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50° Au Dessous De Zéro (Science in the Capital #2)

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,917 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
Des pluies diluviennes ont submergé Washington. Peu à peu, les eaux se retirent, mais les inondations ont eu des conséquences effroyables.
Les sans-abri sont légion et les catastrophes s'enchaînent : la montée des eaux océaniques raye de la carte les nations insulaires. Les États-Unis sont frappés par une vague de froid qui fait craindre au gouvernement le début d'une nouve
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Paperback, 768 pages
Published June 2011 by Pocket (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rob
Apr 06, 2014 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...I think Fifty Degrees Below is a better novel than Forty Signs of Rain. It's his most political novel up to that point and probably also the one that is most likely to polarize readers. The tighter focus on a single character will not be appreciated by all readers but does give us the most detailed look into the mind of a type character that Robinson portrays in a number of his novels: the scientist engaged with society, working not just to expand the sum of human knowledge but to put this kn ...more
Sara J.
Jul 05, 2015 Sara J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of KSR, climate change people in general
Recommended to Sara by: Have been eyeing this since I saw it at my local library...
Shelves: science-fiction
Great stuff. This continues on from where 40 Signs of Rain left off and I really, really enjoyed it. Frank lives in a tree house! How could you *not* like that? Let me get my thoughts straight on this first before I write something more...

Okay, have went through my thoughts. Or rather ignored them since I finished the book. Let's just say that as a testament to how much of a KSR fan I am that I have already bought the 3rd book in this series! I have read about 2 thirds of about 3-4 trilogies th
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Natasha Hurley-Walker
Arrrrgh, I really wanted to like this a lot more than I did! The problem is, I can't stand Frank! The last book was evenly split between three point-of-view characters: Anna, workaholic scientist; Charlie, her husband and environmental adviser to a senator, and Frank, a narcissistic professor who enjoys poverty tourism. In this book, we get ONE scene from Anna's point-of-view, two or three from Charlie's (all of which are him worrying about his son, Joe, because Robinson is so intent on making s ...more
Waffle  Writer
Don't let my low rating get you down, or make you stray from reading this book. Goodreads marks 2 stars as "It was Okay" for a reason. This book, it was okay. I enjoyed the last few chapters alot, and if the entire novel had been like that, the book would have raised up to a 4 star, possibly. But anyway, this is an adult sci-fi novel, good for an under-the-covers read at night when the liht is dim, and you are trying to stay awake. Or fall asleep. Either one.
I started this last year. Over 6 mont
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Lynne Premo
Shit just got real in the second book in Robinson's climate change trilogy. With DC recovering from the floods experienced at the end of Forty Signs, the climactic situation only devolves further. However, at the same time, the political situation improves somewhat (not surprisingly, the Republicans opt to fellate their petrochemical johns while the world is drowning and burning and freezing around them), with NSF stepping forward in the vacuum of action to do something. Unlike a lot of 2/3 nove ...more
Michael
Feb 21, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second in a series about climate change. Like the first one, this was long and not especially exciting to read. Not much happens. The Gulf stream conveyor shuts down. It gets incredibly cold in W. Europe and the eastern US. Scientist geo-engineer a fix. That's pretty much it.

While I wouldn't characterize this book as exciting, I did enjoy it because--at this point--I am pretty invested in the characters. The main character, Frank, is a scientist who decides to try and live as paleolithic man onc
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Renee
Jan 23, 2016 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was particularly timely given this weekend's giant blizzard :) I liked it, and later this year, i'll have to finish the 3rd book in the series. Now - if only we could find some way to get a political candidate like the one described in this book...
Scott Shepard
I’ve liked Robinson’s novels before, particularly the Mars trilogy and The Years of Rice and Salt. So I was a little disappointed at how flat this novel fell.

This novel can be best described as: political and environmental science fiction. It is the second book in a trilogy about climate change on earth and the politics and science surrounding an escalating series of climate disasters. I have not read the first book in the series, and perhaps that lead to some of my confusion as the book referen
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Denise Barney
Oct 06, 2015 Denise Barney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book last night at the airport, typed a review on my Nook, and lost it all. /sigh.

Kim Stanley Robinson is a masterful writer. I found myself engrossed in the story, staying up way too late to read just one more chapter, despite the fact that this story is, in many ways, very frustrating. (Second books--or second films--in a trilogy often are.)

"Fifty Degrees Below" is the second in the series of "Science in the Capital." The flood waters have receded from Washington, D.C., but rem
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Quinton
Sep 03, 2015 Quinton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I understand so much seeing that this was the second book in a series! I didn't see that advertised on the book itself. I was wondering why the relationships or even ages of none of the characters was ever made clear. Beware, anyone who was thinking to pick this up without reading whatever "Science in the Capitol, #1" is called.

I liked this one better than The Years of Rice and Salt. I liked the character better and I liked the goings-on better. But, in the same vein with that one, I think the b
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Ethan Everhart
I stopped two thirds of the way through, which is the first Robinson novel with which I've done that. The problem is that Robinson took the least interesting character from Forty Signs of Rain and made him the main viewpoint character. Frank is obsessed with sociobiology (which, as someone who majored in anthropology, I am thoroughly convinced is bunk), so there are several (an incredible number) of lengthy objectifying descriptions of women and their evolutionary fitness. Frank's biggest person ...more
Jon
May 03, 2016 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was 100% not what I expected. Based on reading the first one, I expected more science-y things happening as the entire world's climate went horribly wrong. And it kinda had that in it. Kind of.

To me, this was a prolonged essay on what it means to be human, how we're really still all just thinly clothed animals, and why that might be. The climate and science were just there to set the scene, and provide some background color.

It was good, and I liked it, but....what in the hell. I'm on the fe
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Treesong
Sep 23, 2014 Treesong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author designs the books in this trilogy so that they can be read separately if necessary. However, I would highly recommend reading them as a trilogy. Fifty Degrees Below picks up where Forty Signs of Rain left off. It is a masterful exploration of the interaction between climate change and various potential scientific and governmental responses to it. It's also the compelling story of a loose network of scientists and political advisors whose interesting personal and professional stories c ...more
Neith
Jan 25, 2015 Neith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have more mixed feelings about Fifty Degrees Below than I did about Forty Signs of Rain.

The good:
- Frank's adoption of a nomadic, tree-dwelling lifestyle scratches a childhood fantasy itch.
- The characters start really digging into the problem of leveraging the NSF to address climate change, which is what I'm reading for.

The bad:
- I found Frank more likeable than he was in the previous book, but I still miss the chapters about the Quiblers.
- Something about the shadow-agency plot-line reall
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Thermalsatsuma
May 25, 2010 Thermalsatsuma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Frank takes to the woods
Palaeolithic lifestyle
Now comes the big freeze
Meran
Jan 16, 2016 Meran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in global warming
Book II of III

Set in Washington DC, immediately after the events of Book I, the writing has greatly improved. At least, so far, the first chapter of 10. Maybe the author has his his stride for the series? Maybe it's just that I'm not being treated to How To Raise a Baby my Mr. Mom. THAT was really overdone in the first book. If all this happens, temp fluctuations like the author says, it's going to be a rough, but interesting ride. Weather talk will be all the rage!

The flood waters have receded,
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Ian Robinson
Mar 02, 2015 Ian Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
KSR's prose is very dry - as one might expect from someone who wants to make more a discussion of the science of the issues, than artificially contrived drama's and action. The story, like others by the writer, cover a group of connected but disparate people, all scientists, while dealing with a major event in human future history. in this case, it is the rapid climate change brought about by human pollution. The second in the "Science In The Capital" series, we follow on from "Forty Signs of Ra ...more
Zach
Mar 22, 2009 Zach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second installment of KSR's global warming trilogy is much more satisfying than the opener. A big weakness of the first book was its overreach in terms of characters, trying to develop too many at once (4 or 5), in alternating chapters, for me to become really invested in any of them. This book drops a couple characters completely and focuses much more intensely on Frank, an NSF researcher experimenting with a paleolithic lifestyle. It's his thoughts on the modern human condition and how far ...more
Richard
Mar 11, 2011 Richard rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: HardSF Group
I have a lot of respect for Kim Stanley Robinson the massive information dumps he produces. But affection? Not so much. I think his Mars trilogy was the first I read, and I note that I gave it four stars. At the time, I’m certain that I was overawed by his encyclopedic approach.

Where this is both a big win and a big loss is in the science. The action is centered at the top of the National Science Foundation and their efforts to get a grip on how the climate is changing and what mitigation strate
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Holly
I admire Kim Stanley Robinson for writing this entertaining, polemical series about climate change and policy. Reading it is undeniably educational (in the sense of being pedantic, didactic; but also in an honorable stop-being-so-complacent-we-have-to-do-something-NOW way). The expository science writing seems accurate, but the story is told so earnestly it ends up sounding really dorky, and there was a young-adult novel coziness that was comforting but sometimes embarrassing to read. The narrat ...more
Tim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John
Aug 22, 2008 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sequel to Forty Signs of Rain, a story I felt didn't need a sequel. I liked it (a lot) but it wasn't as moving as the previous. It is a tale of times much like our own; it may, in fact, be 2004. The world is in deep shit, because the Gulf Stream has stopped due to large influxes of fresh water in the northern Atlantic. Without the Gulf Stream for warmth, Northern Europe is going to feel a lot more like Northern Canada, and in January, the coldest winter in ten thousand years hits the ...more
Heather Pearson
Nov 30, 2012 Heather Pearson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Global warming has become a reality. Washington DC experience severe flooding, the Atlantic Gulf Stream has stalled and the Antarctic ice sheet is breaking up. These are the calamities that Kim Stanley Robinson has unveiled in his 2006 novel Fifty Degrees Below. In light of Hurricane Sandy a few weeks back, this story line doesn't seem too far fetched at all.

Scientist Frank Vanderwal is working with the NSF (National Science Foundation) to brainstorm and implement workable solutions the the glob
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Alan
Feb 13, 2009 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After setting the near-future climactic calamity in Forty Days or Rain... KSR expands more on Frank, the nature-loving surfer/genomic scientist and deep-thinker from the first volume, getting some interesting movement in his plot-line... Charlie the Wonder Staffer/Mr. Mom for Senator Chase and his wife, Anna, co-worker to Frank at NSF deal with climate change as a post-modern single family (well... one that has both a Biomics doctorate and Senate technocrat policy wonk in the house)... and their ...more
Brian Maicke
The second in Robinson's climate change trilogy. I liked it more than the first book which is why the higher rating, though this book is probably more a 2.5 star. You could probably skip over Forty signs of rain with out missing a whole lot.

All that being said, it still moves very slowly for a scientific thriller. There are lots of meetings at NSF and lots of characters musing over their decisions. The story focuses more on Frank, who I didn't much care for through the first book. He becomes a b
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Joe
Jun 23, 2009 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a science fiction novel. The main storyline involves a scientist working for DARPA, studying and fighting climate change, but as with most of Kim Stanley Robinson's book, the heart of the matter is not the action of the story, but the reactions of the characters. It's also the middle book of a trilogy, although I didn't realize that when I started reading it (and I didn't feel as though I missed much by skipping the first one).

I picked up this book early on a Sunday when I had a little b
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Tim
Nov 14, 2013 Tim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm still surprised and disappointed both in the book and my low rating. I loved Robinson's Mar's trilogy, and had high hopes for this modern book on climate change and the challenges to our civilization it poses.

Instead, it is a wandering, aimless reflection jumping between science and how scientists are misunderstood (just give them their collective head and they would save us from our greed and stupidity), as well as the potential of bureaucracies and money and funding and programs - again if
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Christopher
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alan Zendell
Nov 18, 2011 Alan Zendell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If not for the quirky behavior of some of the characters which struck me as distracting from an otherwise compelling story, I'd have rated this a 5-star book that ought to be read by everyone. It's science fiction, but it contains a lot of horrifying science fact. And horrifying is definitely the right description, more so than anything I've seen classified as "Horror".

The 2004 film "The Day After Tomorrow" projected an apocalyptic view of the consequences of global warming. it was great theater
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Luke
Sep 16, 2013 Luke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On my second read through Fifty Degrees Below, I remembered why I never finished the series.

As with all Kim Stanley Robinson, the ideas in the book are great and represent a good, well-researched, hard sic fi look at a not-so-speculative world. Unfortunately, the characters are a bit harder to get into and the plot is a bit of a trudge.

Ultimately, the Science in the Capital series means to take on a pressing problem and the social realities that underpin it, cause it, and suffer from it, and tur
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Kim Stanley Robinson is an American science fiction writer, probably best known for his award-winning Mars trilogy.

His work delves into ecological and sociological themes regularly, and many of his novels appear to be the direct result of his own scientific fascinations, such as the 15 years of research and lifelong fascination with Mars which culminated in his most famous work. He has, due to his
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Other Books in the Series

Science in the Capital (3 books)
  • Forty Signs of Rain (Science in the Capital #1)
  • Sixty Days and Counting (Science in the Capital, #3)

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“It is easy to live multiple lives! What is hard is to be a whole person” 9 likes
“All the discussion in the meeting that day had centered on the impacts to humans. That would be the usual way of most such discussions; but whole biomes, whole ecologies would be altered, perhaps devastated. That was what they were saying, really, when they talked about the impact on humans: they would lose the support of the domesticated part of nature. Everything would become an exotic; everything would have to go feral.” 1 likes
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