugo award-winning Mars trilogy, Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars, as well as The Wild Shore, The Gold Coast, Pacific Edge, A Short, Sharp Shock, and other novels. He lives in Davis, California.

  • People

    "Forbidding yet fascinating, like the continent it describes...echoes Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air."

  • The Washington Post Book World "[Antarctica] should be included in any short-list of books about the frozen continent....Compelling characters...a rich and dense story...Robinson has succeeded not only in drawing human characters but also in bringing Antarctica to life. Whatever happens in the outer world, Antarctica--both the book and the continent--will become part of the reader's interior landscape."
  • Interzone "The epic of Antarctica. This is the James A. Michener novel of the South Pole. If the meaty one-word title didn't give it away, the writing would. The whole human history of the continent is here."
  • Associated Press "Antarctica will take your breath away."
  • Publishers Weekly "A gripping tale of adventure on the ice."
  • Kirkus Reviews "Passionate, informed...vastly entertaining."
  • The New York Times Book Review "Robinson writes about geography and geology with the intensity and unhurried attention to detail of a John McPhee."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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