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Cold People (Hardcover)

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Cold People By Tom Rob Smith Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

The instructions to the world are clearly stated: move to Antarctica within thirty days or be eliminated. The logistics are unfathomable. For those who go, the immediate priority is, of course, survival. Then what? Mash up a world of cultures and governance structures. What sort of society emerges and how is it shaped by the environment? What does the future look like? What do you strive for? This book is fascinating and frustrating. Yes, there’s a conclusion. But I have so many questions. This book, this story, is going to stay with me for a long time.  -Jennifer

— From Jennifer's Picks


From the brilliant, bestselling author of Child 44 comes a suspenseful and fast-paced novel about an Antarctic colony of global apocalypse survivors seeking to reinvent civilization under the most extreme conditions imaginable.

The world has fallen. Without warning, a mysterious and omnipotent force has claimed the planet for their own. There are no negotiations, no demands, no reasons given for their actions. All they have is a message: humanity has thirty days to reach the one place on Earth where they will be allowed to exist…Antarctica.

Cold People follows the perilous journeys of a handful of those who endure the frantic exodus to the most extreme environment on the planet. But their goal is not merely to survive the present. Because as they cling to life on the ice, the remnants of their past swept away, they must also confront the urgent challenge: can they change and evolve rapidly enough to ensure humanity’s future? Can they build a new society in the sub-zero cold?

Original and imaginative, as profoundly intimate as it is grand in scope, Cold People is a masterful and unforgettable epic.

About the Author

Tom Rob Smith is the author of the acclaimed Child 44 trilogy. Child 44 itself was a global publishing sensation, selling over two million copies. It was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Prize and won the CWA Steel Dagger Award. His most recent novel, The Farm, was a #1 international bestseller. Tom also writes for television and won a Writer’s Guild Award for best adapted series and an Emmy and Golden Globe for best limited series with American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace. He is also the creator and executive producer of FX’s suspense thriller series Class of ’09.

Praise For…

“Chilling in so many ways.” LA Times

“Cinematic . . . Natural selection is magnificent in the abstract, when it works over millennia, but seeing it sped up to take place in a single lifetime, as Smith vividly imagines, exposes its brutality.” —Washington Post

“Fascinating . . . a propulsive ride [that] unfolds at a galloping pace through a well-built world.” —Christian Science Monitor

"A vastly ambitious novel, tackling the weightiest questions of our time in a form that rarely loses the tension of a thriller, despite the complexity of its subject matter." —The Observer (UK)

Cold People is a zany, wildly gripping, dark futuristic fantasy that achieves escapist lift-off [and] recalls H.P. Lovecraft and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. . . .Wild, imaginative, [and] fast moving.” —Vogue, Most Anticipated Books of 2023

“Original and imaginative, as profoundly intimate as it is grand in scope, Cold People is a masterful and unforgettable epic.” —

“A brilliantly conceived postapocalyptic story . . . absolutely captivating . . . Smith’s near-future world is wonderfully imaginative and rigorously detailed, the kind of made-up place that feels viscerally real. A real treat.” Booklist (starred review)

“Spellbinding . . .  suspenseful . . . electrifying . . . A speculative masterpiece that will resonate with fans of Emily St. John Mandel, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Jeff VanderMeer.”  —Library Journal (starred review)

"What lines, if any, shouldn’t be crossed to save humanity from extinction? That question is at the heart of this stunning postapocalyptic thriller. . . . [a] triumph of imagination and empathy." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Product Details
ISBN: 9781982198404
ISBN-10: 1982198400
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: February 7th, 2023
Pages: 368
Language: English

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