This one time at Writer's Camp…
Weather and SF
You know, I’ve always wondered just how many stories use weather as the driving antagonist in a story. I’ve seen people using a thunderstorm as a herald for the incoming antagonist (Jim Butcher in Storm Front does this wonderfully), but other than the late Michael Caffrey’s Joey Maverick short I read, I haven’t read a man-vs-nature SF story.
Yeah, I know, the very idea behind SF is that we aren’t on Earth (or have sufficient technology to ignore Mother Nature) and therefor have conquered weather. Or something. But weather has shaped us as a species (and spawned gods!) and, considering this, I’m shocked that nature isn’t used more in SF. Where are the SF stories that still revere the old Greek gods of storms and thunder? Where are the societies who don’t have a scientific answer for everything?
One of the my favorite TV series of all time had something in this bent to its plot. Babylon 5 used the Minbari, a scientifically advanced race, who admitted that there was some things that science couldn’t explain. Of course, then you had the mythological Vorlon (who resembles angels/beings of energy), but I’m really starting to side track.
Weather. Think about it for a second. What major weather event happened in 2005? Most people will immediately answer “Hurricane Katrina”. Quick, another question: who won the NBA Finals that year?
Yeah, I actually had to look that one up. Turns out it was the San Antonio Spurs (didn’t remember that).
So… would SF be better or worse with weather as a driving force behind much of religions and/or society?