Research Blog Antarctica #119: Ice Cores


Non-fiction: David Haden: Ice Cores (2011)

Ice Cores is a collection of miscellaneous notes and ephemera about H.P. Lovecraft’s novella At the Mountains of Madness. Billing itself as a collection of essays, it’s barely a book at all, and the essays are just a jumble of notes and suppositions regarding some of the historical circumstances of Lovecraft’s writing. Phrases like “I imagine”, “must have been” and “this was probably” recur with such frequency that the whole thing starts to feel like guesswork.

Here’s my favorite sentence from the book: “One wonders what this free-thinking atheist might have thought of Ayn Rand’s science fiction novel Anthem…”

Research Blog Antarctica #118: Going to Antarctica


Non-fiction: Robert B. Yonaitis: Going to Antarctica (2012)

Going to Antarctica is a travel story self-published on the Kindle. The American writer Robert B. Yonaitis goes on a cruise off the Antarctic coast, and in one sense the book is banal: we learn what happens every day of the trip, from its start in Buenos Aires to events aboard the cruise ship.

However, as a travel book, its everyday nature and lack of pretension is also one of Going to Antarctica’s assets. If you’re planning to go on one of the Antarctic cruises yourself and wonder how it might be, the book offers a concrete depiction of the experience on a very practical basis. You’ll have a comprehensive idea of what to expect and how to prepare.