Heavy Weather: 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.”
Heavy Weather Review
I want a car that can bounce around the prairie like an over-sized jumping spider. I would be absolutely petrified to drive it, but I want one so bad! That car, I think, is the highlight of this novel for me. Don’t get me wrong, it contained lots of great action scenes, interesting characters, and near-future tech. This came out not long before Michael Crichton released Twister. I haven’t read that book. While I’m a fan of the movie, having read Heavy Weather, I wish it was the one that had gotten the movie made from it!
For the most part, especially considering the way the climate has been going, and superbugs are on the rise, it was disturbingly believable. The only time the author really ‘dated’ the book was when he referred to an outbreak that happened in 2014. If it wasn’t that, the reader could honestly see this as a straightforward prediction of the future without getting pulled out by reality.
I really liked the author’s way with words. One of my favorite lines was:
“And yet Jane still couldn’t help feeling sorry for the anticyclonic. That mutant left-handed runt of the liter… the poor damned giant evil beautiful thing…”― Bruce Sterling,
and I love how bluntly honest his characters are.
“Alex direly wanted to try something stupid, but he wasn’t about try anything stupid under these circumstances. He’d wait till he won their confidence, till they gave him a lot more initiative and leeway. Then he’d try something stupid.”― Bruce Sterling, Heavy Weather
This final one just had me laughing because who hasn’t thought of this when it comes to the bad guy speech?
“I hate watching people blow all operational security, and spew their guts like a teenage burglar, drunk in a bar. We’re professionals, for Christ’s sake, and she’s just a prole.”― Bruce Sterling,
His characters are varied, but not deep for the most part. I’d have to say out of all of them, I like Alex the best. He’s got a good heart, he’s dealing with a heavy load, and he makes ridiculously dumb decisions at times. Basically, he felt very real, and was a great protagonist. I liked the relationship he had with his sister, and the development we see at the end. Mind you, I’m one for things going in the opposite direction, but this one wasn’t bad. Even if the last line was a bit cheesy.
Heavy Weather wasn’t a perfect novel, but it was an interesting one. The subplot felt completely unnecessary and included only to amp up the tension. But, really, when you’re facing the worst storm in written history, do you really need anything else? According to Sterling, you do. Pretty much nothing is not poked at in this book. Sometimes with a large, dull machete, sometimes with an ice pick. Still, he managed to make everything work, even the light-hearted moments.
Heavy Weather is available on Amazon.
My question for you is: Have you read Twister by Michael Crichton? Based on what I’ve told you about Heavy Weather, do they compare at all?