From Publishers Weekly
Inside-the-Beltway policy wonks and government scientists strive to save the world from environmental collapse in the well-written third installment (after 2005's Fifty Degrees Below
) of this hyperrealistic, near-future SF series. The Gulf Stream—slowed by global warming—has been restarted and nuclear-powered naval ships stand by to generate electricity for frigid coastal cities. Phil Chase, an ecologically minded Democrat from California in the Al Gore mold, has won the presidency, due in part to the efforts of NSA scientist Frank Vanderwal and his spook girlfriend, Caroline Barr, who helped foil a right-wing attempt to fix the election. But only time will tell if the world has both the scientific know-how and the political will to reverse the ongoing rush toward an ecological precipice. Combining surprisingly interesting discussions of environmental science with Robinson's trademark tramps through nature and an exciting espionage subplot, this novel should appeal to both the author's regular SF audience and anyone concerned with the ecological health of our planet (Mar.)
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Praise for Forty Signs of Rain: 'The Brave New World of global warming ! A narrative that is rich in closely observed characters and a wonderfully vivid sense of place ! depicts a society sleep-walking towards the abyss ! His great achievement here is to bring the practice of science alive and to place this in an all-too familiar world of greedy capitalists and unprincipled politicians. Robinson's critique of science is heartfelt ! humans have gone from being the smartest animal on the savannah to being "experts at denial".' P.D. Smith, Guardian 'A funny, convincing, intelligent book' Kim Newman, Independent 'Kim Stanley Robinson is freed by his medium -- fiction -- to deliver [a] message with passion and restraint ! A great book' New Scientist Praise for Kim Stanley Robinson 'The excitement of the science is thrillingly rendered ! a very impressive work of the imagination !' TLS 'Unusually well written !three dimensional characters ! the scale is awesome.' Shaun Usher, Daily Mail More on the Mars books: 'To make Mars real and make it interesting. That's the double challenge which Kim Robinson has here so squarely and successfully faced! scientific reality leads straight into a conflict plot! a running commentary on human desire, frustration and fulfilment.' Tom Shippey Guardian 'A beautiful book -- to be lived in.' Ian Watson Daily Telegraph 'A complex combination of science fiction and fact, political and social commentary which, together with strong characterisation and a brilliantly conceived plot, blend into a book that reads like a heavily dramatised version of past events, flowing smoothly from start to finish and building up to a climactic conclusion. Probably the most outstanding aspect of Robinson's novel, however, is his stunning visualisation of the beauty of this hostile planet. By the end you can't help feeling you understand the place, that it has some meaning beyond that of just another location for a story ! I'm looking forward to reading the next two volumes almost as eagerly as I'm anticipating the reality of such an outrageous venture.' Alex Hardy Time Out On Antarctica 'A tour de force of adventure writing, memorably told ! He describes Antarctica like a great travel writer, but he does so in the aid of the story ! It is hard to put the book down. It is important, it is relevant, it gives us a huge new continent to imagine; and it is fun.' Mail on Sunday 'The most momentous science fiction novel of the year! Robinson has turned his gaze on a landscape almost as hostile and unspoiled as Mars and describes it gloriously well.' Daily Telegraph 'A fascinating richness ! with the unobtrusive lightness that allowed him to finesse so many of the difficult grandeurs of epic in the Mars books, he steals in Antarctica towards the tricky inward experiences of those archaic Brits, "conquering the world with bad boy scout equipment".' Independent
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