Forty signs of rain kim stanley robinson

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forty signs of rain kim stanley robinson

Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson

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.
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Published 05.01.2019

Kim Stanley Robinson - Utopia - Interview Part 1/5

In this cerebral near-future novel, the first in a trilogy, Robinson The Years of Rice and Salt explores the events leading up to a worldwide catastrophe brought on by global warming.
Kim Stanley Robinson

Before the flood

In Washington, DC, the National Science Foundation guides science on its usual procedures of peer-reviewed boards and budget allocations. Politics are little concerned of climate change. The arrival of the Khembali, a buddhist sect whose native island is in danger of being flooded, heralds some important changes. Like all three volumes in this trilogy, the novel is divided in ten parts. Each part begins with a short incipit in italics , often unrelated to the main characters and told from a different or omniscient point of view. The part then contains short chapters, each focused on one of the main characters Frank, Anna or Charlie and narrated in the third person. Scientists, lobbyists and politics strive through the legal and institutional apparatus to advance their projects.

Thank you! After defying all expectations with his alternative history The Years of Rice and Salt , Robinson hews back to the expected with the soggy first of a trilogy that has promise nowhere near what the Mars trilogy had. Set just a few years into the future, this one takes as its subject not the colonization of Mars, but something that should be more close to home and yet feels much more distant: catastrophic climate change. To populate this end-of-the-world scenario, Robinson has assembled a pretty unexciting and vanilla band of egghead experts. Now, your average s disaster-novel writer might have had the same nerdy cast of characters but would have given them a few extracurricular affairs, a brush with the law, something to stir this mightily dull stew.

Last year, Prince Charles weighed in to a scientific debate to parrot the premise of a Michael Crichton novel. The Prince was endorsing the probably nonsensical warning about "grey goo" in Crichton's anti-nanotech thriller, Prey.
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Robinson has been nicknamed the "Master of Disaster" for his description of natural disasters based partly on the contents of this book. The focus of the novel is the effects of global warming in the early decades of the 21st century. Its characters are mostly scientists, either involved in biotech research, assisting government members, or doing paperwork at the National Science Foundation NSF. There are also several Buddhist monks working for the embassy of the fictional island nation of Khembalung. Anna Quibler — a hard-scientist administrator in charge of the Bioinformatics Division at the NSF; part of her job entails farming out grant proposals from scientists and science students nationwide to program directors under her supervision.


  1. Doug A. says:

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  2. Diana B. says:

    Forty Signs of Rain () is the first book in the hard science fiction "Science in the Capital" trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson Robinson has been nicknamed the .

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