I remember a friend of mine was reading a novel about a war or military confrontation between the Americans and Russians in Antarctica, but neither of us can remember the title or author.

  • 2
    What else do you remember about this book? A war in Antarctica isn't a unique idea. What kind of weapons was this war fought with? What other nations participated? Was Antarctica inhabited? What about characters, other plot points, or anything else about the book? Do you know approximately when the book was published (at least cold war era or later)?
    – user56
    Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 6:59
  • Wish I could remember more details, the cover had a picture of a tank on it if I'm remembering correctly Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 7:00
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    I gotta throw in "Ice Station Zebra", although it's the Arctic and not SciFi. Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 20:42
  • I'm pretty sure there was a Ben Bova novel from ca. 1982 or earlier that was set on a moon base during a time when tensions between the US and USSR back on earth were escalating toward nuclear war. The trigger was mineral rights in Antarctica. But I can't seem to find the book, and the Antarctic stuff is off stage, since the action is all on the moon.
    – user2490
    Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 20:37

4 Answers 4


As Gilles points out, this is not a unique plot setting. A relatively obscure book that explore it is "White continent" (1980) by David Poyer (2). However, while a randomly picked book is likely to be obscure, a randomly picked reading is not. So I'm going to bet that this was a story by a fairly well-published scifi author.

The novelette "A Colder War" (2000) by Charles Stross would then be a fairly good fit (4) . Granted, the story takes place all over the world, but includes some kind of supernatural thing worth fighting over which is located in the antarctic.

Here are also two books that vaguely fit the vehichle-on-cover lead. Ring any bells?

A Colder War cover; man and woman with guns White Continent cover. Men climbing in an icy setting

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    Can't be 100% but I'm thinking that David Poyer's White Continent is the one I'm looking for. Thanks for the help :) Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 2:40
  • yor're welcome :)
    – Abulafia
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 7:29

Matthew Reilly's "Ice Station"(1998) was set in Antartica and followed the events of a small scale squad warfare, however no Russian forces were involved.

From Goodreads:

Antarctica is the last unconquered continent, a murderous expanse of howling winds, blinding whiteouts and deadly crevasses. On one edge of Antarctica is Wilkes Station. Beneath Wilkes Station is the gate to hell itself...

A team of U.S. divers, exploring three thousand feet beneath the ice shelf has vanished. Sending out an SOS, Wilkes draws a rapid deployment team of Marines-and someone else...

First comes a horrific firefight. Then comes a plunge into a drowning pool filled with killer whales. Next comes the hard part, as a handful of survivors begin an electrifying, red-hot, non-stop battle of survival across the continent and against wave after wave of elite military assassins-who've all come for one thing: a secret buried deep beneath the ice...


There was a novel turned movie called "Ice Station Zebra" (1963) by Alistair MacLean, set in the Arctic, that involved a confrontation between U.S. and Russian forces. More info on Wikipedia.

From Goodreads:

Under the Polar Ice-Cap ....

The atomic submarine 'Dolphin' has impossible orders: to sail beneath the ice-floes of the Arctic Ocean to locate and rescue the men of weather-station Zebra, gutted by fire and drifting with the ice-pack somewhere north of the Arctic Circle.

But the orders do not say what the 'Dolphin' will find if she succeeds – that the fire at Ice Station Zebra was sabotage, and that one of the survivors is a killer…

  • Welcome to Stack Exchange! Please can you add more detail to this answer, e.g. by quoting some of the info from the link you provide? We tend to discourage link-only answers here, since if the link goes dead the answer becomes essentially useless. (I didn't downvote this though.) See also How to write a good story-ID answer on meta.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 23:44

Thunder of Erebus (1991) by Harrison Payne is US vs. Soviet war in Antarctica to acquire mineral deposits needed for new beam weapon technology.

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