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Why hack computers when you can hack nature? Sterling's Storm Troupe lives in a post-greenhouse world ravaged by monster storms and finds itself hacking the ultimate storm: the F-6 tornado. No one in the Troupe, not even it's brilliant, driven leader, guesses the real nature of the F-6 or the shadowy forces unleashed in its twisting fury. Not until it is too late...
Cyberpunk prophet Sterling, whose last book was a nonfiction exploration of computer hackers and the law (The Hacker Crackdown), returns to SF with a near-future thriller. In 2031, the world suffers from "heavy weather"-tornadoes and typhoons caused by a runaway greenhouse effect. While most people wisely try to avoid the storms, one group of counterculture techno-enthusiasts calling themselves the Storm Troupe chases them through the badlands of Texas and Oklahoma. Led by the visionary scientist Jerry Mulcahey, the Troupe studies the storms with an array of high-tech equipment, trying to document what Mulcahey believes is coming soon-a superstorm, the "F-6," a tornado far more powerful than any ever seen and which might even prove unstoppable, a perpetual violent disturbance ravaging the landscape. When Mulcahey's lover, Juanita ("Jane") Unger, drags her brother Alex (who suffers from some strange disease as well as an irritating anomie) from an illegal Mexican clinic back to the Troupe's camp, tensions are ignited among the Troupers. But those plot threads are abruptly dropped when the F-6 hits, and the Troupe pulls together to fight the elements. Some similarities between this book and Sterling's previous fiction are evident: the Troupe uses the word "hack" as computer users do, saying they "hack" heavy weather, and they've got a similar case of technophilia, but it lacks the scope and the big, innovative ideas that gave novels like Islands in the Net their power. This one has some sharp moments and intriguing characters, but it never offers that exciting sense of vision.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I'd give this book 5 stars for atmospherics and setting, but only 2 for plot and story. I had a lot of trouble understanding and identifying with the characters. Read morePublished 7 months ago by SpacemanMike
Sterling plops the reader into the middle of a time and place and it is only by passing conversations or observations that one gradually understands all that has preceded this... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Avid Reader
I was real excited to read this book. I only gave it three stars because it was just average. I expected more. It was just okay.Published 19 months ago by Terry O'Reilly on steriods
If you are as freaked about the strange weather patterns consuming our news cycle this book will make you sit up and wonder, who is whispering in Bruce Sterling's ear. Read morePublished 19 months ago by S Dayton
I admit that this book was much different than I expected, which is partially my fault and partially the publisher (or Amazon's) fault. Read morePublished 20 months ago by David Durtschi
I'm a huge fan of Bruce Sterling, but this book in particular is one of my favorites. Bruce is throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks here... Read morePublished on August 12, 2013 by Ken Kennedy
I was shocked to see that this book is 20 years old. The apocalyptic future it portrays is certainly not here, but it's not out of the question either. Read morePublished on July 26, 2013 by R. Bohn
And that's a good thing, IMO.
Recently,tired of reading the same old hackney, formulaic sci-fi, I dug this paperback out of my under-the-bed book box and reread it. Read more