With Hurricane Sandy/Frankenstorm making landfall on the East Coast, here’s a recap of weather and hurricane books that you might be interested in adding to your To Be Read pile. And, we didn’t just limit ourselves to weather-related books. We also included some books that you might have always wanted to read – and now you have the chance as you’re waiting out the storm.
The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger First, a bestselling non-fiction book, and then a blockbuster movie.
Meteorologists called the storm that hit North America’s eastern seaboard in October 1991 a “perfect storm” because of the rare combination of factors that created it. For everyone else, it was perfect hell. In The Perfect Storm, author Sebastian Junger conjures for the reader the meteorological conditions that created the “storm of the century” and the impact the storm had on many of the people caught in it. Chief among these are the six crew members of the swordfish boat the Andrea Gail, all of whom were lost 500 miles from home beneath roiling seas and high waves. Working from published material, radio dialogues, eyewitness accounts, and the experiences of people who have survived similar events, Junger attempts to re-create the last moments of the Andrea Gail as well as the perilous high-seas rescues of other victims of the storm.
The Big Blow by Joe Lansdale – “The narrative builds an atmosphere of impending doom in the lives of a group of blithely unsuspecting denizens during the four days preceding the 1900 Galveston hurricane, considered by many as the most devastating North American natural disaster of the 20th century. On September 4, 1900, Isaac Cline, the Galveston, Tex., weatherman, receives an official telegram from the Weather Bureau in Washington: “Tropical storm disturbance moving northward over Cuba.” That same afternoon, prizefighter John McBride arrives from Chicago, scheduled to fight the local heavyweight champion, a black man named “Lil” Arthur Johnson. Sponsored by a group of racist white businessmen, McBride is offered a $500 bonus if he kills Johnson in the fight. The next day the Washington Bureau warns that the tropical disturbance is moving northwest toward the Keys and could become dangerous. But there is no hint of danger in the balmy air as a romantic young woman loses her virginity to an opportunistic young gigolo on the beach. As the storm nears, two battered whores, a ship’s captain sailing for Pensacola, a couple with a new baby, the betrayed virgin and the pugilists are all unprepared for approaching disaster. Despite the bare-knuckle prose, there is a heavy sense of karma lurking here. Lansdale’s fans will snap it up.” – from Publishers Weekly
Heavy Weather by 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.
Welcome to the Greenhouse: New Science Fiction on Climate Change edited by Gordon Van Gelder – Forty years ago, Walt Kelly’s comic strip character Pogo famously intoned: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Now, as the evidence for climate change becomes overwhelming, we learn the hard reality behind that witticism. The possible destruction, and certain transformation, of the ecosphere has been brought about by our own activities.
What will our new world look like? How will we—can we—adapt? The clash of a rapidly changing environment with earth’s self-styled ruling species, humans, provides ample creative fodder for this riveting anthology of original science fiction. In Welcome to the Greenhouse, award-winning editor Gordon Van Gelder has brought together sixteen speculative stories by some of the most imaginative writers of our time. Terrorists, godlike terraformers, and humans both manipulative and hapless populate these pages. The variety of stories reflects the possibilities of our future: grim, hopeful, fantastic and absurd.
Stormy Weather by Carl Hiassen – A hilarious novel of greed and corruption from the bestselling author of “Strip Tease”. The story focuses on southern Florida at the height of the tourist season, when a ferocious hurricane hits–luring con artists, carpetbaggers, and would-be saviors like hyenas to the lion’s kill.
The Weathermakers by Ben Bova – Whether or not Ted Marrett would be able to harness the weather for the good of man depended upon some stiff opposition…
In an age of cross-country rockets and undersea mining, weather is the last frontier of man, the one resource which remains untamed. An elemental power which can roar through the land with hurricane force, leaving death and destruction in its wake…
But Dr. Rossman didn’t believe in weather control unless he could get the credit for it; and the President and his Science Advisor didn’t want to fight hurricanes in an election year; and the Pentagon felt that weather control should be a military weapon….
Forty Signs of Rain, Fifty Degrees Below, and Sixty Days and Counting – The bestselling author of the classic Mars trilogy and The Years of Rice and Salt returns with a riveting new trilogy of cutting-edge science, international politics, and the real-life ramifications of global warming as they are played out in our nation’s capital—and in the daily lives of those at the center of the action. Hauntingly realistic, here is a novel of the near future that is inspired by scientific facts already making headlines.
The Magic School Bus Insider a Hurricane – if you’ve got kids with questions about hurricanes, this is the perfect book.