Author: Kim Stanley Robinson
Release Date: 2010-07-21
The award-winning author of the Mars trilogy takes readers to the last pure wilderness on Earth in this powerful and majestic novel. “Antarctica may well be the best novel of the best ecological novelist around.”—Locus It is a stark and inhospitable place, where the landscape itself poses a challenge to survival, yet its strange, silent beauty has long fascinated scientists and adventurers. Now Antarctica faces an uncertain future. The international treaty which protects the continent is about to dissolve, clearing the way for Antarctica’s resources to be plundered, its eerie beauty to be savaged. As politicians wrangle over its fate, major corporations begin probing for its hidden riches. Adventurers come, as they have for more than a century, seeking the wild, untamed land even as they endanger it with their ever-growing numbers. And radical environmentalists carry out a covert campaign of sabotage to reclaim the land from those who would destroy it for profit. All who come here have their own agenda, and all will fight to ensure their vision of the future for the remote and awe-inspiring world at the South Pole. Praise for Antarctica “Forbidding yet fascinating, like the continent it describes . . . echoes Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air.”—People “[Antarctica] should be included in any short-list of books about the frozen continent.... Compelling characters...a rich and dense story...Robinson has succeeded not only in drawing human characters but also in bringing Antarctica to life. Whatever happens in the outer world, Antarctica—both the book and the continent—will become part of the reader's interior landscape.”—The Washington Post Book World “The epic of Antarctica. This is the James A. Michener novel of the South Pole. If the meaty one-word title didn’t give it away, the writing would. The whole human history of the continent is here.”—Interzone “Antarctica will take your breath away.”—Associated Press “A gripping tale of adventure on the ice.”—Publishers Weekly “Passionate, informed...vastly entertaining.”—Kirkus Reviews “Robinson writes about geography and geology with the intensity and unhurried attention to detail of a John McPhee.”—The New York Times Book Review
Author: David Day
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2013
Explains the history of Antarctica, focusing on the explorers and sailors drawn to the continent, the scientific investigations that have taken place there, and the geopolitical implications of the landmass.
Author: James McClintock
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2012-09-18
The bitter cold and three months a year without sunlight make Antarctica virtually uninhabitable for humans. Yet a world of extraordinary wildlife persists in these harsh conditions, including leopard seals, giant squid, 50-foot algae, sea spiders, coral, multicolored sea stars, and giant predatory worms. Now, as temperatures rise, this fragile ecosystem is under attack. In this closely observed account, one of the world's foremost experts on Antarctica gives us a highly original and distinctive look at a world that we're losing.
Author: Sara Wheeler
Publisher: Modern Library (Paperback)
Release Date: 1999
The first woman ever sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation in Antarctica offers a sharply observed, lively account of expeditions into the wilderness of Antarctica, including her own. 10,000 first printing.
• At age fourteen, she swam twenty-six miles from Catalina Island to the California mainland. • At ages fifteen and sixteen, she broke the men’s and women’s world records for swimming the English Channel—a thirty-three-mile crossing in nine hours, thirty-six minutes. • At eighteen, she swam the twenty-mile Cook Strait between North and South Islands of New Zealand, was caught on a massive swell, found herself after five hours farther from the finish than when she started, and still completed the swim. • She was the first to swim the Strait of Magellan, the most treacherous three-mile stretch of water in the world. • The first to swim the Bering Strait—the channel that forms the boundary line between the United States and Russia—from Alaska to Siberia, thereby opening the U.S.-Soviet border for the first time in forty-eight years, swimming in thirty-eight-degree water in four-foot waves without a shark cage, wet suit, or lanolin grease. • The first to swim the Cape of Good Hope (a shark emerged from the kelp, its jaws wide open, and was shot as it headed straight for her). In this extraordinary book, the world’s most extraordinary distance swimmer writes about her emotional and spiritual need to swim and about the almost mystical act of swimming itself. Lynne Cox trained hard from age nine, working with an Olympic coach, swimming five to twelve miles each day in the Pacific. At age eleven, she swam even when hail made the water “like cold tapioca pudding” and was told she would one day swim the English Channel. Four years later—not yet out of high school—she broke the men’s and women’s world records for the Channel swim. In 1987, she swam the Bering Strait from America to the Soviet Union—a feat that, according to Gorbachev, helped diminish tensions between Russia and the United States. Lynne Cox’s relationship with the water is almost mystical: she describes swimming as flying, and remembers swimming at night through flocks of flying fish the size of mockingbirds, remembers being escorted by a pod of dolphins that came to her off New Zealand. She has a photographic memory of her swims. She tells us how she conceived of, planned, and trained for each, and re-creates for us the experience of swimming (almost) unswimmable bodies of water, including her most recent astonishing one-mile swim to Antarctica in thirty-two-degree water without a wet suit. She tells us how, through training and by taking advantage of her naturally plump physique, she is able to create more heat in the water than she loses. Lynne Cox has swum the Mediterranean, the three-mile Strait of Messina, under the ancient bridges of Kunning Lake, below the old summer palace of the emperor of China in Beijing. Breaking records no longer interests her. She writes about the ways in which these swims instead became vehicles for personal goals, how she sees herself as the lone swimmer among the waves, pitting her courage against the odds, drawn to dangerous places and treacherous waters that, since ancient times, have challenged sailors in ships. From the Hardcover edition.
Gavin Francis fulfilled a lifetime's ambition when he spent fourteen months as the basecamp doctor at Halley, a profoundly isolated British research station on the Caird Coast of Antarctica. So remote, it is said to be easier to evacuate a casualty from the International Space Station than it is to bring someone out of Halley in winter. Antarctica offered a year of unparalleled silence and solitude, with few distractions and a very little human history, but also a rare opportunity to live among emperor penguins, the only species truly at home in he Antarctic. Following Penguins throughout the year -- from a summer of perpetual sunshine to months of winter darkness -- Gavin Francis explores the world of great beauty conjured from the simplest of elements, the hardship of living at 50 c below zero and the unexpected comfort that the penguin community bring. Empire Antarctica is the story of one man and his fascination with the world's loneliest continent, as well as the emperor penguins who weather the winter with him. Combining an evocative narrative with a sublime sensitivity to the natural world, this is travel writing at its very best
Author: Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton
Publisher: Library of Alexandria
Release Date: 2016-10-21
If Ross Island be likened to a castle, flanking that wall the the world's end, The Great Ice Barrier, Erebus is the castle keep. Its flanks and foothills clothed with spotless now, patched with the pale blue of glacier ice, its active crater crowned with a spreading smoke cloud, and overlooking the vast white plain of the Barrier to the East and South, the dark waters of Ross Sea and McMurdo Sound to the North and West, and still further West, the snowy summits of the extinct volcanoes of Victoria Land, Erebus not only commands a view of incomparable grandeur and interest, but is in itself one of the fairest and most majestic sights that Earth can show. Erebus, as seen from our winter quarters, showed distinctly the traces of the three craters, observed from a distance by the British National Antarctic Expedition of 1901 - 04. From sea level up to about 5,500 feet, the lower slopes ascend in a gentle but gradually steepening curve to the base of the first crater. They are largely covered with snow and glacier ice down to the shore, where the ice either breaks off to form a cliff, or, as at Glacier Tongue, spreads out seawards in the form of a narrow blue pier five miles in length: near Cape Rows, however, there are three long smooth ridges of brown glacial gravels and moraines mostly bare of snow. Those are interspersed with masses of black volcanic rock, and extend to an altitude of about 1,000ft. Above this, and up to above 5,000 feet above the sea, all is snow and ice, except of an occasional outcrop of dark lava, or a black parasitic cone, sharply silhouetted agains the light background of snow or sky. At a level of about 6,000 feet, and just north of the second, or main crater, rises a huge black fang of rock, the relic of the oldest and lowest crater. Immediately south of this the principal cone sweeps upwards in that graceful double curve, concave below, convex above, so characteristic of volcanos. Rugged buttresses of dark volcanic rock, with steep snow slopes between, jut out at intervals, and support the rim of this second crater, which reaches an altitude of fully 11,400 feet. From the north edge of this crater the ground seemed to ascend, at first gradually, then somewhat abruptly to the third crater, now active, further south. It is above this last crater that there continually floats a huge steam cloud. At the time of Ross’ Expedition this cloud was reddened with the glow of molten lava, and some thought they saw lava streams descending from the crater. The National Antarctic Expedition had also once or twice witnessed a similar glow, and although, during the few weeks we had been at Cape Royds we had not observed a similar phenomenon, we had at times seen the great steam cloud shoot up suddenly, in the space of a minute or so, to a height of fully 2,000 feet above the mountain top. This sudden uprush was obviously the result of a vast steam explosion in the interior of the volcano, and proved that it still possessed considerable activity.
Author: Walter Dean Myers
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Walter Dean Myers presents a thrilling record of Antarctica and the expedition parties that have uncovered the frozen continent throughout history. Walter Dean Myers brings the dramatic race to the South Pole to life in Antarctica, tracking the explorers of the South Pole - including James Cook, Ernest Shackleton, and Richard Evelyn Bird - and the dangers they encountered there, as well as their contributions to science. The heroism and adventure - and sometimes the ultimate failure - of the expeditions are depicted in Myers's powerful prose, and through the photos, maps, and illustrations that complement the text.
Author: Nicholas Johnson
Release Date: 2011-04-01
Welcome to Big Dead Place, a grunt's eye view of America's Antarctic Program that shatters the well-worn cliches of polar literature. Here the heroic camaraderie and romantic desolation give way to sterile buildings populated by characters like a ...
In the whirling noise of our advancing technological age, we are seemingly never alone, never out-of-touch with the barrage of electronic data and information. Felicity Aston, physicist and meteorologist, took two months off from all human contact as she became the first woman -- and only the third person in history – to ski across the entire continent of Antarctica alone. She did it, too, with the simple apparatus of cross-country, without the aids used by her prededecessors – two Norwegian men – each of whom employed either parasails or kites. Astons journey across the ice at the bottom of the world asked of her the extremes in terms of mental and physical bravery, as she faced the risks of unseen cracks buried in the snow so large they might engulf her and hypothermia due to brutalizing weather. She had to deal, too, with her emotional vulnerability in face of the constant bombardment of hallucinations brought on by the vast sea of whiteness, the lack of stimulation to her senses as she faced what is tantamount to a form of solitary confinement. Like Cheryl Strayeds Wild, Felicity Astons Alone in Antarctica becomes an inspirational saga of one womans battle through fear and loneliness as she honestly confronts both the physical challenges of her adventure, as well as her own human vulnerabilities.
A photographic call-to-action on the environmental dangers being posed to Antarctica features lavish images showcasing the stark natural beauty of its icebergs, glaciers, and wildlife, in a volume that shares provocative concerns about global warming and includes an accompanying DVD of interviews with environmental scientists and activists.
Antarctica, a vast land remote from the other continents and still the least known of them all, provides a unique international laboratory for science. Despite the costs, a growing number of countries are supporting basic scientific research on the continent and in its surrounding seas. Our knowledge of life in this extreme environment, although limited, suggests that it is a key environment for many areas of science. Potential economic developments for food and minerals as well as increasing political complications might jeopardise the present scientific accord in the future. Now is the time to take stock: what do we know about Antarctic ecology? What are the threats and how can they be met? In this volume Antarctic scientists from six countries write about the Antarctic ecosystem.