This Day in Antarctic Exploration and Discovery

Discovery and Exploration

Cameron, Ian 1974
Antarctica: The Last Continent, Cassell and Company Ltd., London. 256 pages.
This is an interesting and well-written account. Summarizes the events of some of the major voyages of exploration, concentrating on the late 18th and 19th centuries and early 20th centuries (Cook, Bellinghausen, Davis, De Gerlache, Nordenskjöld, Amundsen, Scott, Shackleton) and then into the Byrd and Fuchs and Hillary in the mid-20th century. The late 19th to early 20th centuries are sometimes called the 'Heroic Age' of Antarctic exploration. The accounts start with voyages to the southern oceans, then the discovery of the coastline, and then exploration of the interior, especially the race for the South Pole. Unlike other continental explorations, this one was not marred by eradication of indigenous people, since there were none, but was accompanied by decimation of wildlife. Cameron makes it clear that pillage was part of the history with extirpation of first fur seals and then the great whales. The tale has plentiful illustrations, many paintings and photographs. It sets the well-known journeys (Scott, Shackleton) into perspective by showing how they were the outgrowth of what had happened before. Interesting and informative. (23/Apr/2006)
Fiennes, Ranulph 2003
Captain Scott. Hodder and Stoughton. ix + 509 pages.
A retelling of Scott's life, concentrating on the two expeditions, especially the second. Fiennes interlards the story with comments based on his own experience of a trans-Antarctic man-hauling trek. These comments are interesting, if sometimes intrusive. However, since he has experience of extreme journeys, his comments are valuable. The book comes up with no really new revelations or insights, other than that Fiennes clearly admires Scott as a polar traveller and finds that most of his leadership decisions were well-founded and justifiable in the context of their time. Fiennes also concludes that Scott's decision to take five, not four, men to the pole had been made well before he implemented it, taking as evidence a sketch by Wilson done some time before showing five men man-hauling a sled. He spends a chapter at the end fulminating at various debunkers and recent biographers of Scott, especially Roland Huntford. He finds RH's books to be sneering, slanted and not accurate. Fiennes also digs up some unsavoury details about RH's own background. Fiennes sees Scott as very much a hero for his times and credits him with inspiration for many servicemen in the next two wars. Fiennes also speaks approvingly of Solomon's climate research, though he, rather tellingly, does not comment on her assertion that the last blizzard could not have happened as the Scott papers describe. We shall never know, of course. This book has plenty of photos and some good maps which help to make the journeys clearer. A good read about a fascinating episode. (04/Apr/2006)
Fleming, Fergus 1998
Barrow's Boys: The Original Extreme Adventurers. Atlantic Monthly Press. 489 pages.
John Barrow (1764 - 1848) was Secretary to the Admiralty for most of the 19th century and was responsible for promoting many of the exploring expeditions, including the ill-fated one of Franklin's, that have become so much a part of exploration history. Among the expeditions that Barrow promoted were Ross, Parry, and Franklin to the Arctic, Ross to the Antarctic, and several by other minor figures to West Africa in search of the source of the Niger River. A flamboyant group of people, often ill-prepared for the tasks they were sent to do. Barrow was often penny-pinching, trying to send them out insufficiently equipped and with not enough money. In spite of this, many did do well. Parry and the Rosses (uncle and nephew) are the central characters here and perhaps the greatest achievers/ The book ends with the search for Franklin and the discovery of the bodies and the realization that the expedition had failed. Written with a good deal of verve and humour, this was an enjoyable read. (14/Sep/2003)
Heacox, Kim 1999
Shackleton: The Antarctic Challenge. National Geographic Society. 215 pages.
This book recounts the life story of Sir Ernest Shackleton, focussing in his two Antarctic expeditions, that of the Nimrod (1907-1909) and especially the later Endurance expedition (1914-1917). The second is memorable chiefly for the harrowing cross ice and sea voyage after the Endurance was crushed by the pack ice and sank. Shackleton and five companions travelled across 800 miles of southern ocean in a small boat, the James Caird, from Elephant Island to South Georgia to get help and rescue the rest of the crew. He was a man of contradictions, a strong leader but mercurial and impulsive. After the South Georgia journey, he was never able to settle back into civil life in England. Eventually he died on his way back to Antarctica in a rather ill-conceived expedition, the Quest expedition (1921-1922), and was buried on South Georgia. He is now seen as a better leader than Scott with greater achievements in the realm of leadership and crew management, even though his expeditions actually accomplished very little of practical significance. As with all National Geographic books, this one is superbly illustrated. It includes both contemporary photographs, notably many taken by Frank Hurley, the Endurance expedition's photographer, and modern photographs of some of the locales and environments that are central to the story. (30/Jul/2010)
Jones, Max 2003
The Last Great Quest: Captain Scott's Antarctic Sacrifice. Oxford University Press. 352 pages.
Written by an academic historian, this is an examination of, mainly, the Terra Nova expedition and its aftermath. It concentrates less on the minutiae of the expedition itself and more on events in the world beyond Antarctica. MJ sets the expedition into its social and historical context, noting how it satisfied several needs in late Victorian England, both to assert continuing domination and to assert the primacy of character (of men), which became even more important soon after in WWI. He highlights the role of the Royal Geographical Society and Clements Markham in late 19th century expeditions and makes it clear that Scott's work has to be seen against the background of this institutional support and the objectives of these broader Establishment organizations. He shows how the myth-making started and continued and became mixed with jingoism, which perhaps explains why the reaction against Scott was so extreme in the 1970s and 1980s, a more cynical age in which patriotism seemed a sham. This is most interesting. MJ also shows how much of the myth-making was driven by media attention, especially newspapers and news magazines, using the emotional impact of Scott's death to drive up sales. And how the Establishment jumped on board, claiming the more upper-class expedition members (Scott and Oates) as theirs, while Bowers was portrayed as the faithful retainer and Edgar Evans either ignored altogether or spoken of reprovingly as having let the side down, as much as could be expected from a working class man from the Valleys. MJ also recounts something of the later career of some of the Terra Nova expedition members, several of them (Frank Debenham, Griffith Taylor) went on to distinguished and long careers. Others perished in WWI, while others (Ponting, Cherry-Garrard) were never really able to move on from these events. Teddy Evans went on to have a long and distinguished military career, despite being a relentless self-promoter and not well-liked by other expedition members. What MJ does show is that the expedition has to be judged against the standards of the time, rather than today's which are so different. MJ's admiration for Scott and his team is clear. However told. the tale of the polar journey is extraordinary and endlessly fascinating and tragic. (11/Apr/2006)
Solomon, Susan 2001
The Coldest March: Scott's Fated Antarctic Expedition. Yale University Press, New Haven, U.S.A. xxii + 383 pages.
Solomon is a climatologist who has studied the Antarctic ozone hole for many years. She has turned this same trained eye on an analysis of the meteorological records kept by Scott's expedition and shows that the conditions encountered by the Polar party were anomalous in comparison with the records kept by automated stations in Antarctica over the last few decades. The temperatures on the way back, particularly across the Barrier, were 20° - 30° colder than average for that time of year, over a much longer sustained interval than is usual. These conditions were not only debilitating for the men, they also made pulling the sled extremely difficult. However, Solomon concludes that the 10 day blizzard that Scott reported in his diary at the end could not have happened because conditions on the Barrier are coupled with conditions further towards the Barrier edge. At the same time as Scott was reporting blizzard, the rest of the crew were reporting clear and fair conditions at the Barrier edge. She thinks that Scott froze his feet so badly that he couldn't continue and, rather than leave him, Wilson and Bowers chose to stay with him and perished too. I'm not sure about this - it makes a good story but I guess we will just never know for sure (unless their bodies were found and autopsied). At any rate, this makes a good read and the analysis of the met records is very interesting. (14/Aug/2004)

Travel, Natural History and Memoir

Campbell, David G. 1992
The Crystal Desert: Summers in Antarctica. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York. 308 pages.
This is one of my all-time favourite books. It is focussed on biological fieldwork on King George Island, one of the South Shetland Islands off the Antarctic Peninsular. Campbell describes this as the 'banana belt' of Antarctica, yet it is still a place where life hangs on a knife-edge. Campbell sets his studies into the broader context of the human and natural history of one of the most remote and yet wildest places on earth. (28/Apr/2006)
Lamb, Hubert 1997
Through All the Changing Scenes of Life: A Meteorologist's Tale. Taverner Publications. xiii + 274 pages.
Born in 1913, and brought up in the English Midlands. As a young man he trained as a meteorologist and gained his skills by trying to perfect forecasts for civil aviation and RAF training in Scotland and Ireland. Worked for most of his life as a civil servant. Only became an academic in later life with founding of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA). He made a trip to the southern oceans near Antarctica to help forecasting for a whaling expedition. (09/Oct/1999)
Matthiessen, Peter 2003
End of the Earth: Voyages to Antarctica. National Geographic. 242 pages.
This is a slight offering from a major nature writer. It is the account of two eco-tourism voyages to the Antarctic. One took place in 1998 to the Antarctic Peninsula, setting out from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. And the second went to the Ross Sea-Mount Erebus area, setting off from Hobart, Tasmania, in 2001. Generally, these are descriptions of bird and marine mammal encounters, mostly from shipboard but also from occasional landfalls. The Batemans were also along to do some photography and sketching but one doesn't get much impression of the other passengers. Matthiessen was along as a team leader for the other eco-tourists. This really seems like two magazine articles stretched to fill a book, with no really insightful comments or different perspectives. This has all been said before. (12/Mar/2006)
Mear, Roger, and Robert Swan 1987
In the Footsteps of Scott. Jonathan Cape, London, UK. 306 pages.
Three men set out to walk to the South Pole, manhauling sleds and trying to recreate Scott's epic journey. They reached the Pole on January 11th 1986. Disaster struck when the vessel carrying the plane that was to pick them up was sunk, and the Americans at the polar base were not pleased about the presence of "private adventurers". This seems strange in view of US tradition of individual freedom but was perhaps related to the control exercised by the NSF funded research stations. Interesting, with a graphic description of the conflicts within the group of three as they travelled. (17/May/1988)
Ponting, Herbert 2004
With Scott to the Pole: The Terra Nova Expedition 1910-1913: The Photographs of Herbert Ponting. BCL Press, New York. 240 pages.
A photo catalogue of Ponting's images from the archives of the Royal Geographical Society and the Scott Polar Research Institute, printed in large format so that they are crisp and clear. These are beautifully produced and look truly stunning especially compared to the small reproductions seen in other books. The photos are preceded by three chapters outlining the main events of the Terra Nova expedition, and followed by an evaluation chapter on Ponting as a photographer and artist, with some discussion of his life. The photos are almost all in black-and-white - Ponting did experiment a bit with colour which was just starting to become available. But all the icon images (Terra Nova viewed from the ice grotto, or Wilson, Bowers and Cherry-Garrard on their return from Cape Crozier) are in black-and-white. Ponting has been compared to Ansel Adams, another photographer who worked in black-and-white. This is a terrific book and a record of a tragic yet transcendent expedition. The photos taken by Ponting remain one of the enduring artistic and human achievements of the expedition. (30/Apr/2006)
Scott, Robert Falcon 1905, reprinted 2001
The Voyage of the Discovery: Volume 1. Cooper Square Press, New York. xlviii + 570 pages.
Scott's original account of the Discovery expedition, also known as the British National Antarctic Expedition. Includes extracts from his diary, supplemented by linking text. Takes the story from the initiation and planning of the expedition, the voyage to Antarctica, the first winter, and the start of the next season's sledging journeys, up to October 1902. Long disquisitions on sledge design, on man-hauling sledges, use of dogs, and on scurvy. The latter is surprising. The Navy had been using antiscorbutics (such as lime juice and sauerkraut) for more than a century, but Scott doesn't appear convinced that these are helpful. Instead, he ascribes the cause to tainted tinned meat. [Note that the true cause of scurvy - vitamin C deficiency - was not discovered until 1932.] Scott also includes a long justification for man-hauling sledges and justifies the lack of use of skis. What is sobering is the total lack of winter and polar experience that Scott and most of his crew had. One might suggest that some field experience in Canada, doing some training and learning winter survival and travel skills (such as the use of snowshoes) would have been beneficial. Nevertheless, this is a fascinating read. This is a fine edition too - clear print and easy to read, and also includes the original photos and illustrations. Edition includes an Introduction by Ross McPhee. (28/Aug/2010)
Scott, Robert Falcon 1905, reprinted 2001
The Voyage of the Discovery: Volume 1I. Cooper Square Press, New York. xl + 508 pages.
Continuation of the account by Scott of the Discovery Expedition (the National Antarctic Expedition). Takes the story on from October 1902 to the end of the expedition in 1904. Includes the narratives of two long sledging journeys made by Scott. The first was to the south in October 1902 to February 1903 with Wilson and Shackleton, during which they almost starved to death and Shackleton became ill with scurvy and what sounds like bronchitis. It was after this that Scott ordered him to leave when the Morning arrived with more supplies. The second long expedition was to the west, into Victoria Land and lasted from October to December 1903. Scott was accompanied by Lashly and Evans. This later expedition is significant for the discovery of the interior dry valleys, which puzzled Scott immensely. He didn't know what they were although it was clear that they had been glaciated at one point. The expedition also gave information about the vastness of the interior ice sheet. The account also includes the arrival of the relief ships the Morning and the Terra Nova with orders to abandon Discovery if she can't be freed from the ice. Fortunately, the ice disappeared quickly in early February 1904 and the ship was able to leave. The volume concluders with a brief account of the scientific discoveries which seem to have been slender (especially Ferrar's geological observations) considering all the time and effort that went into them. It is clear that this aspect was secondary to the task of exploration. A glimpse of an entirely different mindset. Fascinating. This is a fine edition too - clear print and easy to read, and also includes the original photos and illustrations. Edition includes an Introduction by Ross McPhee. (02/Jul/2011)
Scott, Robert Falcon
Scott of the Antarctic: The Journals of Captain R. F. Scott's Last Polar Expedition. Prospero Books, Toronto. 521 pages.
I have never read these through before, though I have read excepts from this account in many other books. Reading them through as a continuous narrative has a powerful and emotional effect. No doubt that Scott was driven, and that some of his decisions do not seem well-founded. Nevertheless, the journey was courageous if harrowing in the extreme and the fact that they almost made it therefore comes across as even more tragic. Very compelling reading. (01/Sep/2003)

Fiction Based in Antarctica

Andrews, Sarah 2007
In Cold Pursuit. St Martin's Paperbacks. 368 pages.
Valena Walker is a grad student who has been fortunate to be given a project involving field work in Antarctica for her MSc. She arrives, only to find that her supervisor, Dr Emmett Vanderzee, has been arrested and shipped back to the US to stand trial for murder. This involves an incident the previous field season when a visiting journalist died from altitude sickness in Vanderzee's remote field camp in the Dry Valleys. Valena is faced with the termination of her project even before it's begun. Knowing her supervisor is a gentle and concerned person, Valena simply cannot believe that he would be involved in murder. So, until she gets shipped back on the next available flight, she decides to spend her time trying to figure out what happened in that field camp that could have led to the charge being laid. She discovers that the journalist was sent to do a "anti-climate change" story and to seek for information that would discredit the Professor and his work - a task that, on the face of it, provides sufficient motive for murder. But the Prof. had been hoping to do some persuading of his own and had hoped that the journalist would be swayed by the science - a naive hope at best. Conditions in the field in Antarctica are note conducive to a standard death investigation. But then Valena learns that many of the same field staff are in Antarctica again this year and that the McMurdo Station is a hotbed of gossip and a seedbed for intense relationships. So the evidence may be there in the complex relationships between the personnel. Much information about fieldwork in Antarctica. A good read and a neat plot twist at the end. (09/Sep/2008) Reviewed in Geolog 38(4):14-15, 2009.
Arthur, Elizabeth 1994
Antarctic Navigation. Ballantine Books, New York. 796 pages.
It was tough sledding to get through this book, even though the subject matter certainly interests me. The narrator is Morgan Lamont, an American, heiress to a paint fortune, whose ambition it is to recreate Scott's expedition to the South Pole, following her obsession with his writings and everything to do with the earlier ill-fated expedition. She sees this as a way to achieve personal understanding of the world and her place in it. Much of the book consists of her self-absorbed musings on the world around her, her own interior monologue dealing with events and her experiences. Utterly self-absorbed, she is not a very sympathetic character and her musings get rather tedious. (07/Sep/1998, 14/Feb/2004)
Batchelor, John Calvin 1983
The Birth of the People's Republic of Antarctica. The Dial Press, New York. 401 pages.
Another totally weird book. An apocalyptic vision of the future. 1973 in Stockholm and Grim Fiddle is born, son of an American draft dodger and a Swedish witch. Abandoned by his mother, he is brought up by his father and his father's friends, an assortment of mainly American outcasts. For some reasons, mainly economic, the social order starts to break down in the 1990s and Sweden is afflicted with xenophobia and religious mania. Foreigners are blamed for disasters and the persecutions become so bad that Grim is forced to flee together with his father, grandfather and "family". After drifting in the Atlantic, refused entry to ports because of the fear of plague that apparently is also devastating the world, fleeing pirates, and warships, they end up in the Falklands, also torn by war, flee to South Georgia and live there for some years (only part of the group - grandfather and rest of gang continue south). Eventually dissent and breakdown of social order again force Grim and his new "family" to flee from South Georgia. They end up in the South Shetland Islands, under control of the "Ice Cross", a perverted Red Cross organization set up by the remaining nations to minister to the thousands of feeling refugees, the so-called "Fleet of the Dammed". This organization wages war with the pirates. Also funded internationally by nations who see this civil war in the southern ocean as a useful way of getting rid of nuisance people. Eventually Grim takes over as king of the camps and defeats all opposition. Betrayed by his lieutenant, Lazarus, who founds the "People's Republic of Antarctica" and signs an international peace treaty. Grim is tried and condemned to perpetual imprisonment for his murder. Now it is 2037 and he is finishing writing his account of his youth and arrival in Antarctica and word comes that he is finally pardoned and is to be set free. All this is mixed up with Grim's vision of himself as the hero of a Norse legend, a hero from old rescuing the wretches from a world gone mad, and a continuing debate with Lazarus about the correct form of political and social organization to ensure peace and prevent anarchy. The general conclusion seems to be that all political systems are out worn as are the religious creeds, which have turned out to be the despairing people's last resort. Very strange book and vision of the future, the world order breaks down, not through nuclear war, but intensification of economic ills and social unrest, and enhanced intolerance and bigotry. (20/Nov/1983)
Dickinson, Matt 2003
Black Ice. Arrow Books, London. 538 pages.
This is a good read, a "rattling good yarn". It concerns a monomaniacal explorer who wants to walk across Antarctica and his conflict with a research group in a very remote winter camp. The geological team is drilling a deep hole to access an under-ice lake, and collect a sample of the water for analysis. When the explorer is rescued by them after his trip goes wrong, he sees them as just a way to finish his project. He is an abrasive and arrogant character to boot. The station burns down as he steals a snowmobile and so begins a desperate race across Antarctica to get to some supplies at a crashed aircraft. The tale captures the stress and hardship of the travel in such a harsh and unforgiving landscape. The story moves along at a fast pace. (13/Dec/2006) Reviewed in Geolog 36(2):22, (2007).
Kilian, Crawford 1979
Icequake. Seal Books, Toronto. 243 pages.
Catastrophic environmental change as seen through the eyes of a group of twenty-seven earth scientists, including geologists, geophysicists and glaciologists, and support staff at New Shackleton Station or "Shacktown", an Antarctic research station, run by CARP, the Commonwealth Antarctic Research Program. The rapid deterioration in conditions leaves them marooned in Antarctica, facing a bleak winter and hoping that rescue will occur in the spring. The reactions of this group of people, thrown on their own resources by environmental disaster, forms the central focus of the tale. The story emphasizes the fragility of social structures, such as transport and medical services for example, in the face of a catastrophe. The concatenation and speed of impact of the environmental changes seems rather over-exaggerated, but the tale certainly makes the point that environmental components are linked. This is an interesting and unusual tale and it is a refreshing change to see an attempt to make research and researchers seem real. (22/01/1989) Reviewed in Geolog 18(2):44-45 (1989).
McNeil, Jean 2000
The Ice Lovers. McArthur and Company, New York. 325 pages.
Set in the slightly near future in Antarctica. Follows events in the lives of four people: Nara and Luke in 2012 and David and Helen in 2016. In this vision, heightened security and tracking is everywhere, climate change is happening at an accelerating rate, crop failures are widespread, and people are being felled by new diseases and epidemics. Nara goes to the ice to study the effects of ocean warming on marine life. Luke is an older man, divorced, a pilot ferrying supplies and scientists around the continent. Not really a couple, they become friends after a fashion. Skip forward four years. David is a policy analyst for the British government, charged with responsibility for polar areas. For years, these have been backwaters in terms of global policy and events, but now these regions seem more important. He spends time in Antarctica keeping up with the science and scientists and trying to broker agreements to let science proceed. Helena is a historian and journalist and has come to Antarctica to investigate and write a story on Nara. Through months of isolation in the small community in the polar night, David and Helena understand themselves better. Science forms the background to this dystopian vision of the near future. (04/Jul/2011)
Preston, Douglas, and Lincoln Child 2000
The Ice Limit. Warner Books, New York. 491 pages.
On a distant island off the southwestern coast of Chile, an exceptionally large and apparently intact meteorite has been found. When he hears about it, Palmer Lloyd, the richest man in the world, wants it for his collection. He is prepared to do anything and spend any amount of money to obtain it, arrogantly confident that his wealth gives him the right of possession. The technological challenges of getting such a large object from its resting place to Lloyd's "Museum" in upstate New York are formidable. So Lloyd hires the best engineering company he can find to carry out this task. Besides the sheer mass of the meteorite, the environment of the island presents its own challenges. The location is bleak and remote, far from any town, with little possibility of help if things go wrong. The landscape is windswept and unsheltered. The climate is harsh and unrelenting. The oceans are stormy and cold. For Eli Glinn, the head of the firm Lloyd has hired to move the meteorite, these factors merely add relish to an already intriguing engineering problem. With a converted oil tanker, the Rolvaag, and highly-paid crewmen who know they are working on the fringes of legality, he sails for Tierra del Fuego. The Ice Limit is a tale that rockets along at a meteoric pace, highly readable and entertaining. (21/Apr/2005) Reviewed in Geolog 34(2):31, (2005).
Reeves-Stevens, Judith, and Garfield Reeves-Stevens 1998
Icefire. Pocket Books, New York. 703 pages.
Icefire is a long series of spectacular special effects on a cinematic scale - vast ocean waves sweeping along shorelines, thousands of people being killed in macabre ways, explosions galore, nuclear detonations, hi-tech gizmos, and destructive volcanic eruptions. The mayhem involves a stock cast of characters that includes rogue military officers, militant environmentalists, and bewildered technocrats, linked by a plot device predicated on conspiracy and technological contrivance. The pivotal event of the story is the rapid collapse of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The collapse is triggered, not by climatic change, but by a series of deliberately placed nuclear explosions that detach the Shelf from its moorings. Naturally, our heroes, Mitch and Cory, eventually save the world. Geologic structures in the Pacific play a crucial role in the resolution of the story. We see Mount Erebus in eruption, and the Pacific Ring of Fire igniting. We travel in many sophisticated vehicles on land, at sea, and in the air. We learn a lot about military hardware, command structure, and communications technology. The tale certainly races along at a supersonic clip. It contains too much "techno-babble" and too few believable characters for my taste. But if you like fast-paced techno-thrillers, then you'll probably enjoy this book. (21/Jan/2002) Reviewed in Geolog 31(1):32, (2002).
Robinson, Kim Stanley 1998
Antarctica. Bantam Books, New York. 653 pages.
The novel is set in the near-future, a time when commercial interests in Washington have blocked the renewal of the Antarctic Treaty. The future of the continent is at risk: should it be left in solitude, the last largely untouched place on earth, or drawn into the commercial extractive development network? Many sides of the debate have a voice in this story and the various viewpoints are articulated and represented by different groups of characters. Scientists and staffers at McMurdo, representatives of industrial interests, and eco-tourists all have different and often competing agendas. Stuck in the middle, trying to balance competing interests while obeying their fiscal and administrative masters back in Washington, are NSF staff members. They manage the logistic support at McMurdo Station. Sylvia Johnson, the NSF representative in charge, has a difficult job to do. She has to facilitate the scientific research, cope with the erratic behaviour of pompous and demanding Distinguished Visitors and the often eccentric participants in the Artists and Writers' Program, make sure that everyone stays safe, deal with emergencies, and bring the whole operation in under a constantly shrinking budget. This task is made even more difficult when some ecoteurs, self-appointed self- righteous guardians of the environment, decide to precipitate a crisis by disrupting communications and destroying several field camps. Now, in the window of opportunity before the military arrive, diverse groups come together to work out a new charter for Antarctica and present it to the remote decision-makers who will determine the land's fate. So, what should we do with Antarctica? You may not agree with Robinson's solution, but his excellent novel will give you plenty to think about. (12/Mar/2000, 22/Feb/2003) Reviewed in Geolog 34(1):24-25 (2005).

The remarks in black are my comments. Number of citations: 23
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