HEAVY WEATHERby Bruce Sterling
Bruce Sterling, one of the founding fathers of the cyberpunk genre, now presents a novel of vivid imagination and invention that proves his talent for creating brilliant speculative fiction is sharper than ever. Forty years from now, Earth's climate has been drastically changed by the greenhouse effect. Tornadoes of almost unimaginable force roam the open spaces of Texas. And on their trail are the Storm Troupers: a ragtag band of computer experts and atmospheric scientists who live to hack heavy weather to document it and spread the information as far as the digital networks will stretch, using virtual reality to explore the eye of the storm. Although it's incredibly addictive, this is no game. The Troupers' computer models suggest that soon an "F-6" will strike a tornado of an intensity that exceeds any existing scale; a storm so devastating that it may never stop. And they're going to be there when all hell breaks loose.
- Random House Publishing Group
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Meet the Author
Bruce Sterling (1954) is an American science fiction author, journalist, and futurist. He is considered one of the founders of the cyberpunk movement along with William Gibson, John Shirley, and others. He is also included in the cyberpunk anthology Mirrorshades. Some of his most famous works of fiction include Swarm, Distraction, and Heavy Weather. Since 2003 he has blogged for Wired.
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A lot of interesting characters and facinating things going on. A few, 'oh my gosh, wow!' moments (which are the big kick for me as far as Science Fiction goes). I had problems with the ending- it was not a big climax but kind of strange and confusing (which I didn't mind too much as it felt very much like the real world). A worse problem, I lost my suspension of disbelief on the stories ultimate storm. Still, well worth reading.
As a techno sort of guy and a storm chaser, I was excited about this book. I didn't know I was going to have to wait until I was a third into the book to actually read something about the storms and how they chase them in the future. I can summarize the first 100 pages: Earth's ecosystem is whacked, the western portion of Texas is uninhabitable, Alex has a deathwish, Janey is whinny. Sterling also uses stilted dialog to explain in detail new techno-toys when in the real world, most people would say 'Just push the red button.' Not a terrible read, but could have been so much better, if not a bit shorter.
Sterling treats us to an all-too-real experience of runaway global change. Images and the real science of this novel still haunt me years after I read it. When you wonder if the droughts, floods, melting glaciers, and especially the wildly erratic hurricane and tornado seasons we are experiencing are more than just random meteorological fluctuations, Sterling has an answer that is disturbingly, and entertainly explanatory. The story line is an all-night special, and the writing is up to Sterling's best.
As in his other books, Sterling's novels lack any build up of suspense or anticipation. While there are quite a few interesting characters running around in this novel, the promise of any real conflict that is built up never really comes to fruition. The few times that characters do come to blows the action falls flat and ends all too soon. In the end, this tale is about a group of storm troupers living on the fringe that finally get to videotape an all elusive F6 tornodo that had, until that time, only existed in theory. Once the storm is over that is it, not much concern is felt when the clouds have parted. We, the reader, would have been better off if this novel had never been published. Bruce Sterling is far more adept at presenting interesting short stories which is where his true talent shines.