Kim Stanley Robinson’s Forty Signs of Rain is the first in a trilogy (for now) about abrupt climate change. It’s the stuff of disaster movies, but it has enough grains of truth in it that it started to freak me out as I read it, because I could definitely see some of the events of the book actually happening. Forty Signs of Rain follows several scientists as they identify the necessity of scientists becoming actors rather than just being advocates. By actor, I mean taking an active role in policy changes.
When I first started reading the book, I though maybe a wrong signature from another book got stuck in my copy because I couldn’t see how the beginning had anything to do with the plot I was expecting.
Forty Signs of Rain really sets up a dire scenario. Years of pollution and interfering with the environment have caused the planet to heat up, the polar ice caps to start to melt, caused droughts and altered weather patterns, and is starting to shut down the North Atlantic current. (The shutdown of this current was the probable cause of the Younger Dryas ice age.)
I wasn’t happy with the abrupt end of the book. It felt more like a chapter ending than the ending of a book. But I am definitely hooked on this series.