By Nicholas Johnson

Johnson’s savagely humorous [book] is a grunt’s-eye view of worry and loathing, vanity and madness in a dysfunctional, dystopian closed group. It’s like M*A*S*H on ice, a bleak, black comedy.”—The Times of London

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Extra info for Big Dead Place: Inside the Strange and Menacing World of Antarctica

Sample text

Mostly, though, I was free of assumptions about the frozen realm of mystery. I knew only that in Antarctica, things would be different, and I was ready to do whatever it took to adjust to the rugged frontier. Now I was blocking the door of the Housing Office with my foot. “Excuse me,” I said with a smile. “Someone is in my bed. ” The Housing woman nervously eyed the crowd closing in around the door. ” she asked. ” We smiled at each other. She hesitated, then let me in, closed the door behind me, and established herself behind a counter.

We had a sink in the room and we shared a shower with only the neighbors rather than the whole floor. These were the fruits of Ice Time. Señor X and I had been roommates in Lower Case the previous summer, when he was in Fuels and I was in Waste. Our room smelled like diesel and garbage. I would sit captivated as he explained to me how Fuels would “pig the lines” by blasting an oblong projectile through the hose to expel standing fuel. I would explain to him the latest methods of handling urine.

No,” said the HR Person. ” “Yes,” said the HR Person. Sid, whom I would be replacing as a Waste EO (Equipment Operator), ate his dinner from a blue Galley tray while explaining to me how the Housing Coordinator had received a death threat and then disappeared without warning six weeks ago. No one seemed to know just what the email threatened, but management had secretly flown the Coordinator out on one of the Winfly planes, which bring new employees and cargo near the end of winter, without listing her name on the flight manifest.

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