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Mother of Storms [Kindle Edition]

John Barnes
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

In the middle of the Pacific, a gigantic hurricane accidentally triggered by nuclear explosions spawns dozens more in its wake.

A world linked by a virtual-reality network experiences the devastation first hand, witnessing the death of civilization as we know it and the violent birth of an emerging global consciousness.

Vast in scope, yet intimate in personal detail, Mother of Storms is a visionary fusion of cutting-edge cyberspace fiction and heart-stopping storytelling in the grand tradition, filled with passion, tragedy, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This futuristic disaster novel by the author of A Million Open Doors opens in the year 2028, when a preemptive missile strike releases billions of tons of methane trapped in the ocean floor. The resultant atmospheric heat spawns massive supernatural hurricanes that ravage the world's coastlands and claim millions of lives. The only hope of salvation rests with astronaut Louie Tynan--who has become superintelligent, perhaps superhuman, through a computer system linked to his mind--and his desperate plan to shield the earth from the sun until it can cool. Along the way, a well-drawn cast play various roles in combatting the escalating crisis: a canny female U.S. President, an opportunistic capitalist, a spunky journalist et al. Barnes maintains a breakneck pace even while loading his narrative with vital briefings on hurricane formation, information processing and the physics of space travel; some of his speculations, in fact, are breathtaking. This winning blend of gripping thrilller and dazzling SF should establish Barnes as one of the most able and impressive of SF's rising stars.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

When a tactical nuclear strike releases massive amounts of methane from the North Pacific's ocean beds, global weather patterns transform the entire ocean surface into a massive spawning ground for hurricanes. As perpetual storms threaten to decimate Earth's population, politicians, scientists, and visionaries grope for solutions while ordinary people struggle to stay alive. In the best tradition of disaster novels, Barnes (Orbital Resonance, LJ 9/1/92; A Million Open Doors, LJ 10/15/91) juggles multiple plot lines as he builds to the grand finale. Compellingly orchestrated and filled with fascinating bits of weather lore, this novel will have broad appeal.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 785 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (April 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005CW6Q2M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,010 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the edge, but a terrific hard-science SF read August 23, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
On the surface Mother of Storms is a tale of climatological disaster writ large. What I found more fascinating and engaging though were the incredible evolutions in technology Barnes proposes, and the geopolitical changes occuring up to and throughout the story. Barnes draws very plausible and I think subtle rationale to each of the political and technological changes in Storms. I will spare the reader here the details, as I don't want to deprive you of the excitement of discovering each nugget. However, Barnes outperforms his peers at extrapolating from the world of today and creating a surprisingly believable world of tomorow. I highly recommend Mother of Storms.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1995 Hugo And Nebula Award Nominee August 23, 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I had picked up this book in protest of what was yet again another Hugo award to Lois McMaster Bujold. She certainly has her legions of fans and I've read several of her works, but had enough. Reviewing the Hugo finalists this one appeared to be the most interesting. Was I happy to have picked this.

First off, I think maybe Barnes is compared to Heinlein in that Barnes seems to share the same sense of chivalry and protectiveness towards women (read by some as sexist). The other is that he portrays unsavory characters perhaps more neutrally than many other authors would. He also tends to be slightly libertarian in his writings on government, which Heinlein was known to be. But other than that, he really is his own author and should be considered such.

This novel can be considered your classic disaster novel. Instead of an asteroid or comet coming to impact as in Lucifer's Hammer, a Superhurricane is unleashed on the Earth. And by super, I mean Super. The eye alone of this hurricane is the size of some US states, and I don't mean Rhode Island. Due to a mechanism that heats up the oceans of the planet which is a major factor in the formation of hurricanes, and particularly the spread of the hurricane-sustaining-warmth waters, this hurricane persists indefinitely wreaking havoc on an incredible scale. And in what is probably the most realistic aspect of the novel, that even though this super-hurricane is literally wiping out entire states, that attitude throughout most of America still left is get back to work you slacker. If you're interested in hurricanes, their formation, and driving factors this novel is worth the read for that alone.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Father of Posthumanity September 16, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
On the surface, "Mother of Storms" is basically a book about a global ecological disaster, a calamity novel along the lines of "Lucifer's Hammer" or "The Forge of God", in which numerous storylines are followed simultaneously as the world goes to hell. Barnes pulls this off quite well with a solid grounding in science and with characters that are interesting and believable. But what makes the book special is the way he describes the first mating of human and computer intelligence. His may be the best depiction ever written of a positive feedback loop taking effect and the result being a runaway superintelligence. It's stirring.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining SF book with some novel ideas November 3, 2007
By Aeneas
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A friend suggested this book to read for a bit of relaxation and I wasn't disappointed. Though it starts a bit slow in order to introduce all the myriad characters, it builds up steam and does quite well to keep the attention there. Some of the scenario is not unlike the movie "The day after tomorrow", as the key element is a global superstorm, which effects the whole world, sparing no place.

John Barnes must have gone to a great deal of research as the scenario with massive amount of methane being released from the ocean floor is not so far fetched, as research in the last few years have shown the potentially devastating effect on the climate that this can have. I also liked his take on mass entertainment of the future, where people can plug in to a 3D type reality show, where the audience can experience all the emotions and sensations that the actors go through. Some novel ideas in there and some pretty creepy situations too.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Years ago, I was a sci-fi freak. Then the market faded.

John Barnes has revived and revitalized that oh-so-sweet science fiction genre where Common Man can lean his elbows on a bar at the edge of space and trade travel tales with a Phyrexian Wanderer over a mug of glfx.

It's 2028. Various border realignments and world peace issues have created Pacificanada and an independent Alaska. Far above the West Siberian plain, and linked to the observing public via Passionet, pilot Hassan Sulari cuts in scramjets and launches his four crambombs (Compression Radiation Antimatter) into the North Slope, aimed to destroy a stash of prohibited weapons.

And what follows, as Mother Nature raises her weary head from the bottom of the ocean and rebels at the centuries of mistreatment, chills the spine and tingles the hairs on the back of your neck. If you're of the opinion that the Winter of '96 California/Oregon floods were dramatic, think again... you ain't seen nothin' yet.

I found myself ducking as unimaginable winds blew rubble and cars around me on the west Mexican coast, huddled on the backside of a crumbling block wall, wailing muddied children shivering with fear and wet and cold pushed up into my armpits with Clem Two ravaging her way through my village.
Earlier, I held my breath, pointlessly, as four massive tsunami literally swept away the contents and the very existence of the mid-Pacific island where moments before I'd manned a military observation post.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fascinating book.
Published 11 days ago by J. Robbins
3.0 out of 5 stars An Ill Wind Blows
This is hardly the book I would take to the beach; it is too intense, too intent on the theme of global warming. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Read this in '94, still works today.
Published 5 months ago by blind dog
2.0 out of 5 stars Stopped reading half way through.
To be fair, I only read 67% of the story before giving up. At that point I was almost invested, and if I hadn't been reading it for the purposes of discussion I probably would have... Read more
Published 8 months ago by B. Kopenhaver
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Absolutely one of my favorite books. Mr. Barnes write with intelligence and a wry wit that few can equal.
Published 9 months ago by Charles Cardwell
4.0 out of 5 stars Global warming and cyberpunk
This is the first "cyberpunk" novel l read. I enjoyed the plausible sequence of events that created the dramatic climate change resulting in the rise of superstorms. Read more
Published 9 months ago by nooner
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking back from 2014; 20 years ahead of his time on climate...
Although it was written in 1994, recent science is confirming the disastrous feedback loop that Barnes portrays. Read more
Published 9 months ago by truri
4.0 out of 5 stars Meteorologist as heros?
What a mix of end of the world climate change, extremist capitalists vs extremist Deepers (can't really figure out what to call them, not liberals, not environmentalists, maybe one... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Reader Woman
1.0 out of 5 stars Revolting
The needless graphic sex ruined it. Seemed to be just thrown in and not have a purpose except to be there
Published 15 months ago by Atreus315
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Read
There is a lot of science packed behind this one's plot.

In a partial dystopian future, a man-triggered disaster puts global warming in overdrive. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Donald W. Campbell
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More About the Author

My thirty-first commercially published novel came out in September 2013. I've published about 5 million words that I got paid for. So I'm an abundantly published very obscure writer.

I used to teach in the Communication and Theatre program at Western State College. I got my PhD at Pitt in the early 90s, masters degrees at U of Montana in the mid 80s, bachelors at Washington University in the 70s; worked for Middle South Services in New Orleans in the early 80s. For a few years I did paid blogging mostly about the math of marketing analysis at TheCMOSite and All Analytics, and lately I've been covering tech, especially space, stories in the Government section of Information Week. If any of that is familiar to you, then yes, I am THAT John Barnes.

There are also at least 60 Johns Barneses I am not. Among the more interesting ones I am not:
1. the Jamaican-born British footballer who scored that dramatic goal against Brazil
2. the occasional Marvel bit role who is the grandson of Captain America's sidekick
3. the Vietnam-era Medal of Honor winner
4&5. the lead singer for the Platters (and neither he nor I is the lead singer for the Nightcrawlers)
6.the Australian rules footballer
7. the former Red Sox pitcher
8. the Tory MP
9. the expert on ADA programming
10&11. the Cleveland-area member of the Ohio House of Representatives (though we're almost the same age and both grew up in northern Ohio) who is also not the former member of the Indiana House that ran for state senate in 2012 (one of them is a Democrat, one a Republican, and I'm a Socialist)
12. the former president of Boise State University
13. the film score composer
14. the longtime editor of The LaTrobe Journal
15. the biographer of Eva Peron
16. the manager of Panther Racing
17. the British diplomat (who is not the Tory MP above)
18. the conservative Catholic cultural commentator (now there's an alliterative job)
19. the authority on Dante
20. the mycologist
21. the author of Marketing Judo (though I have an acute interest in both subjects)
22. the travel writer
23. the author of Titmice of the British Isles
24. the guy who does some form of massage healing that I don't really understand at all
25. the corp-comm guy for BP (though I've taught and consulted on corp-comm)
26. the film historian,
27. the Pittsburgh-area gay rights activist (though we used to get each others' mail)
28. the guy who skipped Missoula, Montana on bad check charges just before I moved there
29. the policeman in Gunnison, Colorado, the smallest town I've ever lived in, though he busted some of my students and I taught some of his arrestees
30. the wildlife cinematographer who made Love and Death on the Veldt and shot some of the Disney True Life Adventures ("Hortense the Presybterian Wombat" and the like) or
31. that guy that Ma said was my father.

And despite perennial confusion by some science fiction fans and readers, I'm not Steve Barnes and he's not me, and we are definitely not related, though we enjoy seeing each other and occasionally corresponding (not often enough).

I used to think I was the only paid consulting statistical semiotician for business and industry in the world, but I now know four of them, and can find websites for about ten more.

Semiotics is pretty much what Louis Armstrong said about jazz, except jazz paid a lot better for him than semiotics does for me. If you're trying to place me in the semiosphere, I am a Peircean (the sign is three parts, ), a Lotmanian (art, culture, and mind are all populations of those tripartite signs) and a statistician (the mathematical structures and forms that can be found within those populations of signs are the source of meaning). The branch in which I do consulting work is the mathematics and statistics of large populations of signs, which has applications in marketing, poll analysis, and annoying the literary theorists who want to keep semiotics all to themselves.

I have been married three times, and divorced twice, and I believe that's quite enough in both categories. I'm a hobby cook, sometime theatre artist, and still going through the motions after many years in martial arts.

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