Visitors to London's Science Museum will be offered a free e-book from author Tony White, published as the museum's "Atmosphere" commission for 2013.
Shackleton's Man Goes South will be available from the museum's website and from a dedicated touch screen in the museum, which visitors can use to email the book to themselves in a suitable DRM-free format.
The book, aimed at a general readership, will also be on sale in the Science Museum's gift shop as a £10 paperback.
White's story is inspired by the discovery of a science fiction story written by George Clarke Simpson, and first published in the South Polar Times, the homemade "newspaper" produced by the crew of Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated 1911 Antarctic expedition. Simpson went on to become the director of the Met Office, and was interested in climate change throughout his life.
A special display will run in the Atmosphere gallery of the museum, which focuses on climate, to support the book.
White said: "One hundred years ago, when scientists like George Clarke Simpson saw geological evidence of past climate change, they explored these new ideas in science fiction stories that they shared in hand-made pamphlets. Technology is transforming the ways that we tell stories today, and how we publish them, but the principles are the same. As a novelist I like to explore new ways to communicate directly with readers, to go where
readers are, so it has been amazing to work with the brilliant people at the Science Museum on this innovative publication of Shackleton's Man Goes South."
Hannah Redler, head of the arts programme at the Science Museum, said: "The Atmosphere Gallery helps visitors deepen their understanding about one of the most exciting but challenging areas of contemporary science, the science of our climate. . .
"White's masterful storytelling carves out an intellectual space where we hope visitors
downloading the free book may find themselves drawn into imagining multiple futures potentially facing us."
The book launch on Wednesday (24th April) will also see free audiobook extracts released via the museum's Twitter feed, while the museum's shop will also run a promotion of other themed books, including James Marriott and Mike Minio-Paluello's The Oil Road (Verso) and Mark Lynas' Six Degrees (HarperPerennial).
c Chris Dorley Brown