Copyright 1999 by
I first read this in March 2000.
The previous hundred years have seen a collapse in the stability of the
Earth's climate. The icecaps have melted, New York is meters below
sea-level with massive dykes keeping the ocean at bay. The countries where flooding has destroyed the cities and
infrastructure are called the "Lands of the Lost", and their peoples
live and die hopelessly, for no country or corporation has the will or
the money to attempt to reverse the flooding and restore their society.
Everybody knows the world's heading for disaster, but no-one knows when,
and most just hope it will later rather than sooner.
Monique Calhoun works in public relations and she's dragged into a new
contract: to handle opening of the latest UN conference on the weather.
Previously, these conferences have been low budget and extremely low
impact. However this time it's different. The conference planners are
awash with money, anticipating a major event with vast publicity. But
what could happen at this conference to justify such expenditure, especially when the money
is coming from big business, the least trusted source. Moreover,
Mossad are involved, the Mafia have become interested, and even the
Russians have made an appearance. Something big is clearly going down and
Monique is right in the middle of it, and where such opposing interests meet,
there is bound to be conflict.
A classic Spinrad novel, of course not as good as "Bug Jack Barron", but
with its calamitous climatic concerns, it is an appropriate work for the end
of the Millennium . Excellent stuff, such characters: Monique herself,
typically the last to know what is happening; Eric Esterhazy, he's "made
his bones" but he's still trying to become a man; Avi Posner;
Eduardo Ramirez, and the Marenko couple. It's not just the characters,
even the businesses have style and personality: the Mafia as a
legitimate and respected business, Mossad providing professional services
for hire, the old corporations for once maybe trying to do the decent
thing, anarchic capitalism abounding.
Monique asking herself, in order to save the world, "would I commit
atrocities that would make Hitler cringe", rather put me mind of
"Sea Of Glass", although the similarity is only in the central question,
not in the style or content of that masterful work.
And apart from all the excitement, the politics and moral musings, the
point of "Greenhouse Summer", like most of Spinrad's books, is the importance of
the loyalty and respect of friends.
Loaded on the 21st July 2001.