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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
Mother Of Storms

Copyright 1994 by John Barnes

In Association with Amazon.com
SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Superb (4/5)

I first read this in August 1997 and most recently on the 1st March 2002.

In the near future, America is no longer the superpower it once was. It's largely ceded power to United Nations, now a world government.

The Siberian Commonwealth has deployed sea-bottom missiles in order to support its intended annexation of Alaska Free State. The UN responds by destroying these missile launch facilities with immensely powerful anti-matter weapons.

Sadly this has an unforeseen side-effect - a disastrous effect indeed. The planetary weather system is massively disrupted, facilitating the birth and growth of new and far larger hurricanes.

Brittany Lynn Hardshaw, US President, and her right-hand man Harris Diem have a vision of returning America once more to superpower status. They've worked long and hard to achieve this, but now they have a tough decision - the imminent catastrophe requires global coordination and pursuing national interests may exacerbate the world-wide calamity.

John Klieg has made a fortune through the activities of his company, GateTech. He follow technological trends and industrial research and attempts to patent crucial techniques before the technology companies themselves. Now he. and his able-bodied assistant, Glinda Gray, see the chance to make much, much more from the disasters to be wrought by the chaotic weather system.

Diogenes Callare is a government meteorologist. He's going to be in a critical position - one of the team tracking the hurricane and attempting to predict its unusual and deadly path. The American people are depending on him, but then so is his family, his wife Lori and their kids. They need him too. Striking the right balance won't be easy.

Diogenes younger brother, Jesse, is at university doing an engineering degree. He's chasing fellow student Naomi. She's an activist, an appallingly prejudiced young woman, but to Jesse she's one hot babe, and he can fake the political conviction. His studies are suffering and Naomi is fickle.

Carla Tynan is another meteorologist. She's going to be working on Diogenes team. Her ex-husband is Louie Tynan the American astronaut. Louie loves being in space and is determined to stay up there as long as possible. He and his ex-wife Carla are still in love, it's just that they seem to get on better when they're apart. And he's a little worried about her being on Earth during these very dangerous times.

Mary Ann Waterhouse plays "Synthi Venture", porn star cum investigative journalist on the Passionnet XV channel. XV is the TV medium that provides full sensory reception. She gets sent to interesting places to report on the news while having excessive sex with her co-stars Quaz and Rock. It's all getting a bit much for her, the job and cosmetic enhancements are weighing her down and she really, really needs a rest.

Randy Householder's daughter, Kimbie Dee, was murdered to make an illegal XV recording, her terror and pain recorded for the pleasure of perverted viewers. Now he criss-crosses the country searching for leads and tips to track down the killers. Slowly he's building a edifice of circumstance and evidence that will allow him to identify the man who was behind the murder. One thing is clear, whoever this evil individual is, he's someone very important.

Berlina Jameson wants to be an investigative reporter, a newspaper journalist. In today's world this is an obsolete profession. People no longer want unbiased newsprint, they want the emotion and the excitement, they want full XV immersion.

This big cast of characters are tied into an enthralling and exciting plot. "Mother Of Storms" is an excellent novel. Jon Barnes immerses you in great science, teaching you everything you ever wanted to know about hurricanes. At the same time he has created complex characters: some who think they're good, but aren't; some who think they're bad but may not be and those that know they're evil but still try to achieve something worthwhile.

Some of these characters are truly memorable . In particular John Barnes has somehow managed to burn a picture of the wonderful Mary Ann Waterhouse into my memory. I can see her now, with her red hair and flannel shirt, on that street in Tapachula, Mexico.

Heck of a book.

Loaded on the 10th April 2002.
    
Cover of Mother Of Storms