Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina and the Waves



I had trouble getting to sleep last night (I've reached the point where I wonder whether I should keep trying to get on local time, or start moving back to home time), so I turned on the TV. Sky TV was showing the CBS Evening News, and the news was, of course, almost entirely about Hurricane Katrina. The scenes of devastation were just jaw-dropping.

The news reminded me of a scene from Kim Stanley Robinson's book Forty Signs of Rain, where large parts of the Washington, DC metro area are underwater after
hurricane. The book meandered through a bunch of global warming policy stuff that was mildly interesting, but not gripping, until it got to the last 50 or so pages, which was a really fascinating story of a disastrous flood hitting DC.

Only...as far as I can tell, Katrina is worse. It's been a while since I've read the book, but I don't remember the death, the lack of clean water, and all the other horrors we're hearing about on the news. You know things are bad when a disaster outdoes science fiction.

On a literary note, if you're looking for weather-related science fiction, I definitely recommend Forty Signs of Rain over Mother of Storms, which to me was just ridiculous. It started out kinda interesting, but then blundered down a "nanotech is magic" path that (in my mind) ruins so many promising books. Forty Signs of Rain was much more realistic...I'm almost afraid to read the sequel, Fifty Degrees Below. It's coming out right before winter sets in.
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