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Antarctica Mass Market Paperback – July 6, 1999


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Antarctica + Blue Mars (Mars Trilogy) + Green Mars (Mars Trilogy)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (July 6, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553574027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553574029
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the near future, Wade Norton has been sent to Antarctica by Senator Phil Chase to investigate rumors of environmental sabotage. He arrives on the frozen continent and immediately begins making contact with the various scientific and political factions that comprise Antarctic society. What he finds is an interesting blend of inhabitants who don't always mesh well but who all share a common love of Antarctica and a fierce devotion to their life there. He also begins to uncover layers of Antarctic culture that have been kept hidden from the rest of the world, and some of them are dangerous indeed. Things are brought to a head when the saboteurs--or "ecoteurs" as they call themselves--launch an attack designed to drive humans off the face of Antarctica. This is Kim Stanley Robinson's first book since his award-winning Mars trilogy, and while some of the themes may be familiar to seasoned Robinson readers, the book is never less than engrossing. As usual Robinson does a masterful job with the setting of his story, and anyone interested in Antarctica won't want to miss this one. --Craig Engler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In the early 21st century, things are beginning to change in Antarctica. Scientists still come down to the American base at McMurdo to do research, but they now bump shoulders with tourists hoping to retrace the treks of early explorers. More seriously, with the world's oil fields almost depleted, multinational corporations are jockeying for position, conducting secret explorations for oil and spending millions to defeat the renewal of the Antarctic Treaty, which has reserved the continent for purely scientific research for half a century. And other, even more secretive groups apparently haunt the Antarctic outback as well: feral human societies and radical environmentalists whose motives are only partly understood. Antarctica is undergoing major climactic change, too, perhaps the most dramatic example of the global warming that has turned much of the world's former temperate zone into a steam bath. The Ross Ice Shelf has largely broken up and the enormously greater Antarctic icesheet may be about to follow suit. Robinson (Blue Mars) brings to this novel a passionate concern for landscape, ecology and the effects of the "Gotterdammerung capitalism" that he sees as the most serious threat to the survival of our species. His major charactersAa U.S. senator's aide, a professional Antarctic mountaineer and a misfit doing grunt labor at McMurdoAare well drawn, but ultimately the novel is about the land itself. Moving back and forth between breathtaking descriptions of the alien, out-of-scale beauty of Antarctica, gripping tales of adventure on the ice and astute analyses of the ecopolitics of the southernmost continent, Robinson has created another superb addition to what is rapidly becoming one of the most impressive bodies of work in SF. (July) FYI: Each of Robinson's last three novels, Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars, won either a Hugo or a Nebula.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Kim Stanley Robinson is a winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards. He is the author of eleven previous books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed Fifty Degrees Below, Forty Signs of Rain, The Years of Rice and Salt, and Antarctica--for which he was sent to the Antarctic by the U.S. National Science Foundation as part of their Antarctic Artists and Writers' Program. He lives in Davis, California.

Customer Reviews

As it turns out I put the book down with 50 pages left and started on another.
E. Jolly
Unfortunately, I have two big problems with this book: the action is very uneven, and one of main characters--Val--I found stupendously annoying.
Maggie
With so many good books in the world to read...I'm just not willing to waste any more time reading a bad one.
C. Andrew Hessler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Michael Battaglia on April 26, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
After his Mars trilogy, just about anything Kim Stanley Robinson was going to do was highly anticipated. The worst thing he could have done was try and repeat his earlier trilogy just in a different setting. To his credit, he did try something different here, but not different enough at times to really make the book come alive. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautifully written and passionate book . . . in the acknowledgements Robinson mentions that he spent several months on the continent and the staggering amount of research shows . . . even if you've never been to Antarctica this book will make you feel like you have. Every mountain every cold gust of wind every pure blue sky is described beautifully here and that love of the land comes through both in the writing itself and the characters. The story, however, feels like a slight retread of the Mars trilogy, with the underlying conflict being whether to keep the land pure and unsullied or to exploit it as best we're able. To this end several plots spin around showing the different aspects, from the tentative oil drilling to the political angles to the scientific and the people just visiting. This crosssectioning almost defeats the book because with so many characters and views you don't get to know the characters as well as you did in the trilogy, only in several moments do they really come alive to the reader and the sparks start to fly. So the book functions mostly like a travelogue, albeit a wonderfully written one and the passion here just about makes up for the plot, but there are times when you'll sit back and wonder if the book is missing something important. The tension that drove the Mars trilogy is absent here, either because the setting isn't as futuristic or simply because he's trying to do more with less . . .Read more ›
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Maggie on October 31, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I almost began this review by saying that I am not a fan of Robinson. However, that would be incomplete; I have only read one other of Robinson's books--The Years of Rice and Salt--and based on that book, I have not tried any of his others, even his highly-regarded Mars trilogy. If you loved "The Years of Rice and Salt," you should probably read a different review, because we don't share similar sensibilities; I didn't like that book at all.
That being said, this is an enjoyable but very uneven book. The view of Antartic life is wonderful, both the Polar culture and that of McMurdo. The scene of those two places is well drawn, interesting, and involving. I really came to enjoy several of the characters, even though most of them are--let's be honest--pretty sparsely drawn or even two-dimensional. But still, Wade, X, and especially Spiff and Viktor were enjoyable folks to read about. Their adventures, little and big, made fun reading, and of course the setting is simply awesome. I think Robinson does an especially good job bringing home to you the vastness, cold, and emptiness of Antarctica (I had a friend who went there for several seasons doing graduate research).
Unfortunately, I have two big problems with this book: the action is very uneven, and one of main characters--Val--I found stupendously annoying. One at a time.
First, the action. I honestly believe that *everyone* will find this book uneven, and will love some of it, and hate other parts. The dicey bit is, we're all going to love and hate different things. For example, a large portion of the book is taken up with an adventure trek (much like today's adventure climbs up Everest) along the same path that Amundsen, the first man to make it to the South Pole, took.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is less a story taking place on and more of a portrait of Antarctica in the future, and the people who are so enthralled by the place that their passion for the continent, its history, and their vision of their place in it comes across on every page. Cleverly mixing the continent's short history with the book's current characters and issues, Robinson has added immensly to the growing literature, both fiction and non-fiction, about Antarctica. THe story however, is less important than the setting and the characters, and this is the book's flaw. It makes the book seem a bit long at times, though just when our interest is waning, something dramatic happens, or we become absorbed in adventures of past Antarctic explorers such as Shackleton, Amundsen, or SCott.The authors descriptions of the people and the place are undoubtedly its strong point. An enjoyable read. Also recommended is Elizabeth Arthur's Antarctic Navigation, a work of fiction on the continent and one woman's obsession with it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I'd been eagerly awaiting Robinson's new book - maybe too much so, admittedly, given the expectations he'd raised with the magnificent Mars Trilogy. But Antarctica is a disappointment: there's about 60 pages of story in the 400-page novel. Characters and situations are watered-down versions of their Mars analogs. Disappointingly, he hasn't advanced his program for economic, social and spiritual reform: I was hoping for something more than was presented in Blue Mars, and got the same, but less. One real strength of the book is his facility with creating tomorrow's future, in describing technology that doesn't quite exist yet, but is perfectly familiar. While passages of his prose are brilliant, in Antarctica his impulse to include every kitchen sink of his research really gets the better of him. Still, he's Robinson, and I don't know of anybody else with as lucid and passionate an opposition to modern capitalism. Antarctica is worth reading, but if you want real brilliance, re-read the Mars Trilogy
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