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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. And on their trail are the Storm Troupers: a ragtag band of computer experts and atmospheric scientists who live to hack heavy weather -- to document it and spread the information as far as the digital networks will stretch, using virtual reality to explore the eye of the storm. Although it's incredibly addictive, this is no game. The Troupers' computer models suggest that soon an "F-6" will strike -- a tornado of an intensity that exceeds any existing scale; a storm so devastating that it may never stop. And they're going to be there when all hell breaks loose.
I’m no meteorologist, but I can read a SESAME report. All hell is breaking loose out there. I’m very sorry, but I won’t comb a patch of woods for a missing boy while the landscape swarms with tornadoes. You and I were lucky to get back here alive.” “I’ll go alone, I can drive that thing.” “Jane, don’t be troublesome. I don’t own that vehicle.” “Who owns it, then?” “The group owns it. I’m not here all alone, you know. I have my friends! Friends who strongly disapproved of my leaving this
Medicine Boy.” “Are we gonna find an F-6 today?” Alex said. “Not today,” Buzzard said. “But if there’s ever one around, Jerry can find it for us.” He stepped into the back of the truck. Alex stared, meditatively, at the twister’s scarred track. Martha edged closer to him and lowered her voice. “You’re not scared now, are you?” “No, Martha,” he said deliberately. “I’m not afraid.” She believed him. “I could tell that about you, when they were stunting you in the ultralight. You’re like your
modern structure of copyright and intellectual property was a complete joke—it had been shattered utterly during the State of Emergency and never successfully reassembled or stabilized, by anybody, anywhere, ever—Jane had actually made some money from doing this. And she’d given Mulcahey royalties. Of course Mulcahey had immediately spent all his royalties on new hardware. And then he’d spent her share of the money too. And then the two of them had gone on, in sweet, collegial fashion, to spend
the cratered scars on Joanne Lessard’s shoulders. Joanne was fair-skinned and dainty, and the staph boils that had hit the Troupe had come close to killing her. Bombay Staph IIb was wicked as hell; it just laughed aloud at broad-spectrum antibiotics. Modern strains of staphylococcus were splendidly adapted for survival on the earth’s broadest, widest, richest modern environment. The world’s vast acreage of living human skin. Jane’s eyes stung, and her crotch itched, but at least her hair was
she realized that she was strong enough—more than strong enough. There was nothing left of her brother but birdbone and gristle. Fluid gurgled loudly out of him and spattered the backs of her legs. Jane staggered through the door and into the hall. She heard footsteps overhead, somewhere up on the second floor, and a distant mutter of puzzled voices.… She lurched down the hall toward the exit and pulled the jimmied door open, right-handed. Her brother’s lolling head cracked against the jamb as