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Fifty Degrees belowby Kim Stanley Robinson
Synopses & Reviews
PRIMATE in FOREST
Nobody likes Washington D.C. Even the people who love it don’t like it. Climate atrocious, traffic worse: an ordinary midsized gridlocked American city, in which the plump white federal buildings make no real difference. Or rather they bring all the politicians and tourists, the lobbyists and diplomats and refugees and all the others who come from somewhere else, often for suspect reasons, and thereafter spend their time clogging the streets and hogging the show, talking endlessly about their nonexistent city on a hill while ignoring the actual city they are in. The bad taste of all that hypocrisy can’t be washed away even by the food and drink of a million very fine restaurants. No—bastion of the world government, locked vault of the World Bank, fortress headquarters of the world police; Rome, in the age of bread and circuses—no one can like that.
So naturally when the great flood washed over the city, wreaking havoc and leaving the capital spluttering in the livid heat of a wet and bedraggled May, the stated reactions were varied, but the underlying subtext often went something like this: HA HA HA. For there were many people around the world who felt that justice had somehow been served. Capital of the world, thoroughly trashed: who wouldn’t love it?
Of course the usual things were said by the usual parties. Disaster area, emergency relief, danger of epidemic, immediate restoration, pride of the nation, etc. Indeed, as capital of the world, the president was firm in his insistence that it was everyone’s patriotic duty to support rebuilding, demonstrating a brave and stalwart response to what he called “this act of climactic terrorism.” “From now on,” the president continued, “we are at a state of war with nature. We will work until we have made this city even more like it was than before.”
In the sequel to Forty Signs of Rain, after years of denial and non-action, a near-future Earth faces a crossroad when it is threatened with the dire implications and perils of global warming, an environmental crisis that ironically could unleash a devastating Ice Age on the planet. 35,000 first printing.
Bestselling, award-winning, author Kim Stanley Robinson continues his groundbreaking trilogy of eco-thrillers–and propels us deeper into the awesome whirlwind of climatic change. Set in our nation’s capital, here is a chillingly realistic tale of people caught in the collision of science, technology, and the consequences of global warming–which could trigger another phenomenon: abrupt climate change, resulting in temperatures...
When the storm got bad, scientist Frank Vanderwal was at work, formalizing his return to the National Science Foundation for another year. He’d left the building just in time to help sandbag at Arlington Cemetery. Now that the torrent was over, large chunks of San Diego had eroded into the sea, and D.C. was underwater.
Shallow lakes occupied the most famous parts of the city. Reagan Airport was awash and the Potomac had spilled beyond its banks. Rescue boats dotted the saturated cityscape. Everything Frank and his colleagues in the halls of science and politics feared had culminated in this massive disaster. And now the world looked to them to fix it.
Whatever Frank can do, now that he is homeless, he’ll have to do from his car. He’s not averse to sleeping outdoors. Years of research have made him hyperaware of his status as just another primate. That plus his encounter with a Tibetan Buddhist has left him resolved to live a more authentic life.
Hopefully, this will prepare him for whatever is to come....
For even as D.C. bails out from the flood, a more extreme climate change looms. With the melting of the polar ice caps shutting down the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, another Ice Age could be imminent. The last time it happened, eleven thousand years ago, it took just three years to start.
Once again Kim Stanley Robinson uses his remarkable vision, trademark wry wit, and extraordinary insight into the complexity between man and nature to take us to the brink of disaster–and slightly beyond.
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 critically acclaimed 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.
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