Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Heavy Weather” as Want to Read:
Heavy Weather
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Heavy Weather

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,802 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Bruce Sterling, one of the founding fathers of the cyberpunk genre, now presents a novel of vivid imagination and invention that proves his talent for creating brilliant speculative fiction is sharper than ever.

Forty years from now, Earth's climate has been drastically changed by the greenhouse effect. Tornadoes of almost unimaginable force roam the open spaces of Texas. A
...more
Paperback, 310 pages
Published January 1996 by Bantam (first published October 1994)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Heavy Weather, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Heavy Weather

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,802 ratings  ·  87 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Heavy Weather
Doc Kinne
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Heavy Weather is Twister in book form - pure and simple.

In some ways the parallels are amazing. The book and the movie came out within two years of each other (can't remember which came first. Both works depict a storm chasing group in the midwest whose lead protagonist is trying to prove a theory. Both even depict...flying cows!

Sterling is one of the best known "cyberpunk" authors, but its important to realize that this book is not cyberpunk in any real sense. It is more "post-apocalyptic" in
...more
Trike
Nov 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is by far my favorite Sterling book. Unlike his earlier Mechist-Shaper story cycle, this book still seems all-too-possible. Plus, I want that Jumping Jeep with the Smart Wheels. How awesome was THAT thing?! Daaaamn.

At times the clunky prose intrudes, as do some of the obvious "As you know Bob" moments, but overall this is solid stuff, and still feels like it could happen.
Jerry Hanlon
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read Heavy Weather back when it came out in the 90's about Category 5 tornados long b4 it was popular to conceive of dust bowel like extreme weather droughts in the SW part of the US caused by Climate Change. Sterling is from that part of the country.

I don't know the severity of the May 2013 tornado in Oklahoma, maybe a C4-5 and 2 miles wide somewhat like the unbelievable size of hurricane Sandy.

Bruce Sterling's book was my fictional intro to the future of AGW. His descriptions of coming extre
...more
Lynne
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fun Bruce Sterling novel about post-apocalyptic group of dubious scientists chasing tornadoes in Texas and Oklahoma, in search of the ultimate tornado that would be so big that it would be permanent and open a vortex into space. Somewhat of a sci-fi comedy as well.
Michael Burnam-Fink
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016
Heavy Weather looks like an adaptation of the movie Twister on the surface: giant tornadoes, obsessed scientists, even that one scene with the flying cow, but it's actually a smart dark mirror that seriously asks and answers the question "What would it be like to live through the worst of anthropocentric climate change?"

In the year 2031, Alex Unger is dying in a private Mexican hospital when his sister Janey breaks him out and takes him for one last fling chasing tornadoes in blasted West Texas,
...more
Kate
Third reading of Heavy Weather. I love the descriptions of the tornado chases, they give a visceral thrill to a weather-geek like me (just wish there had been more discussion/description of the F6 tornado and just more about the weather full stop). The political fallout of climate change induced "Heavy weather" are well explored, and considering this book was written in 1993, some of the tech and environmental stuff predicted by Sterling for 2030 are looking pretty likely.

The downside of the bo
...more
Kimberly
Mar 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
Good premise, but the author tries way too hard to be edgy and high tech. His overstretch technical lingo left me feeling annoyed more than impressed more often than not. Beware the story that aims to preach its post-human excess "this is what Global Warming will do to us" message before it attempts to develop solid characters or plot lines. If you want to scare people with this type of material, write non-fiction. Reality is terrifying enough without embellishment.
Chris Raiin
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good novel. I'm not a fan of long-chapter books, but it kept up a good pace nevertheless. I'm impressed with the small bit of near-future Earth Bruce Sterling presents, especially the "heavy weather" the Storm Troupe chases. Everything seemed very real...and frightening. I enjoyed the culture of the Storm Troupe, not because I'd want to live it, but because I felt like I understood why THEY would choose to live it. The end was a bit weird in terms of how some of the characters came to their re ...more
Ellcie
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
Didn't finish the book. I thought I would like it because of the weather theme but it was hard to follow between the virtual and actual weather scenes, and I didn't really develop any interest in the characters.
tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
Bruce Sterling's Heavy Weather
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - October 24, 2017

[See the full review here: https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/... ]

I keep picking on Cyberpunk writing in much the same way I pick on Surrealist writing. At the same time that I like it in theory I'm annoyed by it in praxis. What was the last cyberpunk novel I read & reviewed? Weeellll, that depends on how one defines Cyberpunk, obviously. Is Cyberpunk any story in wch societally fringe & rebellious chara
...more
Tomislav
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Given the extreme weather conditions we have experienced in 2012, this novel from one of the creators of cyberpunk, feels almost ripped from the headlines. And yet, it was published 18 years ago. This is a book about extreme climate change and the the meteorology of North American plains. Weatherpunk? The basic set-up is a band of tornado chasers who operate in 2031 West Texas, a land of declining economics, declining civil order, and declining human survivability. At one point, I did some resea ...more
Matt
Apr 02, 2008 rated it liked it
I'm somewhat torn over Bruce Sterling. Most of his books that I have read are from the late Eighties/early Nineties. The reader is usually introduced to a group of characters with an occupation that is out of the norm, in this case storm chasers/"weather hackers". I always find this aspect of the story very intriguing, with the technical details of the occupation being brought to the forefront to show the ways that these folks might view life differently than the rest of us. It's the endings tha ...more
Ananta
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: science fiction, apocalyptic
This is a cautionary near-future sci-fi story of the impact of global warming on weather patterns. We are already seeing the beginning of increased storms, tornados, hurricanes, and tsunamis (or Heavy Weather).

In 2030, the time period of the story, the majority of the U.S. government's budget goes toward disaster relief. Thousands are homeless, the U.S. economy has collapsed, entire geographic areas are abandoned, and some wildlife species die off while others grow out of control.

The story fol
...more
Erinee
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Actual rating is 2.5.

I liked this book at first.
It looked like a book about The Adventure of semi-professionals' & science enthusiasts' group. Everyday life at camp against half-ruined world, usual people, usual desires. Calm-to-extreme routine and F-6 storm somewhere in future.
It felt somehow new - smooth plot, not so outstanding characters, no hard intrigue, but every aspect was well-balanced creating a pleasant picture.
Then the F-6 came. And it still clicked with everything else. What didn't
...more
David
Apr 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
More character-oriented than my taste. Not sure if character-oriented readers will feel character development is deep enough.
A near-future tale with climate change (and resulting social changes) give a background for a group of tornado chasers / data collectors - and the seriously ill brother of a member of the group. The increased "heavy weather" seems scientifically founded, but I'm not so sure about the basis for the super-storm the tornado chasers are anticipating. When that focus of the boo
...more
Kathy Sebesta
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
The characters are interesting and you want to know about them. In terms of plot, everything up to the climax was interesting and well-crafted, albeit majorly depressing. The climax was ok, the stuff that followed was stupid and nonsense. Spoiler alert: The last thing a book like this needs is a "They lived happily ever after" ending. What a rip.
Saul
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A must read for all cyberpunk fans of Sterling. I loved all the technology he envisioned in this book. Somehow, someway, every scene in this book will probably take place. If you want to know how our future turns out, read Sterling. It's a must.
Bria
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Maybe a lot closer to a 3, but sex scenes in books are boring enough as it is, and I'm pretty sure adding an anti-condom homily did nothing to improve the situation.
Janet Guss Darwich
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Scary as hell, and prescient as ever!
Andrea Pappas
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
For some reason I just like this one. Characters are nuts and are in search of the (literally) perfect storm: the F5 tornado.
Peter
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sterling was hip to our climate change disaster way before it was widely acknowledged.
Fraser Simons
More reviews over at my blog: consumingcyberpunk.com

"I just can't believe that civilization is going to get off the hook that easy. 'The end of civilization'—what end? What civilization, for that matter?...the kind of trouble we got, they aren't allowed to have any end."

It's the year 2031 in Heavy Weather, and perhaps unsurprisingly, things haven't gotten better. Global economies have crashed. Governments hardly function. Currency, communication, and borders have rapidly changed due to the massi
...more
Alex Ross
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the atmosphere, it was really immersive for me and easy to visualize. The kind of cyberpunk I was hoping for. I have to confess, I was a bit struggling at first to understand the motivation of the characters, although it gets clearer later - way later.
I would have enjoyed it much more, but the climax and the ending killed it for me. Introducing a whole bunch of new characters in the climax only to do a brain dump on you about what is really going on, after which these characters disap
...more
Richard
Nov 27, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
At face value, a high tech storm chasing team of oddballs tackle dangerous storms in the near future but there is a lot more depth here. Sterling takes a very human look at life in the ruined(not quite ruined world). It's both funny, sad and astonishingly poignant.
Brian Gaston
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Alas, another 3.5 book. Despite being topical these days, I didn't find the book gripping enough for a 4.
Anders Risager
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Actually really liked it
R.M. Loveland
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A must-read for people with an interest in climate change SF. Has some weird gender stuff going on that feels out of place now, but hey, it was the 90's. The weather science stuff is fascinating.
Sean Gunning
Whilst I could tell Sterling is a good author, I didn't enjoy this. 100 pages in and no hint of a plot
Kelly W.
Dec 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I read this book for a graduate seminar on ecocriticism in later American fiction, and it was probably the only post-19th century lit class I enjoyed in my college career because we read a bunch of science fiction. This book is mainly centered (unsurprisingly) on weather, so if you're a fan of sci fi that deals with environmental collapse, you'll have a good time reading Heavy Weather. My main issues with the novel, however, deal mainly with narrative.

Things I Liked

1. Cyberpunk Genre: I have to
...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Mona Lisa Overdrive (Sprawl, #3)
  • Count Zero (Sprawl, #2)
  • Virtual Light (Bridge, #1)
  • Burning Chrome (Sprawl, #0)
  • Pattern Recognition (Blue Ant, #1)
  • The Difference Engine
  • Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, #1)
  • Spook Country (Blue Ant, #2)
  • Zero History (Blue Ant, #3)
  • Zodiac
  • Gun Machine
  • Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1)
  • The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer
  • The Stars Are Legion
  • Alma Cogan
  • Cryptonomicon
  • Other Days, Other Eyes
  • Cradle
See similar books…
875 followers
Bruce Sterling is an author, journalist, critic and a contributing editor of Wired magazine. Best known for his ten science fiction novels, he also writes short stories, book reviews, design criticism, opinion columns and introductions to books by authors ranging from Ernst Jünger to Jules Verne. His non-fiction works include The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier (1992 ...more

Articles featuring this book

Science fiction is endless fun for those who appreciate thoughtful conjecture. As a genre, sci-fi encourages rule...
79 likes · 17 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Gene replacement therapy--they tell me it really hurts.

It always hurts... It all hurts. Everything hurts. For as long as you can still feel it.”
0 likes
“And yet Jane still couldn't help feeling sorry for the anticyclonic. That mutant left-handed runt of the liter... the poor damned giant evil beautiful thing...” 0 likes
More quotes…