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Paperback Fifty Degrees Below Book

ISBN: 0007148917

ISBN13: 9780007148912

Fifty Degrees Below

(Book #2 in the Science in the Capital Series)

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. 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. When the storm got bad, Frank...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

50 degrees below

Great book in a great series. Literally can't stop thinking about it. As a minor side note, the books have introduced me to the totally addicting sport of disc golf (plot device in the book which you just need to read to understand), which I now play 3-4 times / week. All the fun of golf without the expense and time commitment.

A Very Plausible Inconvenient Truth

In this sequel to Forty Signs of Rain Kim Stanley Robinson continues to pursue the consequences of an out-of-control Earth that has let the environment degrade so far that global warming has halted the thermohalyne exchange in the Gulf Stream responsible for maintaining the temperate climate of the Northern Hemisphere. Set in Washington, DC, in the midst of a presidential election eerily reminding of what our country just went through and pitting a progressive Senator bent on halting the climatic disaster about to strike, and featuring several characters working both in the political sphere and at the National Science Foundation, this eco-thriller pursues relentlessly the social, economic, and political consequences of what may become true all too soon if we don't find a way to curb Earth's appetite for pollutants and its disregard for Mother Earth. Robinson's vision is literally chilling, his characters are vivid and engaging, and his intelligent prose will make you turn page after page and long for the final volume of this trilogy, Sixty Days and Counting. A must-read for all in 2009!

Colder and Colder, But Life Goes On

This is the second book in Robinson's cautionary trilogy on Global Warming. Readers who enjoyed Forty Signs of Rain can expect more of the same. Robinson's great strength is his ability to engross us with even the most trivial details - a technique that supports his understanding of modern science, which isn't all about stunning discoveries made by sleep-deprived monomaniacs who skip meals because they're too engrossed in their experiments to leave the Luh-bor-atory. Robinson sees modern science as tiny incremental gains made by people who work for vast consortiums by day, then go home at night to their quiet lives and needy families and personal exasperations just like the rest of us. On the down side, all this attention to intimate little details like paperwork and meetings and cooking dinner and watching the kids, etc. causes the main plot to move with an almost glacial slowness that will bore some readers beyond endurance. If you're seeking lots of action and adventure, maybe Robinson's just not the writer for you. If you're interested in subtle characterizations and extreme realism (as well as practical suggestions for how to survive in cold weather) this may be just the series you've been looking for. This reviewer can't wait for volume three.

Installment 2 in the prophetic global warming disaster series

This is Robinson's second book in his global warming trilogy. Here in the real world, the disaster scenario from book 1 has already come to pass, albeit in New Orleans rather than in Washington [Forty Signs of Rain]. In book 2 [Fifty Degrees Below] the lead characters are government scientists and minority party politicians who are clearly disturbed by America's self-destructive response to global warming. We treat it like the national debt and Social Security: we leave the problem for our kids to solve in 30 years. As with the Mars trilogy, the amount of background research that went into these books is staggering. At the same time, the science is easy to understand and very interesting. This is essentially a story about science trying to save the future of the world from a Washington political establishment owned by Big Oil. These books are certainly entertaining and interesting, but I believe that they are also intended as a wake up call.

Terrific, topical, and transcendental

It amazes me that this book and its predecessor ("Forty Signs of Rain") are not on more of the media's annual "Best Books of the Year" lists. It has everything you could want in a novel: believable and engaging characters, a strong depiction of another reality or way of life (in this case, realistic depictions of scientists as they wrestle with the intersection of abrupt climate change and American politics), and a cliche-free writing style that keeps the plot moving while sprinkling asides and insights along the way about everything from Tibetan Buddhism to the drawbacks of blue jeans in frigid weather. The topicality of its subject matter could not be more relevant (including its unnerving implications of domestic spying and election fraud as a Republican modus operandi). This is the sort of book that you want to thrust into the hands of all your intelligent, well-read friends and insist: "Read this!!"
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