Dr Felix Hoenikker - a father of the atomic bomb - has another creation. Far more dangerous than that which levelled Hiroshima- ice-nine, a chemical that could freeze the world's oceans solid. The search for Hoenikker leads first to his three children, each in possession of the chemical, and then to the Republic of San Lorenzo, a mysterious island in thrall to a bizarre religion.
First published a year after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Cat's Cradle is shot through with a nauseous anxiety about the nuclear apocalypse. Yet, in Vonnegut's darkly hilarious dissection of apathy and selfishness on the edge of the abyss, this science-fiction masterpiece speaks clearly to our own environmental angst, to the fragility of civilization.