Editorial – Oct 2017 : Condition normal: weather bad.

October 1, 2017 | By | Reply More

Hello everyone

Seeing all the hurricane conditions around the world, I defy anyone to ignore the situation and be all goodness and light. We might have escapist tendencies but we also live within the reality of our world as well. I do often wonder what happens to any of you who have collections in these terrible weather zones and how it survives, so anyone does know, let me know and any tips you might have.

A couple of things occurred to me while watching the footage of hurricane damage is that do film-makers see the real thing as something to observe so they make their CGI versions look more realistic? It’s not as though such observations haven’t been used in fiction and films. In his novel, ‘Childhood’s End’, Arthur C. Clarke described how the ocean pulled back before suddenly sweeping inland as the start of a tidal wave was probably my first taste of extreme terrestrial weather in Science Fiction. To see this on TV shows how accurate knowledge should be conveyed in our genre.

Equally, one of the earliest natural disaster SF films, ‘When Worlds Collide’ (1951) showed the height of the waves swamping New York is far larger than we know would happen from what we know now. All right, so having another planet sweeping by isn’t exactly normal but the consequences of earthquakes and tidal depressions are closer to home. Then again, as special effects marvel Derek Meddings once pointed out, you can’t miniaturise water and I suspect it contributed to the size of those waves. Even so, that height of water would have swept in-land and probably not left any of the northern states unscathed. Knowledge is power, especially today. We see what happens. The more we know how things really happen, the more film producers have to live within expectation or risk looking faked. This shouldn’t change things that drastically, just not exaggerate to such extreme levels. Going back to ‘When Worlds Collide’, the planet Astra would certainly have had as much damage as the Earth as it approached and you would have to wonder how it could have an atmosphere and vegetation as it travelled across the cosmos. Our knowledge has improved over the years and although we might watch such films and accept their reality, proper analysis would tear it apart today. The more we learn, the more we change our fiction and reality we write about. Hopefully that should also convey the same thing in films as well. What can be worse than the real thing which has shown to be so devastating. You don’t need to make it much bigger, you just have to bring it home as to how it affects people.

Even so, seeing the loss of lives in these disasters should remind us all that we can all fall victim to nature. There is no magical cure other than taking more stern climate control and global warming measures which will slow it down but that takes more than a few decades but it’s the only way. Of course, convincing a certain tenant in the White House is going to be problematic.

I’m hoping that some thought is also going to be made to improve the construction of buildings so at least even the most humblest village isn’t turned into a ghetto every time a hurricane passes through. On top of that, convincing the people in power that with global warming, things like this are only going to get worse not better. Small changes now will hopefully make things better for the future because there is no magic cure hiding in the sidelines. We live in a Science Fiction world now, the last thing we want to do is end in a Science Fiction disaster movie. We know how those turn out.


Thank you, take care, good night and let’s get a better movie end.


Geoff Willmetts

editor: SFCrowsnest.org.uk


A Zen thought: Clouds are not flat.


What Qualities Does A Super-Geek Have: A keen sense of turning knowledge into functional reality.


Observation: I know that there are a multitude of postal services in the USA but you have to wonder why only a couple of the most expensive choices are available when ordering from abroad. One only has to compare to the likes of Japan who offer more choices to see the problem. Oddly, for both countries, they neglect the little known ‘Sea Rate’. No post and packages actually goes by sea, it’s all air and the speed of processing. Oddly, because so few use it, sea rate is often just as fast.


Feeling Stressed: Double GULP!



Category: Culture, Offworld Report

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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