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mygif

I have a problem with the sense of scale in this story. Unless the idyll is much bigger than I think you want it to be, there should be lots of unoccupied surface area to divert bad weather to. If this takes place on Earth, at least 70% of the surface area is completely uninhabitable (being ocean) and can take rainfall without anybody noticing.

(Yes, chaos theory and all that. But a weather control system can partially work by diverting the chaos into places where it doesn’t seem to matter, like the ocean.)

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Moses Moore said on August 14th, 2013 at 11:06 am

I am very fond of utopia stories where Something Goes Wrong. Not stories like Elysium, celebrating a maverick who will fix things for you and set things right, but stories where Utopia itself buckles or disintegrates under the hubris of the concept.

“Walden Two” is an exception; the Utopia there doesn’t fall apart, but the story teaches a very very important lesson to those who would aspire to engineer a paradise.

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mygif

I imagine that the permanent bad weather zone in the story isn’t ‘everywhere’ but all around the nullification zone. No one lives in the nullification zone because it’s dead land; no rain. All the poor people that support the Idyll live just outside it.. and deal with all the crappy diverted weather from the Idyll. (Constant rain is better than no rain). The inside fringe of the crappy weather zone is for the middle class – close to jobs in the Idyll, away from the worst of the weather.

And this storm is too big to be diverted; it’s gonna short out the system and run amok, causing millions in damages, and even when it ends the confidence in the climanipulation program will be gone.

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mygif

Very nice, MGK. This reminds me of a short film I saw when I was 12-13 years old. It was about a group of 8-10 year olds living in a futuristic building. I can’t remember if it was supposed to be another planet or a future Earth, but it always rained, never letting up. There were trees and plants and grass that they could see out the windows, but the rain was dangerous to them, so they never left the building. There was one little girl who believed that the rain would stop one day and give them a chance to go outside, but no one else did. One day, in a fit of pique, the others locked her in a closet, and, of course, they turned to see the sun come out. Awestruck, they went out and played in the sun and fields, leaving her locked in the closet. The rain returned and they went back inside. It ended with them letting her out with their heads bowed in shame.

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mygif

Kaisius I remember that thing! Gosh what was it called?

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mygif

The film you’re thinking of is based on the Ray Bradbury short story “All Summer in a Day.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Summer_in_a_Day

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mygif

Thank you, Toast!

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mygif

I was more under the impression that the storm was going to break their system and subject idyll to a 20+ year storm, rather than simply make people uncomfortable and doubt the system for a little while.

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mygif

Loved it. That is all.

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mygif

Maybe this is just me, but reading this I felt that Lopez came across as somewhat sociopathic. I assume we’re meant to be agreeing with her as the world-wise, level-headed viewpoint character contrasted with the spoiled rich kid Van Deesen and the offscreen Evil Corporate Overlords, but I found it kind of hard to do so when she’s being so utterly blasé about a “superstorm”.

The piece only refers to the economic impact on said Evil Corporate Overlords, but in no way does “superstorm” sound like a good thing to be living in the middle of, especially not if you live in a place that was only built to stand up to carefully controlled weather conditions. People are going to lose their property, their livelihoods and their lives, people whose only mistake was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sure, the Evil Corporate Overlords will be bankrupt and the Narcissistic Rich People will lose their faux utopia but there’ll be a very high cost in human lives for popping their little bubble and that seems like the kind of thing that a sane person should be concerned about as they contemplate it.

Instead of trying to, I don’t know, raise the alarm, get people evacuated or come up with a solution (obviously the technology in this story exists to support its message but it seems odd to me that they couldn’t use the climanipulation tech they have to bring on the rain early, before it reached critical mass – maybe get a tropical storm instead of a hurricane) she’s apparently sitting there smugly content to just lead Van Deesen to the conclusion she’s already drawn and speculate on the human misery likely to result.

I’d also like to add that “happy nostalgia” is not a normal response to “Lots of people are going to be subjected to conditions that cause permanent disability”.

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Kate the Short said on August 16th, 2013 at 10:06 pm

LOVE this.

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mygif

“I found it kind of hard to do so when she’s being so utterly blasé about a “superstorm”.”

It seems obvious to me that Lopez deliberately caused the superstorm by subtly mishandling the weather, and that she’s going to use Van Deesen as a patsy. She’s the villain of the piece.

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mygif

One of the better teachers I had as a youngster was in the habit of reading SF shorts to the class (these days, of course, he’d’ve been fired instantly).
It’s quite likely that he told us the titles and authors, but they never made as strong an impression as the works themselves.
One of the joys of my adulthood is browsing collections of classic SF shorts, and going “Oh hey, this story!”

The story as described by Kaisius rang a bell, and I immediately knew it was one of those mysterious works from my youth. But my almost instantaneous second thought was “That’s gotta be a Bradbury.”

So, thanks Kaisius for reminding me of it, and thanks Toast for confirming my suspicion, and telling me what it’s called.

… y’know, everyone talks about Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein as the Big Three. Personally, I reckon Bradbury should be right up there. To write something that sticks so profoundly and recognisably over more than three decades? That’s some damned good writing.

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mygif

@Thok I thought the same thing.

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mygif

Loved the story and I think it is a mark of it’s quality that there are so many different interpretations; I suspect they say a lot about the beliefs people are bringing to the story.

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