George V. Reilly

Review: Sixty Days and Counting

Sixty Days and Counting
Title: Sixty Days and Counting
Author: Kim Stanley Robinson
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 388
Keywords: science fiction
Reading period: 25-26 May, 2007

This book concludes Robinson’s trilogy about en­vi­ron­men­tal collapse, begun in Forty Signs of Rain and continued in Fifty Degrees Below.

Set in the near future, major climate change has already begun: freezing winters, melting icecaps, and rising sealevels. Senator Phil Chase has just been elected President and his aide, Charlie Quibler, must help the new ad­min­is­tra­tion tackle en­vi­ro­men­tal collapse head on. Frank Vanderwal, formerly of the National Science Foundation, follows his boss to the White House when she becomes the new pres­i­den­t’s science advisor.

Robinson draws a fright­en­ing and realistic picture of how climate change could occur, and the inevitable denial and feuding in the human response. He is at his best when describing how scientists actually work, and somewhat less successful with the personal dramas of his characters. Robinson thinks big, not just in the global scale of climate change, but also in some of the possible ter­raform­ing coun­ter­mea­sures.

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