Holy shit! Two weeks in a row!
That’s right, sports fans. For the second week in a row, the G and T Show had an “Ask Dayton” query for me. In the interests of full disclosure, they actually fed this to me a few weeks ago, but it along with last week’s question got stuck in my queue as my attention was focused on other writerly things. However, I was able to knuckle down and answer this latest entry, thereby giving show hosts and friends Terry Lynn Shull, Nick Minecci, and Mike Medeiros, a chance to go to the bathroom during this break in their normal show shenanigans.
(That’s a lie, actually, since Nick is the one burdened with reading my answers on air.)
What did we have this time around? Check it out, yo:
Considering all the talk of global climate change, I have to ask: As the seasons change and the weather becomes more extreme, do you find the weather or the seasons ever creeping into your writing (I am keeping in mind, of course, that many of your scenes take place on ship).
Bonus challenge: Please feature someone drinking a pumpkin spiced latte.
Hey! Wow. It’s a writing-related question! I’m guessing this person is new to the show, and has therefore not yet had his spirit broken and soul crushed. Well, let’s just see if we can’t accelerate that process a tad.
This question actually made me think a bit about weather in storytelling, and it occurred to me that some of my favorite books have featured weather as a major plot point. I mean, let’s not forget that time Noah had to build a boat ahead of a big rainstorm, right? In 1976’s Raise the Titanic, for example, a hurricane is bearing down on the recently resurrected ocean liner and its salvage crew, while Russian commandos use the storm as cover to board the ship and cause problems for our heroes. A more recent case in point is The Martian, the events of which are set into motion by a fierce storm that forces the evacuation of the Ares III crew and the marooning of astronaut Mark Watney on Mars. Though not shown in the film adaptation, the novel features a second storm that gives Watney fits while he’s alone on the Red Planet.
Rain plays an important role in heightening the drama or intensity of scenes in favorite films like The Shawshank Redemption or Jurassic Park. Snow is all over movies like Die Hard 2 or The Shining. How about sandstorms like those in Mad Max: Fury Road or Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol? Then you have the really crazy shit you see in films like Twister, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, and The Perfect Storm. At least the latter of these examples is based on both a true story and a book chronicling those events, whereas the others are exercises in What-The-Fuckery so insane they make Michael Bay start twitching to the point that he renders an entire scene from his latest movie without a single second of slow-motion action.
And no discussion of weather in film can be considered complete without at least one mention of the entertainment juggernaut that is Sharknado.
There. I said it. Box checked. Moving on.
As for my own forays into involving weather in my stories, I really had to rack my brain to come up with some examples. The results of that deep dive were pretty lame, if we’re being completely honest with each other. I’ve got rain in a few scenes scattered throughout various novels, sure, but it’s never been a key plot driver. There are scenes in our Star Trek Vanguard novel Summon the Thunder set on an ice world where there are snowstorms and that sort of thing, and a few similar scenes in my Star Trek: Typhon Pact novel Paths of Disharmony, where Picard ventures to snow-covered mountain region to check out some ancient Andorian digs.
Takeaway? I guess I need to give more of a shit about weather. So, for my next Trek novel, expect a sequel to the classic original series episode, “The Apple,” with Captain Kirk duking it out against Vaal’s way ragier older brother, who sends forth a giant space machine thing that uses weather as a weapon against the Enterprise. This will include launching Sharknados at a luckless redshirt who beams down to the alien planet, and is distracted from his duties by a hottie native girl who brings him a pumpkin spiced latte.
Because fuck pumpkin spiced lattes.
This question and its answer was read during G&T Show Episode #256 on October 16th, 2016. You can hear Nick read the answers each week by listening live, or check out the replay/download options when the episode is loaded to their website: The G and T Show. Listeners are also encouraged to send in their own questions, one of which will be sent to me each week for a future episode.
As always, thanks to Nick, Terry and Mike for including me in their reindeer games.