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Greenhouse Summer Mass Market Paperback – September 15, 2000

3.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

In Greenhouse Summer, humanity's abuse of the environment has melted the polar ice caps, expanded deserts beyond all 20th-century conceptions, and transformed Siberia into a powerful and agriculturally fertile nation--and the changes aren't over, as Monique Calhoun learns when she is sent to Paris for the United Nations' conference on global warming. The scientists present terrifying evidence that Condition Venus may already have begun. Condition Venus is a climactic change that can quickly turn the Earth as hot and deadly as Venus. The end is truly near. And transnational factions working covertly for their own agendas may only hasten the end of the world and the death of every living creature.

Norman Spinrad is, with Michael Moorcock, Harlan Ellison, and Samuel R. Delany, one of the giants of new wave science fiction. He is the author of many novels, including the notorious Bug Jack Barron, The Iron Dream, The Void Captain's Tale, and Child of Fortune, as well as several fiction and nonfiction collections. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Spinrad's latest, an uneasy blend of SF, suspense thriller and political commentary, offers grim hope for our planetary ecology. In the future, the United Nations Annual Conference on Climate Stabilization meets in Paris to discuss the possibility that the world's worsening climate may degrade into a chaos of white tornadoes and desert temperatures code-named "Condition Venus." Corporations such as Breads & Circuses, p.r. spinmeisters extraordinaire, will go to any length to learn the truth, and so their operative, sexy Monique Calhoun, is instructed to book the scientists for a dinner on a river boat that's a "data sponge"Ain other words, bugged. In preparation, Calhoun meets the boat's master, ambitious Eurotrash thug Prince Eric Esterhazy. The two fall for one another; and, teaming forces, they discover a diabolical corporate plot. Spinrad remains a whiz with smart dialogue and sharp obsevation of people and place. He buries his theme of biospheric disaster underneath silly spy shenanigans, however, and ends the novel on an unsatisfying note, with the global ecological situation unresolved. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; 1st edition (September 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812566564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812566567
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,674,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Norman has finally returned with an utterly fantastic novel eagerly awaited by Spinrad enthusiasts worldwide! This one has everything Norman's readers have come to love,including a plot concerning the looming crisis of global warming,fully realized characters,funky technology,and lots of sex! Spinrad's singular style of rhythmic rhyming prose has never been better.His artistry with the English language, among others,continues to grow. Readers should pay close attention to the deft handling of the sensitive environmental issues that are the central focus of the plot,as well as the hopeful syndicalist system offered as a replacement for conventional outmoded capitalism. Truly,Norman Spinrad is at the height of his considerable powers! A must read for the serious lover of speculative fiction!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There seems no question now that we're screwing up the climate. So why don't we stop? Norman Spinrad has one of the best answers I've seen yet. His concept of the syndic, a business model that partly replaced capital corporations provides the answer:

“Do you know who really runs the Big Blue Machine?”
“No one, Monique. There are no citizen-shareholders for the boards of its constituent corporations to be responsible to. And no syndic charters setting forth a moral philosophy. It’s a loose collection of capitalist revenants, each a corporation whose default and only value is the maximization of profit. The Big Blue Machine is . . . a machine. A mechanism for generating profit with no human moral responsibility in the circuit, individual or collective. This was why the capitalist world order could blindly destabilize the planetary climate in the process of destroying itself. It wasn’t evil. It didn’t recognize evil or good. In that sense, in a moral sense, it had no soul.”
“So . . . ?”
“So we are not capitalists!” Posner declared with a passion that quite took Monique aback. “Not Bread & Circuses, not Bad Boys, and certainly not Mossad! Your syndic, and mine, and even Esterhazy’s, may have different moral philosophies, but unlike Big Blue we have them. And our charters agree on one thing—no contract binds us to aid capitalist clients in committing moral atrocities for no higher cause than their own profit!”

Yeah, I've worked for those corporations, and have seen Boards and CEOs make morally horrible decisions - because there is no value in the corporate world to appeal to, except profit. They are trapped in their machine, no personal moral choices are allowed.

Wrap this in an exciting, complex and compelling story and you have a book really worth reading.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been an SF fan for more than 40 years, but find it all too difficult to find stuff worth reading these days. Spinrad's novel wasn't the most literary I've ever read -- the characters were a bit two-dimensional -- but his construction of the post-global warming future was well rounded and convincing. (At least to me. I don't know enough about climatary physics to comment on how technically plausible it might be.) Details: alligators in the canals of Paris, dikes protecting New York City from the elevated sea water, the Sahara Desert so hot as to be (really) lifeless. And the non-climatary details, like making "disney" a non-proper noun representing any technologically produced fake. I also liked the denouement, and the way it revolved around "meatware" computers and the strangely psychotic scientist from California. The politics was interesting, too, although maybe, like the characters, a little overblown to be believable. In all, though, well worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover
I truly thought the world was gonna' end in this one ... Alas ...
HOT DAYS: Dealing with our current situation of global warming, what I thought to have been an "End of the World" type saga, I found to be a fanciful cat and mousebrain type thriller. "Mousebrain," refers to the *polymerized* rat brains known as "meat-ware" used as processors for Spinrad's computers of the future. While not necessarily SF, Greenhouse Summer weaves a tale surrounding our future Earth so very disturbing, yet mystically enchanting the reader gets a true sense of what might yet happen on our homeworld. We get a glimpse of the "Lands of the Lost:" areas already overtaken by flood waters due to the shifting of our polar ice caps, and 21st century Paris, in the summer. In Spinrad's telling, it's always summer in Paris. The dark side is the world hangs terribly close to the brink of "Condition Venus," the point at which we can no longer reverse the global warming effects we, ourselves, have created. Spinrad's humor dampens the final blow as Earth teeters precariously close to the proverbial "end is near." The United Nations had been trying to warn the Earth for years and now it may be too late.
EVEN HOTTER NIGHTS: Spinrad's comical style proves there are no real heroes in a work like this, only a form of disney--a term Spinrad uses throughout the work--meat puppet could react openly to the goings on throughout his endless descriptions of room decor, sexual liaisons and alligators in the Seine. Cardboard mockups of stereotypical displays of only the brackish type inhabit Spinrad's universe.
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