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Arctic Rising (Arctic Rising #1)

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  769 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Global warming has transformed the Earth, and it's about to get even hotter. The ArcticIce Cap has all but melted, and the international community is racing desperately to claim the massive amounts of oil beneath the newly accessible ocean.

Anika Duncan is an airship pilot for the underfunded United Nations Polar Guard. Soon Anika finds herself caught up in a plot by a caba
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 299 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Tor Books
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Community Reviews

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I really wanted to give this book more stars. Just look at the positives:
1) Really great near-future world depiction. In many ways, it reminded me of Kim Stanley Robinson's "Mars" series, with the focus on terraforming, multinational corporations, and green terrorists.

2) Kudos to the author for the heavy focus on first nations people and the way in which global climate change would affect them disproportionately. It's not every day you read a espionage thriller peopled almost entirely with char
John Carter McKnight
Arctic Rising needs to be a movie, right now. It's brilliantly vivid, breakneck-paced, nail-bitingly suspenseful, with visually striking and well-defined characters, and would look amazing on the big screen.

As a novel, it's still a winner. I love the characters: the African lesbian pilot protagonist, the Caribbean dreadlocked spy, the gorgeous blonde drug capo and her subtly snarky Russian bodyguard, the strip club run as a worker-owned capitalist co-op, and above all the world-weary, elderly s
C.E. Murphy
I've just finished Tobias Buckell's absolutely terrific ARCTIC RISING, which is one of those rare books that I enjoyed so much that I dearly wish I'd written it, but am also not flailing with regret that I didn't nor would ever be able to write it. Instead I just enjoyed the hell out of it and am chomping at the bit for the sequel.

It's near-future SF, set after the melting of the Arctic ice cap. More accessible and adventure-oriented than Kim Stanley Robinson's brilliant Science trilogy, it is e
Lelia Taylor
Arctic Rising
Tobias S. Buckell
Tor Books, February 2012
ISBN 978-0-7653-1921-0

In a not very distant future, global warming has succeeded in melting nearly all of the Arctic icecap and the results are what we should probably expect. Massive oil fields previously buried are now available for the taking and a new global economy has grown up around the remnants of the ice. Countries and corporations vie for top dog position with Canada having a territorial edge and a world much like the Ameri
Kenyon Harbison
This is a fairly mediocre, though also quite readable, "eco-thriller" set in the near future. The ice caps have melted. A semi-country named Thule exists at the North Pole, built on the last of the ice, which they keep artificially-frozen. The "Artic Tigers" like Canada, Russia, rule the roost because global warming has given them tons more arable land while taking it away from other countries, and because they control so much of the newly-explorable oil/gas fields.

The main character, whose nam
Michael Cummings

Tobias Buckell, known for his Caribbean influenced science fiction Xenowealth series and additions to the Halo universe, brings us his first new novel in four years with "Arctic Rising". In the very near future, the Arctic ice cap has all but melted as rising global temperatures change the dynamics and balance of power in the world. Tundras are now prairies, and the once ice locked islands of
May 15, 2012 Jim added it
Arctic Rising is a bit of a change from other Tobias Buckell books I’ve read. While it’s definitely science fiction, it’s near-future SF with a strong “thriller” feel. (The genre, not the Michael Jackson song. There are no dancing zombies in this book.)

The protagonist is Anika Duncan, an airship pilot for the U.N. Polar Guard who gets shot down after discovering a nuclear missile being smuggled into the Arctic. She soon finds herself in the middle of a global power struggle. The Gaia Corporation
Climate change meets action adventure! After years working in war zones, Anika Duncan is happy to have found a peaceful job piloting airships for the UN. Then her ship is shot down while patrolling arctic waters, and she realizes it's part of a conspiracy with global consequences.

The action in this is top-notch: easy to follow but inventive and absolutely thrilling. Anika is a great, unique character, with a strong moral center and a lot of guts. And the plot itself is a lot of fun, with twists
This book is bad, just plain bad. The story is lame, on the level of what you might find in a cliched Hollywood thriller, and it is poorly told. The author has little sense of character. Not only are they cardboard and one-dimensional, but they aren't consistently imagined. There's a lot of violence as well, some of it totally unrealistic, again like a Hollywood movie. For example, the heroine and her lover beat the living crap out of a guy with brass knuckles. They are described hitting him in ...more
Geoffrey Allan Plauché
I have previously read and reviewed Tobias S. Buckell's Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin , both of which I enjoyed. On the other hand, I am skeptical of alarmist claims about global warming. So it was with some ambivalence, a mixture of excitement and trepidation, that I began reading my advance review copy (ARC) of Buckell's latest novel -- his first foray into techno-thrillers -- Arctic Rising (Tor, 2012). Though he had me worried a time or two, I was pleasantly surprised and glad I read it.

Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers:

After global warming has ravaged the earth and the polar ice caps have almost entirely melted, the world is a dramatically different place. With the recession of glaciers and ice that had previously covered inaccessible regions of Canada, Norway, Finland, Greenland, Iceland and other northern regions, a slew of rich natural resources are ripe for the taking. With a rush to move up north to mine the jewels, oil, an
Whether you call it climate change or global warming, by the time Tobias Buckell’s long awaited new novel Arctic Rising gets started, the results are obvious: the Arctic ice cap has melted down, and the Northwest Passage has opened completely for shipping. Companies are rushing into areas like Greenland to take advantage of the abundant natural resources that are much more easily accessible now all that pesky ice is no longer in the way.

At the same time, nuclear electricity generation has become
This near-future techno-(or eco-)thriller is a very good novel, both extremely thought-provoking and very fast-paced. I believe Ian Fleming's work (or perhaps the films based upon them) must have been a strong influence; in fact, Bond is mentioned a time or two in the text. I was unconvinced that the protagonist (a gay African woman) could have accomplished some of the things that she does in the story, but that may just be personal bias on my part. The world is extrapolated in an intelligent, i ...more
This was a fine book, but I think just not my bag. I've enjoyed Buckell's short fiction, and really like the way he isn't bound to the male/white/hetero protagonist template. However, I'm just not big on the techno thriller style of science fiction. I tried to get into it, and Anika was an interesting character with more depth than expected, but the book was just too much of a blockbuster movie style romp for my tastes. I finished it even though my interest really faded in the last hundred pages ...more
Allan Dyen-shapiro
I picked this up as I saw it billed as a novel about global warming. And global warming did indeed underlie the world building. Navigation through the Northwest Passage is a given, but the floating island riveted together with artificial snowpack right at the North Pole was a brilliant idea. And there were a few other very nice ideas that I won't go into to avoid spoilers.

But an idea-driven story this wasn't. There were lots of ideas, largely in monologs. One character thinks a market-based solu
Talk about your nonstop thrill ride. The action starts on, like, page 5 and doesn't end until p. 335. And, unlike the lion's share of thrillers out there, the action was all somewhat plausible--and the doomsday scenario all too probable.

And big ups for the mixed-race heroine and her Carib secret agent sidekick. They didn't make me cringe once.
Jessica Thomas
What's not to love? A beautiful half-British, half-Nigerian female protagonist kicking ass across the arctic in a near future setting that beautifully paints a fascinating scenario of the social, environmental, economic and political impacts of climate change. Tore through this novel on the beach in St. Thomas with a sunburned nose to show for it!
Arctic rising is set in the not so distant future in the polar region now mostly devoid of ice but a mecca for those individuals hoping to harvest now accessible oil deposits. In this new arctic, smugglers, toxic waste dumpers etc. are right at home. The story opens with our heroine Anika monitoring for individuals dumping nuclear waste. She and her partner spot a ship that looks suspiciously as if it might be carrying nuclear waste. The ship fires on Anika’s blimp and they crash. The crash even ...more
This was a well-thought out and written science fiction novel about what it would be like in the future with the global warming trend. The reason I didn't give this book five stars is because it had a few holes in the plot, but other than that, Arctic Rising was suspenseful and fun to read.
Finally a new book from Tobias Buckell! Readers will definitely see the influence of Paolo Bacilagupi in this one. I enjoyed the politics, the kick-ass dyke protaganist, and the setting, though it wasn't as rich as some of his others.
One gets exactly what is promised in the description.

A satisfying read with intelligent and emotional characters in a believable setting which hopefully will not come true.
Starts off as a pretty good action thriller, but the last 1/4 or so seems muddled. Points for good ethnic and gender diversity without seeming forced.
Cynthia Serrano
I am beginning to really like Tobias Buckell. This is only the second book of his that I have read. He mixes speculative fiction, spy fiction, complex racial issues, global politics, gives you villains who can destroy armies with a single push of a laptop button. He writes exciting, well plotted and includes unlikely heroes that you want to know better.
Also, I have listened to both audio versions of his Books and the readers, Carolyn Michelle Smith (Arctic Rising) and Prentice Onayemi (Hurrican
I think it's fair to say that this just wasn't my cup of tea, despite its potential, and i gave up about halfway in. Set in a post-global warming future where the polar caps have melted, Arctic Rising includes many of the incredibly interesting geopolitical details that are fun to work with as a mind game. The main character was neat...but the story itself lacked the depth I've come to expect from a sci-fi novel, and was more just a typical thriller set in an interesting setting. The pacing also ...more
Jesse C
Fun. Snow Crash meets Kim Stanley Robinson's global warming trilogy. It doesn't have the same deep sociological component that you get from KSR and the characters have a slight tendency to do a 'stand and recite', but overall very enjoyable. Actually reminded me quite a bit of Invisible Armies in terms of pacing; very cinematic in feel.
If you like the literary equivalent of a summer action movie, may I suggest Arctic Rising? Set in a near future when the polar ice caps have nearly all melted, changing the geological and political boundaries of the world, Arctic Rising follows Arnika, an African airship pilot, as her world is turned upside down and she finds herself on the run, trying to find answers. It may not be brilliant, but it was a lot of fun. (And there aren't nearly enough books in the sub-genre that are worth reading, ...more
I've heard Buckell speak at ConFusion (a SF convention near Detroit) for a few years, and always thought, "I need to remember to get my hands on his books." Well, this year I was in luck -- his publisher was promoting him and giving some of his books away. I started with this one.

I wish GoodReads had a half-star rating, because this would get 3 1/2 stars from me. It didn't quite reach 4 stars, which (for me) is "definitely recommend to most people." But every time I picked it up, I didn't want t
It is all to easy to imagine the near-future world in Tobias S. Buckell’s ARCTIC RISING. The Polar ice cap has all but melted and the Arctic has opened up as a shipping lane, place to live and work, and of course – oil. Anika usually has a fairly easy job of monitoring shipping through the Arctic waters from her airship, until the day she looks a bit closer at a ship showing radioactive readings and is shot out of the sky. What follows begins as a simple need to find out why and quickly becomes ...more
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Born in the Caribbean, Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times Bestselling author. His novels and over 50 short stories have been translated into 17 languages and he has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author. He currently lives in Ohio.
More about Tobias S. Buckell...

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