Forty Signs of Rain

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9780007148868: Forty Signs of Rain

The first of three linked novels set in the strife-torn world of big science, operating out of the corrupt political heart of the developed world In the interface between big science and big business lies the potential for the absolute destruction or salvation of our world, as new discoveries open ever more remarkable doorways into the future. And while good intentions may underlie the science that leads to these discoveries, human greed, on an individual, political or corporate basis, will always seek a way to exploit each and every new development. Combining superb narrative and beautiful writing, these will not only be highly entertaining thrillers but will also offer the reader a privileged insight into and greater understanding of the bigger picture and how the jigsaw pieces of science, politics and business operate in the modern world. The events of the books will focus on: a science-industrial spy, based in part on the amazing multiple-lives of FBI spy Ronald Hansen; a US patent office lawyer; a venture capitalist; a Washington lobbyist; a Congressional aide; a Buddhist scientist, recently arrived in the West; a Senator and several scientists at a biotech lab outside Washington: and the storylines will include births, deaths, marriages and murder, as well as all the political, scientific and espionage elements: life on the micro, as well as the macro, level.

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From the Inside Flap:

The bestselling author of the classic Mars trilogy and The Years of Rice and Salt returns with a riveting new trilogy of cutting-edge science, international politics, and the real-life ramifications of global warming as they are played out in our nation's capital--and in the daily lives of those at the center of the action. Hauntingly realistic, here is a novel of the near future that is inspired by scientific facts already making headlines.
When the Arctic ice pack was first measured in the 1950s, it averaged thirty feet thick in midwinter. By the end of the century it was down to fifteen. One August the ice broke. The next year the breakup started in July. The third year it began in May. That was last year.
It's an increasingly steamy summer in the nation's capital as Senate environmental staffer Charlie Quibler cares for his young son and deals with the frustrating politics of global warming. Charlie must find a way to get a skeptical administration to act before it's too late--and his progeny find themselves living in Swamp World. But the political climate poses almost as great a challenge as the environmental crisis when it comes to putting the public good ahead of private gain.
While Charlie struggles to play politics, his wife, Anna, takes a more rational approach to the looming crisis in her work at the National Science Foundation. There a proposal has come in for a revolutionary process that could solve the problem of global warming--if it can be recognized in time. But when a race to control the budding technology begins, the stakes only get higher. As these everyday heroes fight to align the awesome forces of nature with the extraordinary march of modern science, they are unaware that fate is about to put an unusual twist on their work--one that will place them at the heart of an unavoidable storm.
With style, wit, and rare insight into our past, present, and possible future, this captivating novel propels us into a world on the verge of unprecedented change--in a time quite like our own. Here is Kim Stanley Robinson at his visionary best, offering a gripping cautionary tale of progress--and its price--as only he can tell it.

"From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author:

Kim Stanley Robinson was born in 1952 and, after travelling and working around the world, has now settled in his beloved California. He is widely regarded as the finest science fiction writer working today, noted as much for the verisimilitude of his characters as the meticulously researched hard science basis of his work. He has won just about every major sf award there is to win and is the author of the massively successful and lavishly praised Mars series.

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