Review of 'Heavy Weather'

Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling

heavy_weather.jpg It is the near future and the atmosphere is in turmoil after years of abuse. When we first meet Alex Unger he is in a Mexican clinic undergoing illicit treatment for medical conditions that have plagued his life for years. When undergoing a particularly nasty procedure he is rescued by his sister Jane who returns with him to America and the group of fanatics she is hanging out with - The Storm Troupers - A group of techno-freaks obsessed with tracking massive weather events. The group is lead by the enigmatic Jerry who is obsessed with the idea of eventually pursuing the, so far theoretical, category “F6” tornado - A tornado so intense it pretty much heralds the end for any areas in which it might appear stripping the landscape down to bedrock. Though a social misfit and technically useless Alex grows attached to the group who spend their days chasing lesser “F3” and “F4” storms preparing for the ultimate battle…

An interesting read with not as much hi-tech SF that readers of Sterling may expect. “Heavy Weather” is a slow burner (ironically given the subject) but does come to a somewhat satisfactory conclusion though the obvious climax is somewhat anti-climactic, unfortunately. An intriguing idea though I did find the individual character never seemed to ring as completely believable, somewhat one-dimensional.

Sterling's writing conveys what is happening but generally this is not always interesting or, to be honest, entirely convincing perhaps because the exact nature of the technology being used is, oddly, not really discussed. This is unclear but there is just something missing.

I can't really say this is a great example of cyber-punk but it is mildly entertaining.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2018-10-13

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Phoenix

Publication Date: 1994

ISBN: 1857992997