Trinity University Press

Terra Antarctica

Looking into the Emptiest Continent

William L. Fox (author)

A dazzling portrait of a vast empty continent

How do humans turn land into landscape and maps into art? William Fox has worked for more than three decades in the world’s harshest places, and everywhere he goes he has posed these questions in order to understand how we make space into place, and place into home. Now he takes us to the Antarctic, a continent so distant and difficult that everyone who has ever visited it would fit into a single football stadium. Terra Antarctica traces how humans have attempted to comprehend the most alien place on the planet, a continent that our species is superbly ill-equipped to even imagine, much less live on.

Over a two-year period, Fox assembled the Antarctic’s history of artistic, cartographic, and scientific images—both real and imagined—in order to understand how we represent its landscape. He then spent almost three months working on the continent at McMurdo Station, the Ross Sea Region, the Transantarctic Mountains, and the South Pole. The resulting book masterfully expands our understanding of human interaction with a landscape at the frontier of knowledge. Fox recounts unnerving experiences like being caught in a hurricane on the world’s southernmost active volcano and taking frigid hikes past the edge of the mapped world. He details the surprising discoveries of minuscule life forms that contradict our conception of the continent as a heroic void.

Alternating lyrical first-person narratives with chapters that delve expertly into science and art, Fox creates a dazzling portrait of a vast empty continent.


  • Winner of the ForeWord Magazine Best Book Silver Award (nature)


“Charts Fox’s three-month stay in the world’s emptiest, coldest, and driest continent—a place where weather reports ‘come in three flavors,’ Conditions Three, Two, and One (the latter enforcing a facility lockdown), all considered severe by the meteorologists at McMurdo, the Antarctic’s largest American station.”

CMC Magazine

Terra Antarctica cover
  • Price: $26.95
  • Pages: 364
  • Size: 9 X 6
  • Published: Sep 2019
  • Status: Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 9781595348944
  • Price: $35.00
  • Pages: 364
  • Size: 6 x 9
  • Published: Oct 2005
  • Status: Out of print
  • ISBN: 9781595340153
  • B&W photos: 42
  • Maps: 1
  • Price: $35.00
  • Published: Apr 2011
  • Status: Available
  • ISBN: 9781595341006
  • B&W photos: 42
  • Maps: 1


Landscape, Nature