Antarctica is Robinson's first novel published after the success of the Mars trilogy, published in 1997. It shares many themes with the Mars trilogy, such as environmental awareness, the exploitation of natural resources, feral living style and descriptions of landscapes with conditions as extreme as those in the Mars novels -- because of the similarity in the themes of both works, Antarctica has been called "White Mars" by some.

It describes the adventures of a US Senator envoyé in Antarctica, who discovers an entire Antarctic culture fighting against the destruction of the Antarctic landscape with "ecotages" -- ecological sabotages.

It shares some characters with the Science In The Capital trilogy, such as Wade Norton and US Senator Phil Chase.

Antarctica was written as a result of Robinson's experience in the continent itself during a visit organized by the "Artists & Writers" program of the National Science Foundation in 1995.


(to develop)


Wade Norton
Phil Chase


(to develop)


  • Language is but a huge set of false analogies. There has to be a better way to make a point.

Publication History

  • Voyager (UK), September 1997
  • Voyager (Australia & NZ), September 1997
  • Presses de la Cité, as S.O.S. Antarctica, (French translation) June 1998
  • Bantam Spectra (USA), July 1998
  • Easton Press (USA), July 1998
  • Bantam/Science Fiction Book Club, (USA) September 1998
  • Voyager, (UK) paperback, September 1998
  • Libre Expression, as S.O.S. Antarctica, (Canada, French translation) February 1999
  • Bantam (USA) paperback, July 1999
  • Prószyński i S-ka, as Antarktyka, (Polish translation) September 1999
  • Cicero, as Antarktis, (Danish translation) October 1999
  • Minotauro, as Antártida, (Spanish translation) November 1999
  • Otava, as Antarktika, (Finnish translation) 2000
  • Heyne, as Antarktika, (German translation) 2001
  • 講談社, as 南極大陸 (Japanese translation, 2 volumes) December 2003
  • Voyager (UK) paperback, October 2008
  • Bantam Spectra (USA) eBook, July 2010

Essays and Criticism

  • Introduction, Robert Silverberg, Easton Press, 1997
  • Scripts Deep Enough: Kim Stanley Robinson's Antarctica, Paul Voermans, The New York Review of Science Fiction #125, 1999
  • "The moment is here ... and it's important": State, Agency, and Dystopia in Kim Stanley Robinson's Antarctica and Ursula K. Le Guin's The Telling, Tom Moylan, in Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination, Routledge, 2003
  • Unfinished business: subjectivity and supervision, Bill Green, Higher Education Research & Development, Volume 24, Issue 2, 2005
  • Dead Penguins in Immigrant Pilchard Scandal: Telling Stories About "the Environment" in Antarctica, Sherryl Vint and Mark Bould, in Kim Stanley Robinson Maps the Unimaginable, McFarland, 2009
  • Antarctica in Fiction: Imaginative Narratives of the Far South, Elizabeth Leane, Cambridge University Press, 2012






    A 'scientist', especially an academic adviser is not a scientist

    at all, when he does not follow where data take him, but instead

    just suppresses results not in accordance with his favorite

    colleagues' opinions. Such an academician has no business being

    in science and drawing salary, pension, and research grants.

    Please stop calling the graduate students of such academicians

    naive. Thank you for an exiting and plausible novel free of

    fantasy elements.
    Yours sincerly,
    Karl Themel
    B.Sc. (The Ohio State University), M.Sc. (Univ. of Manitoba)
    Je suis Charlie