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Forty Signs of Rain (Science in the Capital) Mass Market Paperback – July 26, 2005
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From the Inside Flap
The bestselling author of the classic Mars trilogy and The Years of Rice and Salt returns with a riveting new trilogy of cutting-edge science, international politics, and the real-life ramifications of global warming as they are played out in our nation's capital--and in the daily lives of those at the center of the action. Hauntingly realistic, here is a novel of the near future that is inspired by scientific facts already making headlines.
When the Arctic ice pack was first measured in the 1950s, it averaged thirty feet thick in midwinter. By the end of the century it was down to fifteen. One August the ice broke. The next year the breakup started in July. The third year it began in May. That was last year.
It's an increasingly steamy summer in the nation's capital as Senate environmental staffer Charlie Quibler cares for his young son and deals with the frustrating politics of global warming. Charlie must find a way to get a skeptical administration to act before it's too late--and his progeny find themselves living in Swamp World. But the political climate poses almost as great a challenge as the environmental crisis when it comes to putting the public good ahead of private gain.
While Charlie struggles to play politics, his wife, Anna, takes a more rational approach to the looming crisis in her work at the National Science Foundation. There a proposal has come in for a revolutionary process that could solve the problem of global warming--if it can be recognized in time. But when a race to control the budding technology begins, the stakes only get higher. As these everyday heroes fight to align the awesome forces of nature with the extraordinary march of modern science, they are unaware that fate is about to put an unusual twist on their work--one that will place them at the heart of an unavoidable storm.
With style, wit, and rare insight into our past, present, and possible future, this captivating novel propels us into a world on the verge of unprecedented change--in a time quite like our own. Here is Kim Stanley Robinson at his visionary best, offering a gripping cautionary tale of progress--and its price--as only he can tell it.
"From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Kim Stanley Robinson is a winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. He is the author of ten previous books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and The Years of Rice and Salt, named one of the best science fiction novels of 2002 by Book magazine. He lives in Davis, California.
From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
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In our time, this last year has been really rough with a variety of natural disasters- fires and floods, both related to climate change. In real life, politics does not want to recognize this problem too. In fact, the use of any words that try to identify what is going on as climate change are forbidden by many political entities. These books are written with the knowledge of science. They are written well with several characters who we get to know in their personal and professional lives. I enjoyed this and will read the two follow-up books.
I liked the writing about the scientists and their culture. It was eye-opening to learn about start ups, government and foundations.
But the sub-plots were sometimes simply bizarre, and I was left wondering whether they were necessary. In the end, I concluded that they were simply because they illustrated that human folly is constant, even as the stage on which we act shows signs of shrugging us off.
None of the characters were really all that likable. That could prove to be a problem in the next volume in the series. I care about climate change a great deal, but I don't really care about the characters in this book. It may be enough to watch the climate, characters be damned. If that's Robinson's intention, this is a work of genius. I'm not convinced.
I've read the Mars series ( a couple of times through each book, in a row) so moving on to the next series means Kim Stanley Robinson is becoming my new favorite author, He has such a logical take on the issues facing people today and interweaves this wisdom with characters whom the reader really cares about,