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Sixty Days and Counting

(Science in the Capital #3)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  2,048 ratings  ·  180 reviews
By the time Phil Chase is elected president, the world’s climate is far on its way to irreversible change. Food scarcity, housing shortages, diminishing medical care, and vanishing species are just some of the consequences. The erratic winter the Washington, D.C., area is experiencing is another grim reminder of a global weather pattern gone haywire: bone-chilling cold one ...more
Paperback, 560 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Spectra (first published 2007)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  2,048 ratings  ·  180 reviews


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Claudia
I have mixed feelings about this series. On one hand, it has a lot of interesting facts, not only on climate change but on many, many other topics. On the other hand, it has too much politics for my taste and a couple of side storylines which could have been less detailed.

Still, this last part ties all loose ends and we get a reasonable ending. If it starts out as a dystopia in the first volume, it ends up almost as a utopia. But one can dream, right? A country to have a president whose prime co
...more
Bryan Alkire
Jun 21, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bad novel. Only reason I read this one was because I read the first two in the trilogy years ago. There is really nothing good to say about this one. It’s basically a string of tiny pointless subplots strung together…might have been better written as a series of short stories. The writing is horrible, nothing but bas dialogue, over-described scenes and lots and lots of introspection. I found I could skip ahead 5 pages or so without losing much as there was little action. What action there was co ...more
Tim
May 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
A homeless man named Frank somehow gets a post at the National Science Foundation studying alternative energy and fighting global warming. After a year in the position, during which he is distracted by chasing escaped zoo animals, foiling a plot to rig the presidential vote, and an untreated brain injury, he decides to look up some stuff about solar power on Google right before his report is due. He finds, to his surprise, that someone has actually implemented solar power somewhere and calls the ...more
Chris Aylott
Aug 24, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well, now I know what an ecological disaster thriller is like when you remove the ecological disaster. Turns out the thriller departs with it.

Robinson follows up with the characters of the first two "Science in the Capitol" books as they put plans into motion to save the world. There's a certain amount of scientific interest to the plans themselves, but not enough to carry the book. The storytelling is distant and removed, with almost every event narrated or seen though the eyes of characters o
...more
Gumble's Yard
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
Trilogy by author most famous for the "Mars" trilogy about a group of scientists that terraform Mars - the obvious premise of this set is that the earth itself needs terraforming in response to climate change/global warming and that scientists need to take more of an active involvement politically both with the electorate and with those who have previously controlled their purse strings and that the research bodies need to actively set the research agenda (a new Manhattan project or race for the ...more
Clare O'Beara
I'm rating this book well for global climate change awareness and ideas, but I never really got on with any characters and some of their strands just padded out the book. I'll try not to spoil. I read this first when it is the third of a trilogy. But you read them as you get them, and I read Green Mars first of any of KSR's books and had no problem despite the fact that it was second in a trilogy. With 60 Days I had no idea who most of the characters were; why or how they were in Washington poli ...more
Sara J. (kefuwa)
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Between a 4 & 5 star rating. Nice wrap up to the trilogy.

Review pending - busy past two weeks that I haven't actually had much time to get some reading down. Time to get some heel-digging done before month's end!

...more
Richard
Dec 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: HardSF Group
Curiously enough, Robinson defied my expectation and wrapped this series up stronger than he began it.

To recap, the trilogy follows the lives of some Washington, D.C., folks (and a few others) as they struggle with the sudden onset of dramatic changes in weather patterns as climate change accelerates.

Robinson is science-heavy, as usual. This is by far his biggest strength as an author, and often — but not always — more than compensates for his weaknesses as a storyteller.

In the first two thirds
...more
Tomislav
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
second read - 25 November 2010 - ****. This is the third book of a tightly-coupled trilogy comprised of Forty Signs of Rain (2004), Fifty Degrees Below (2005), and Sixty Days and Counting (2007).

It hasn't been so long since I last read this book, but I had forgotten some of the sudden plot twists near the end. Happily they surprised me all over again. This book is somewhat weaker in the science of global climate change than the first two, and primarily focuses its time on politics. Well now, we
...more
Rob
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...Sixty Days and Counting is the most optimistic of the three in a way, but reading it didn't make me share Robinson's optimism. In the book things get done. Despite my annoyance with the way the American political system believing the universe revolves around them (really, in that respect they can teach Wall Street a lesson) you get the sense that the characters in this novel will not let the world cook itself. We have now arrived more or less at the point in time where this novel is set, and ...more
Betsy
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, future-sci-fi
this is the third book in KSR's environmental trilogy. the trilogy is both a cautionary tale of the consequences of our current path toward catastrophic climate change and an optimistic look at what we can do about it. Although the book was interesting enough it had a few fairly significant flaws. First, climactic effects came on much more suddenly that is currently predicted and the solutions to those problems seemed too quick and easy. For example, the election of a strong environmentally focu ...more
Bruce
Nov 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
...or closer to 3 and three quarters.

This is the last of a trilogy. The first was a bit lame, sort of wandering around and going nowhere. The second was much tighter. This third and final book is maybe the best of the three.

In the Robinson writing timeline this is my next favorite book after Red Mars. Since I originally wrote this review 10+ years ago, he has produced more awesome stuff. This trilogy was written in what for me was a Robinsonian less good period.

Stuff happens, big blockbusting ev
...more
Patrick
There's some really genuinely interesting ideas in here, but it's over-long and doesn't really quite work as a novel. The subplot about the fictional enclave of Khembalung is particularly tiresome and has little to do with the story, the spy subplot never really gets explained, and Robinson's speciality - writing about scientists as people, is done better in the earlier books in the trilogy.
Erica
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this "Science in the Capital" trilogy. I enjoyed getting to know the main characters, and I was rooting for them all to succeed. I learned a lot as well, about climate science, about politics, about security surveillance, about fregans and Buddhists and the Drowning Nations. Loved it. I'm glad that Robinson is a prolific writer, as I plan on working my way through the rest of his books.
Kyle
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love Kim Stanley Robinson, but his Science in the Capital series I could easily do without—it's vaguely preachy and horribly dull. While I might give Green Earth a spin, it's admittedly low on my list of things to read.
Grrlscientist
Oct 03, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first two books in this trilogy last year and ever since I finished them, I wondered; and then what happened? Well, now I know the answer to this question, and I can honestly say that this, the third of three books, made the entire trilogy into a huge disappointment, even though the series started out by showing some promise. Sixty Days And Counting by Kim Stanley Robinson (NYC: Bantam Books; 2007) is the last instalment in a eco-political near-future sci-fi thriller trilogy. This ...more
Melinda
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series - lots of interesting info about climate change, science, politics...etc, delivered from multiple POV. I enjoyed hearing about the Quibbleys, Frank and Caroline, the Tibetans, Phil Chase - so I was eager for book three of this series. And now that I have read this, I am a little conflicted.

This book was mostly about Frank and Caroline and the crazy ex-husband election conspiracy and then there was quite a bit about young Joe and the religious
...more
Rhuddem Gwelin
What is it about KSR? His books have so many boring details and weird side stories that they're almost unreadable, and then again they're also so spot on in describing societal and political conflicts with fantastic characters that I'm left breathless. This one takes place just a few years in the future when the world is seriously on the brink of climate collapse but - KSR is the most wonderful optimist and he's seriously anti-capitalism. We can do it. We can save ourselves. Together we can save ...more
Bynumr
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately disappointing. This was the third book in a trilogy that started out as an interesting speculative fiction about the social, political, and environmental effects of global warming. Robinson's strength is that he can explain the science behind much of what he writes about. This book had less of the science in it than the other two. Instead, it tried to wrap up various storylines involving a number of uncompelling characters. Robinson also tried to shoehorn a political conspiracy / l ...more
Christopher
All loose ends wrapped up...In my review of Fifty Below I worried that Robinson was going to pull some magic "it'll all work out" bit. The thing is, he did...and I didn't even see it until it was done. He uses a sort of narrative time-warp to go from pie-in-the-sky brainstorming to 'maybe we can do this' to 'up and running'. What I'd expect to be a ten-year plan suddenly is going in about a year of narrative time. Hell he wraps up with a trple wedding (close-enough).

That said, I enjoyed the book
...more
Lauren
Mar 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apocalypse
As with the previous two books in the series, I am astonished by the author's grasp of climate science and politics and his bravery in exploring all sides of specific issues and potential remedies. While not quite as exciting, impactful, or engaging as Fifty Degrees Below, the writing and story are solid and provide a satisfying end to the trilogy.
Tattered Cover Book Store
This book was recomended by author Dan Flores as part of the Rocky Mountain Land Library's "A Reading List For the President Elect: A Western Primer for the Next Administration."
M.E. Rolle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jill Golla
Aug 19, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I felt like this was a waste of my time. The environmental stuff was over my want-to-read-something-casual head. I'm not sure if it ever resolved. The characters didn't really make me route for them but they all wrapped up nicely. I think there is something to be said that the names were all so plain like: Anne, Charlie, Frank, Nick, Joe, Phil, Diane, Caroline. For a while I had a hard time keeping them straight. Especially Charlie/Frank and Diane/Caroline. But then there were some Khembalis (a ...more
David Anthony Sam
I wanted to like this concluding volume of Robinson's trilogy more than I did--in fact, parts were very good. What holds me back and reduces my rating is primarily the naive politics, often expressed in unbelievable blog "chats" by the President of the US. The conspiracy suspense story is fun and exciting. The "domestic" drama of a father trying to do right by his young sons also good. The science in the science fiction is plausible and the effects of global climate change all-too likely. Then t ...more
Lisa
Sep 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know if I should read the last hundred pages, even though I’ve been a slogging through these books over a pandemic summer. This series really lost steam for me. All of the characters are unlikeable and even with artistic license, I just don’t buy the homeless, dumpster diving main character as an important part of NSF and climate change work. Besides the fact he’s pervy. I really hate how KSR writes women characters and women from male POV in this book. Was the Mars trilogy this compromi ...more
Diego González
As with the second, I found this one more a slave to the story to the detriment of the characters, but still a very fun read. More adventures with Frank, near-term climate change events and the potential human efforts to overcome those. I appreciate the ideas that we will have to organize better politically to achieve a better environment for our species, that we can, do, and will have to terraform our own planet to accomplish this, and that global insurance is a key player in driving the risk f ...more
Ben
Oct 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
I kept waiting for Kim to redeem this series but it was very disappointing compared with his other works. The Emerson vs Thoreau/ societal impact vs return to nature theme did redeem some of the weirdness of having a homeless man with an untreated brain injury head up the NSF push to mitigate climate change while his spook girlfriend steals an election. It's remarkable how little the climate and its impact are featured in the book while male chauvinism and poverty tourism are all through it. The ...more
Dennis Maloney
although Robinson has the protagonist looking at the life through a pseudo-socio-biological lens, it was hard to read the completely inner thoughts of the protagonist and Robinson's depiction of women, generally, in all three of these books. Had I not known the dates published, I would have guessed he wrote these books in the early 90's.

That aside, some exposition on science was delightful to read. At times, it is total competency porn.
Mark Schlatter
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, re-read
Definitely the weakest book of the trilogy and a reminder to me (along with the Mars trio) that perhaps Robinson isn't the best at wrapping things up. There's a good, strong, meaningful ending to one plot point midway through the book, but otherwise things just... kinda.. happen. When you add to that a heaping dose of infodumps and hopeful political philosophy, the novel just gets mired in explaining rather than doing. In some ways, it's more an epilogue than a conclusion.
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4,442 followers
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
...more

Other books in the series

Science in the Capital (3 books)
  • Forty Signs of Rain (Science in the Capital #1)
  • Fifty Degrees Below (Science in the Capital, #2)

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