More Antarctic Fiction: Tales From the Ice


“It didn’t matter whether you had a story to tell or just wanted to sit back and listen to somebody else’s tale of wonder and woe over a shot of bad whiskey: Summer Camp Lounge was the place to go for stories. “Summer Camp” was a story in itself, a laudably evocative euphemism for the scattered Jamesways that served as overflow housing for the station. It always felt like a little like the Wild West out there, an outpost of relative lawlessness a quarter mile downwind of the station proper. Management only tolerated it within the rigor of the Program because it seemed to help keep “bad” behavior concentrated into one easily-contained location, and as such, they made a point of not venturing out uninvited. If pressed, Carter would simply espouse the unofficial view that it was best for everyone if what happened in Summer Camp stayed there….”

Many thanks to those of you who read and gave me feedback on “Heller’s Tale”! Folks did seem to like it a lot; now I just need to decide whether to put it up as an Amazon e-book or try shopping it around to a traditional publisher.

In the meantime, I’ve got another fix of Antarctica for all y’all, with cameos by some of your favorite fictional South Pole characters.  I hope you enjoy Tales From the Ice.

(And, as always, I love getting feedback, especially in the form of that little “heart” recommendation at the bottom of the story page on Medium.)

2 responses to “More Antarctic Fiction: Tales From the Ice

  1. Nice! But I’ve always figured it was “duct tape”.

    As a writer, you know double meanings, so undoubtedly know “magnificent desolation” is the title of Buzz Aldrin’s second book, and an IMAX movie, and a few other books.

    Good piece!



    • Thanks!

      The duck/duct thing is actually a bit of a story (see, e.g. But I’m now thinking it’ll be less distracting to readers if I go with “duct”; changing it now.

      Re: “Magnificent desolation” – yes, spot on, of course. When I asked my first South Pole contact what it was like down there, she got a crazy grin and said “Magnificent desolation.” I called her on the Aldrin quote and she said “Yeah, when I was a kid, I was going to be an astronaut. I was going to work on the moon base. The one we haven’t built yet. And the South Pole is the closest thing I’ve been able to find.”


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