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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Forty Signs of Rain is the first book in Kim Stanley Robinson's trilogy of cautionary novels involving global warming and scrutinizing society's continued disregard of the increasingly perilous threat of the enhanced greenhouse effect.
Three unlikely protagonists -- Anna Quibler, a bioinformatics specialist at the National Science Foundation; her husband, Charlie, an environmental policy adviser; and Frank Vanderwal, a disgruntled NSF program director -- futilely try to make headway in a bureaucracy more concerned with maintaining the status quo than saving the human race. But when a massive Arctic Ocean ice pack breaks up, floods the surface of the North Atlantic with fresh water, and stalls the Atlantic current, it sets off a series of events that could trigger a new ice age. As extreme weather events thrash the world -- and entire countries sink beneath the rising water -- Anna, Charlie, and Frank begin to make some headway. But isn't all too little too late?
Forty Signs of Rain isn't so much an end-of-the-world thriller (like Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's Lucifer's Hammer) as it is a thinly veiled indictment of the often-adversarial relationship between science and politics in the United States. Why has the government done little or nothing to actively combat global warming? "An excess of reason is itself a form of madness…" Paul Goat Allen