Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Surviving Antarctica

White, Andrea. 2005. Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083.

Surviving Antarctica is an imaginative combination of genres blending futuristic themes and new sciences often reserved strictly for science fiction with historical content and the feel of 'realistic' fiction. Andrea White's novel envisions the world--particularly America in the latter part of the twenty-first century as a shadow of its former self. Having cut all scientific research for economic reasons AND having stopped all public education systems for the same reason. Every household is required to have their children until the age of fourteen watch a certain number of 'educational' programs on tv per week. At the age of 14, each child is given a chance to win a chance at further education (high school, college, etc.) in a roll of the dice type situation. Money is scarce, and society is literally divided into the haves and have-nots.

One example of educational programming is a series called HISTORICAL SURVIVOR. The producers pick and choose dangerous, significant events from history and applicants desperate for money win their coveted slots on the program only to face the brutality and violence that recreating history can bring in an entertainment-hungry society where REAL drama--including death, blood, pain, etc--only increases ratings.

Historical Survivor Antarctica will recreate the fatal mission of Robert Scott's exploration team led in 1912 in a race to the South Pole. The difference this time? Instead of adults taking on risks and dangers, the game will now be played by five fourteen-year-olds. Told from each teen's perspective and the perspective of one of the editors who chooses to break all the rules, the book is an exciting adventure exploring the ethics and morality of the entertainment industry, society, and the government itself.


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