Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Stories about the Weatherman - Meteorologist Fiction

The weather certainly has a strong appeal for many people. Somewhat evident by the enduring popularity of the Weather Network (who among us hasn't sat down for a spell and watched the Weather Channel?), Storm Chasers, Hurricane Hunters,etc... And how many times a day do we hear people talking about the weather on news broadcasts? And our news meteorologists are celebrities in our community (I'm a big fan of Richard Zurawski and Cindy Day). Let's face it, the weather is incredibly popular.

Listed below is a wide ranging set of novels (some science fiction , a love story, a mystery, historical fiction and biographical fiction), all featuring a meteorologist in a leading role.

One Day the Ice Will Reveal all it's Dead
by Clare Dudman

"In the early 1900s, German meteorologist Alfred Wegener was better known for his high-risk scientific expeditions to Greenland and the Arctic than his theory of continental drift, which people thought ridiculous. With an Arts Council of England Writer's Award, Dudman (author of the children's novel Edge of Danger) wrote this fictionalized account of those grueling treks, during which Wegener's careful observation of icebergs and glaciers first led him to suspect that the earth's crust is fluid.

Biographical novels are always problematic in that the reader never knows how much the author has invented. Here, Wegener's real accomplishments seem much more interesting than Dudman's psychological speculations. In addition, Arctic novels have become almost a distinct genre in recent years, ranging from William T. Vollmann's The Rifles to Andrea Barrett's The Voyage of the Narwhal, and there is only so much that can be done with frostbite, snow blindness, and starvation." - Library Journal

The Weatherman: a novel (M)
by Clint McCown

"Songwriters from Bob Dylan to Paul Simon have long extolled the virtues of weather reports as being the only legitimate source of usable news. So motivated, neophyte weatherman Taylor Wakefield begins incorporating incriminating tidbits concerning a decades-old unsolved murder into his regular weather segments on Montgomery's low-budget and funky local news program. He's a man with a mission: as a child, Taylor witnessed his hell-raising cousin, Billy, kill a man. Now a newly reformed, born-again Christian running for Alabama attorney general, Billy isn't about to let little things like truth, justice, or family ties stand in his way. When Billy frames an innocent man for the murder he once committed, Taylor takes to the airwaves to reveal his cousin's past. The weatherman is about to encounter a hurricane named Billy, as his cousin reacts with deadly violence. Tempering his murder mystery with a droll and subtle humor, McCown crafts a delicious allegory about the desire for social responsibility versus the need for self-preservation." - Booklist

Whirlwind: a novel (M)
by Michael Grant Jaffe

"Legend says that in the early days of his career, Dan Rather was catapulted to network fame after being battered on-air by a hurricane hitting the Texas coast, so when category 5 hurricane Isabel threatens Bentleyville, North Carolina, local weatherman Lucas Prouty hopes lightning will strike twice. The killer storm does more than that. As cameras roll and millions of viewers nationwide watch, Prouty is swept away. The search for his body captivates the country and garners the attention of network brass. When he's found, alive, nine days later, Prouty is immediately offered a seven-figure salaried spot on national TV. Move over, Dan; here comes Lucas. In a clear case of be careful what you wish for, however, Prouty's dream-come-true turns into a professional and personal nightmare. To his credit, Jaffe avoids painting Prouty as just another goofy weather guy in a bad sports coat. Instead, Lucas is everyman ever caught in a moral dilemma and needing a little help from above, even if it is of hurricane force." - Booklist

Dry Ice (M)
by Bill James and Marianna Jameson

"Evans and Jameson's engrossing third weather thriller (after Frozen Fire) features cutting-edge science and a globe-threatening attack that reads like tomorrow's terrifying headlines. Greg Simpson heads the Terrestrial Energy Southern Land Array (TESLA), a weather station in East Antarctica, where a detachment of dedicated scientists not only monitor global atmospheric conditions but actively create weather for their parent company, Flint AgroChemical, and, covertly, for the U.S. military. Because Greg has become somewhat erratic, Flint has decided to replace him with brilliant researcher Tess Beauchamp, a decision that sends Greg completely off the deep end, causing him to initiate a sequence of programmed weather disasters that leave millions dead. Tess and her stalwart crew of scientists, cut off from all help, must figure out how to disable Greg's plan if they're to save the planet. Weather wonks will be in heaven." - Publishers' Weekly

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