- Mary Buck
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Antarctica by Kim Stanley Robinson: "In the early 21st century, things are beginning to change in Antarctica. Scientists still come down to the American base at McMurdo to do research, but they now bump shoulders with tourists hoping to retrace the treks of early explorers. More seriously, with the world's oil fields almost depleted, multinational corporations are jockeying for position, conducting secret explorations for oil and spending millions to defeat the renewal of the Antarctic Treaty, which has reserved the continent for purely scientific research for half a century. And other, even more secretive groups apparently haunt the Antarctic outback as well: feral human societies and radical environmentalists whose motives are only partly understood. Antarctica is undergoing major climactic change, too, perhaps the most dramatic example of the global warming that has turned much of the world's former temperate zone into a steam bath. The Ross Ice Shelf has largely broken up and the enormously greater Antarctic icesheet may be about to follow suit."
If you like Antarctica by Kim Stanley Robinson, you may also like these titles that feature adventure at the South or North Poles:
Black Ice by Matt Dickinson
"Deep beneath the Antarctic ice cap, scientist Lauren Burgess has discovered a secret that could change the face of human knowledge. Then a desperate mayday call comes in. Two explorers, one of them the legendary Julian Fitzgerald, are stranded out on the ice and a rescue is their only hope. Lauren puts the ground breaking scientific work on hold as she leads a dangerous rescue mission into the frozen void. But after returning to the base, the pressure of isolation gradually takes its toll on Fitzgerald and his true dark nature is revealed. Lauren and her scientific team must fight for their very lives. On the run with injured members of the team, sub-zero conditions and a madman on the loose, the odds are against them and time is running out."-catalog summary
Choosers of the Slain by James H. Cobb
"Cobb brings feminism and environmentalism to the naval thriller and does it remarkably well in this lightning-paced and well-informed tale of a lone U.S. destroyer holding off an Argentine incursion into Antarctica. Amanda Garrett captains the USS Cunningham, a stealthy, well-armed vessel with the best technology available in the year 2006.
The ship is on patrol off Antarctica when a surprise invasion by Argentina (seeking mineral wealth and prepared to abrogate existing international treaties) leaves her as the only defense for treaty partners and for the ecologically fragile continent itself. As captain, Amanda uses her seamanship and her knowledge of the talents of her staff in a breathtaking sea battle fought in one of the most challenging environments on earth. Cobb not only demonstrates his control of action and plot but also incorporates intriguing military and political topics that couldn't be more timely. Best of all, he allows Amanda to command her ship as a woman, not as a manly soul in a woman's body."-Publisher's Weekly review
Dark Winter by William Dietrich
"Twenty-six rugged adventurers wave goodbye to the last plane of the winter and unknowingly isolate themselves with a psychopath in the Antarctic wilderness. While the murderer gradually eliminates the group and communication with the outside world is lost, fear and suspicion overwhelm them. As the body count rises and the thermometer drops, the group must overcome the hysteria and dissent expertly sown by the killer to stop him before their chance of survival disappears into the arctic darkness."-catalog summary
Icefire by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
"Navy SEAL Mitch Webber and oceanographer Cory Rey spring into action to stop a group of Chinese officers planning to devastate the rest of the world by using nuclear weapons to create giant tidal waves, in this explosive thriller written in the Tom Clancy mode."-catalog summary
The Solitude of Thomas Cave by Georgina Harding
"In 1616, as the last warm days dwindle in the north Atlantic, the men on an English whaling ship prepare to head back toward home. But there is one exception among them: the quiet, headstrong Thomas Cave. For Cave has bet the rest of the crew that he can spend a winter on this Arctic island. Alone. His shipmates sail away, the days shorten, and the cold weather moves in. Thomas Cave faces months of darkness, ice, and blizzards. He has nothing to his name except his rations, shelter, and a journal-a record in case he doesn't survive to tell his story. But nothing so threatens the willful sailor as his own mind: he is haunted by the remembrances of another life and a lost love. From his post at the edge of the known world, Cave sees his own past, and begins to reflect on man's relationship with God and the wilderness. A beautiful, ghostly tale, 'The Solitude of Thomas Cave' brings us back to the beginning of the modern world, in a story infused with the violence, power and beauty that define both man and nature."-catalog summary
The Terror by Dan Simmons
"The bestselling author ... transforms the true story of a legendary Arctic expedition into a thriller worthy of Stephen King or Patrick O'Brian. Their captain's insane vision of a Northwest Passage has kept the crewmen of The Terror trapped in Arctic ice for two years without a thaw. But the real threat to their survival isn't the ever-shifting landscape of white, the provisions that have turned to poison before they open them, or the ship slowly buckling in the grip of the frozen ocean. The real threat is whatever is out in the frigid darkness, stalking their ship, snatching one seaman at a time or whole crews, leaving bodies mangled horribly or missing forever. Captain Crozier takes over the expedition after the creature kills its original leader, Sir John Franklin. Drawing equally on his own strengths as a seaman and the mystical beliefs of the Eskimo woman he's rescued, Crozier sets a course on foot out of the Arctic and away from the insatiable beast. But every day the dwindling crew becomes more deranged and mutinous, until Crozier begins to fear there is no escape from an ever-more-inconceivable nightmare."-catalog summary
The Trudeau Vector by Juris Jurjevics
"As the international team of scientists at the spectacular Trudeau Research Center prepares for six months of unrelenting Arctic winter, three of their colleagues are found dead, their pupils missing and their bodies contorted in ghastly, unnatural positions. An American epidemiologist, the talented and unconventional Dr. Jessica Hanley, is summoned to investigate the medical riddle posed by these grisly deaths.
At the same time, a decorated Russian admiral in Moscow is assigned a top-secret mission to locate and retrieve a Russian submarine that has suddenly and inexplicably vanished from central command's radar. The die is cast. Their lives will cross in Jurjevics's engrossing debut thriller, brilliant and terrifying in its medical and historical accuracy. Hanley's inquiry and Admiral Rudenko's quest bring them up against hazards much bigger than microbes-scientific megalomania, lingering cold war tensions, world-threatening environmental toxins, all unfolding in the unforgiving extremes of the Arctic."-catalog summary