Kim Stanley Robinson is also one of my favorite writers of science fiction. He is best known for two trilogies, one on the colonization of Mars and one on global warming, both set in the near future. The Mars trilogy consists of Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars marking the terra-forming of Mars over hundreds of years. The climate change trilogy consists of Forty Signs of Rain, Fifty Degrees Below, and Sixty Days and Counting. Robinson is heavy on science, but he makes global warming understandable and immediate for the layperson. This series is set in Washington, DC, and Southern California.
Beyond those two trilogies, I would recommend Antarctica in which the Mars-bound colonists undergo testing and evaluation to see if they will be able to make the trip to Mars. They must live and thrive in living quarters under the snow and ice of Antarctica. I consider The Years of Rice and Salt his best book. It is set in an alternate near future here on earth in which almost all Europeans have died from a plague virus. I have only read this book once, but it is on my short list to read again.
Please see Regime change part 2
- Climate change in your wildest imaginings (newscientist.com)
- Mars Has More Room for Life Than Earth [STUDY] (mashable.com)
- Aussie Scientists Head To Antarctica To Investigate Sunspots (gizmodo.com.au)
- SF in SF this Saturday: Kim Stanley Robinson and Ceclia Holland (boingboing.net)