Fifty Degrees Below : Science in the Capital

  • by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Narrated by Peter Ganim, Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Series: Science in the Capital
  • 20 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Best-selling, award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson continues his groundbreaking trilogy of eco-thrillers - and propels us deeper into the awesome whirlwind of climatic change. 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 - which could trigger another phenomenon: abrupt climate change, resulting in temperatures...When the storm got bad, scientist Frank Vanderwal was at work, formalizing his return to the National Science Foundation for another year. He'd left the building just in time to help sandbag at Arlington Cemetery. Now that the torrent was over, large chunks of San Diego had eroded into the sea, and D.C. was underwater. Shallow lakes occupied the most famous parts of the city. Reagan Airport was awash and the Potomac had spilled beyond its banks. Rescue boats dotted the saturated cityscape. Everything Frank and his colleagues in the halls of science and politics feared had culminated in this massive disaster. And now the world looked to them to fix it.Whatever Frank can do, now that he is homeless, he'll have to do from his car. He's not averse to sleeping outdoors. Years of research have made him hyperaware of his status as just another primate. That plus his encounter with a Tibetan Buddhist has left him resolved to live a more authentic life. Hopefully, this will prepare him for whatever is to come....For even as D.C. bails out from the flood, a more extreme climate change looms. With the melting of the polar ice caps shutting down the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, another Ice Age could be imminent. The last time it happened, 11,000 years ago, it took just three years to start. BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction by author Kim Stanley Robinson.


What the Critics Say

"Perhaps the foremost practitioner of literary utopias." (Time)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

More of the same

More classic Kim Stanley Robinson like reading a story designed to teach you about research papers. The narration does not help and the character while interesting (in there thought processes) are as people just... well... dull! If you are interested in science then go for it if not then probably leave it.
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- P. J. Bell


Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would if the story would interest them. If you don't have an interest in ecological issues then you won't stick with the story past the bad narration.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I really like Frank. We seem to spend more time with him than anybody else, and his epiphany and change in lifestyle is really interesting.

Have you listened to any of Kim Stanley Robinson and Peter Ganim ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Only the previous book in this series. The story itself is gripping, but the narration really lets the story down, just like in the previous book.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did get involved with the disaster on the Kimbali island. The race against time with the rising sea levels is very tense and involving.

Any additional comments?

If only there was a better narrator. His pacing is really odd, with misplaced pauses and odd phrasing. The robotic voice is really distracting, I don't quite know what the editors were thinking!

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- Suzanne Martin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-12-2008
  • Publisher: Audible Studios