Today is National Book Lovers Day, a perfect day to check out this novella by Elyse Springer. I am reading it right now, and am loving the descriptions of Antarctica that Elyse has in her book. I’ll have a review later, but I am super excited to have Elyse here for her book release TODAY! Check out her awesome guest post. I live in the cold of the Midwest, and totally get this entire post, as our winters can get down to close to these numbers, (although not for an entire winter). And she has a fantastic giveaway for you, as well. Check it all out below!!!!
After three winters in Antarctica, Simon Bancroft is an old hand on the ice. The harsh weather and extreme isolation aren’t for everyone, but he enjoys the tight-knit community at McMurdo Station… and lately he’s enjoyed watching the hot new researcher, Asher Delaney, who’s recently arrived to study the aurora. But Simon’s just a janitor. Asher doesn’t even know he exists.
When Simon’s friends propose a wager, he gets a chance to introduce himself to Asher at last. But Asher defies all of Simon’s assumptions, and suddenly he finds himself reevaluating everything he thought he knew about Asher, himself, and falling in love at the bottom of the world.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.
Dressing for Antarctica
Antarctica is cold.
That seems like such an obvious statement, but the bitter iciness of Antarctica is something most people in the world will never even get close to experiencing. While I was at the South Pole, the average summer temperature was about -30°F, but the temperature in winter can drop to -100°F.
McMurdo, where Simon and Asher spend the winter, is a little more tolerable. Winter temps range from about -20° to -50°F… though it did hit -85°F with windchill for a couple of days when I was there!
So how on earth do people survive that? Answer: Clothing. Lots and lots of very high-tech clothing.
There was a running joke in Antarctica about sex—
First he took of her jacket. Then he took off her sweater. And then he seductively slid her coveralls off her shoulders and down her legs. And then he stripped off her thermal shirt, and her jeans. And then she lay before him on the bed, wearing nothing but her base layers, wool socks, and hat.
Simon huffed out a laugh, thinking about it, and propped his elbow on the table so he could rest his chin in the palm of his hand.
That’s the opening scene of World Turned Upside Down, and Simon is absolutely right to laugh. The number of layers residents on ‘the Ice’ have to wear is frankly ridiculous!
Based on my personal blog, here’s what I wore on August 19, 2011. The temperature was -67°F with windchill:
- three shirts – each one is wool or silk and pretty thin, so I can remove layers while inside
- three pairs of leggings – again, silk or wool
- fleece sweater
- thick wool socks
- leg warmers (fuzzy and colorful!)
- Carhartt overalls – these are standard issue and lined for wind protection… everyone wears them!
- another fleece sweater
- a jacket shell
- “Big Red” – the standard-issue fluffy red parka that all contractors and scientists wear
- heavy insulated boots
- two neck gaiters – one for the bottom of my neck, and one to cover my ears/cheeks
- base layer thin hat and a thick wool hat
- wool glove liners
- wool-lined mittens
Suffice it to say, getting dressed (or undressed!) can be an ordeal, but after a few days you get pretty good at getting the layers on (or off!) pretty quickly.
This links from a NASA scientist in Antarctica gives a pretty comprehensive overview of the standard-issue ECW (Extreme Cold Weather) gear that’s issued to every employee and researcher: https://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/tiger/ecw.html
But sometimes you just don’t want to bother with all the stuff. It’s not uncommon to see people dashing between buildings in jeans and sneakers, trying to spend as little time in the cold as possible.
Simon gave a little shimmy in front of the mirror, turning to the side to study the way his clothes clung to his flat stomach and round ass. This was the outfit he’d worn back in the Real World when he wanted to pick up at a club; maybe it was overkill for a night out in Antarctica, but at least Simon knew that he looked good.
Once he was satisfied with his appearance, Simon grabbed his jacket, zipped it up tight, and made his way down the hallway from his dorm room. He hovered at the door leading outside, enjoying one last moment of warmth. Then, with a deep breath, he opened the door and darted outside.
Holy shit it’s cold. Negative twenty wasn’t really that bad by Antarctica standards, but wearing just jeans and a T-shirt beneath his jacket meant he could feel every bitter cold sub-zero degree. His breath pooled in front of him as he darted between buildings, careful where ice had formed, and rushed to the old wooden shack that housed the bar.
Yes, I absolutely did get a little bit of frostbite once because I went outside without being properly dressed.
Of course, as Simon and I both will tell you, the trade-off for bearing these unbelievably cold temps is well worth it! Check out World Turned Upside Down to learn more about Antarctica, or feel free to shoot me a message on Twitter.
Elyse is an author and world-traveler, whose unique life experiences have helped to shape the stories that she wants to tell. She writes romances with LGBTQIA+ characters and relationships, and believes that every person deserves a Happily Ever After. When she’s not staring futilely at her computer screen, Elyse spends her time adding stamps to her passport, catching up on her terrifying TBR list, and learning to be a better adult.
You can find Elyse online at: