Ice Station

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Ice Station
Ice Station.jpg
2000 St. Martin's Paperback cover
Author Matthew Reilly
Country Australia
Language English
Series Shane Schofield
Genre Techno-thriller novel
Published 1998
Publisher Pan Macmillan
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 541 pp
ISBN 0-7329-0956-2
OCLC 39079754
LC Class A823.3
Followed by Area 7

Ice Station is Australian thriller writer Matthew Reilly's second novel, released in 1998.

Plot summary[edit]

After a diving team at Wilkes Ice Station is killed, the station sends out a distress signal. A team of United States Recon Marines led by Shane Schofield, code named Scarecrow, arrives at the station. At the station he finds several French scientists have arrived, and several more come after the Marines' arrival. The French reveal themselves as soldiers and a fight ensues in the station, claiming the lives of Scarecrow's men Hollywood, Legs and Ratman, along with several scientists and most of the French soldiers, while Mother loses her leg, Samurai is badly injured, and two French scientists are captured.

Schofield decides to send a team down to find an object below the ice where the diving team was going. Later, Samurai is found strangled, leaving the only people he trusts to be one of the scientists, Sarah Hensleigh and another soldier named Montana as he was with them at the time of Samurai's death. Hensleigh, Montana and two other Marines, Gant and Santa Cruz, are sent down to where the diving team vanished. While alone, Schofield is shot and killed. He later wakes up, found to have been accidentally resurrected by his attacker, and is in the care of scientist James Renshaw, the believed killer of one of the other scientists at Wilkes. Watching a video of Schofield's death, they see the attacker and discover it to be one of Schofield's men, Snake. The two capture Snake before he is able to kill the wounded Mother.

Meanwhile in the United States, Andrew Trent and Pete Cameron meet, Cameron being a news reporter and Trent being a former Marine using the alias of Andrew Wilcox to avoid being found by the U.S military who a few years back had tried to kill him. They hear the distress call from Schofield and Trent realizes that what happened to him was happening to Schofield.

The team learns of an impending attack by the SAS and decide to flee the station. During the escape via stolen vehicles, Schofield and Renshaw's is pushed off a cliff, Schofield's close friend Book and the step-daughter of Sarah Hensleigh, Kirsty, are captured, while Rebound escapes with four of the scientists. Schofield manages to destroy a French submarine and he and Renshaw begin their journey back towards it. Meanwhile, the SAS Brigadier Trevor Barnaby kills the two remaining French scientists and feeds Book to a pod of killer whales. Schofield returns to the station and manages to kill all of the SAS and Snake, and save Kirsty. Schofield receives a message from Trent with a list of members of a secret service known as the Intelligence Convergence Group (ICG) which includes Snake and Montana.

Gant and her team find what appears to be an alien ship, but which turns out to be a spy ship. Montana kills Santa Cruz, but is killed by mutated elephant seals. Schofield and the two others arrive and Hensleigh reveals herself to be an ICG agent, but is soon killed by a wounded Gant. Remembering the station is about to be destroyed, Schofield, Gant, Renshaw, Kirsty and her pet fur seal named Wendy escape on the spy plane and land on the USS Wasp. They later destroy the plane using a guided missile fired earlier. It is revealed that Mother had escaped Wilkes before its destruction and was saved by US forces.

The survivors get to Hawaii where they are nearly killed by an ICG agent before being saved by Andrew Trent, Pete and Allison Cameron, and the captain of the USS Wasp. Renshaw assumes custody of Kirsty since he is her godfather, and Schofield doesn't leave Gant's side until she recovers.

Audio Drama Adaptation and Live Performances[edit]

In 2015 Matthew Reilly commissioned Benjamin Maio Mackay's production company, Preachrs Podcast OnLine & OnStage, to turn Ice Station into an audio drama. The audio drama was piloted with a series of sell-out live readings in the 2016 Adelaide Fringe Festival.[1] The live shows featured a cast of 12 Australian actors who portray a variety of roles in the show.[2] Australian actor, director, producer, podcaster and writer Benjamin Maio Mackay was chosen by Reilly to direct and adapt the audio drama.[3] Josh Mensch and Mary Rose Angley were cast as "Scarecrow" Schofield and Elizabeth "Fox" Gant respectively, the first actors to take on Reilly's iconic heroes.[4] The production began previews on February 16 and opened on February 19 2016. The live shows received audience and critical acclaim with Fringe Review saying "This is a powerful audio performance that is beautifully controlled to draw out all the drama and characterization of the original novel. Benjamin Maio Mackay has done an outstanding job translating a complex and exciting novel into a strong audio play. The pace is just as fast and the action just as exciting as in the original novel. The cast have stunning focus and the voices are clear and convey the narrative beautifully. Stand-out performances were given by Josh Mensch (Scarecrow), Benjamin Maio Mackay (Book) and Scott Reynolds (Rebound). Their commitment and voice control were just stunning." [5] The Adelaide Advertiser praised the show, saying, [it's an] "edge-of-your-seat performance", and called it "exceptional."[6]

This was the first adaptation of a Reilly book in any format. While the first three parts were recorded in 2016 no release date has been set and no further updates on the project have been provided by Reilly or Maio Mackay.


Schofield's marines[edit]

  • Buck 'Book' Riley - Schofield's close friend, who also led Scarecrow's rescue mission in Bosnia. He is fed to killer whales by Brigadier Trevor Barnaby of Her Majesty's Special Air Service. Voiced by Benjamin Maio Mackay in the audio drama.
  • Robert 'Rebound' Simmons - A young marine and the team's abseiler, he escapes the Ice Station with the remaining scientists to McMurdo Ice Station. Voiced by Scott Reynolds in the audio drama.
  • Gunnery Sergeant Scott 'Snake' Kaplan - A member of the Intelligence Convergence Group (ICG), along with Montana. Snake, an experienced soldier, betrays the team early in the book and is later killed by Schofield. Voiced by Aaron Broomhall in the audio drama.
  • Oliver 'Hollywood' Todd - Hollywood is killed by a fragmentation grenade. Voiced by Adam Bates in the audio drama.
  • Lance Corporal Elizabeth 'Fox' Gant - A young female corporal, Gant is one of the few survivors. Voiced by Mary Rose Angley in the audio drama.
  • Augustine 'Samurai' Lau - At the start of the book, Samurai is mortally injured by the French, and later is suffocated by Snake while in a coma. Not featured in the audio drama.
  • Mitch 'Ratman' Healy - Killed by the French early in the book. Not featured in the audio drama.
  • Georgio 'Legs' Lane - Team's medic, killed by the French then eaten by killer whales. Not featured in the audio drama.
  • Gena 'Mother' Newman - An older female soldier, Mother survives but loses a leg to a killer whale. Voiced by Katherine Wicker in the audio drama.
  • Morgan 'Montana' Lee - An ICG member along with Snake. Voiced by James Edwards in the audio drama.
  • Jose 'Santa' Cruz - Killed by Montana by stabbing him through the ear into his brain. Voiced by Sebastian Cooper in the audio drama.

Other characters[edit]

  • Sarah Hensleigh (née Parker) - Scientist, member of the ICG (revealed late in the book) killed by Gant. Stepmother of Kirsty. Voiced by Victoria Morgan in the audio drama.
  • James Renshaw - Scientist at the station, survives and aids Schofield's escape from the station, and aids in Scarecrow's recapture of the station. Not featured in the audio drama.
  • Trevor Barnaby - Brigadier of the Special Air Service who has never failed a mission. Killed by Schofield when he shoots out one of the windows of the diving bell, causing the diving bell to implode and crush Barnaby. Not featured in the audio drama.