Book Review: Odds Against Tomorrow

By Nathaniel Rich, link to Kindle edition here.

I bought this because it received a NEVIL award, as did my own global warming science fiction novel “Last Week” (FREE PDF file for that here).

This novel would be improved by just scrapping the third part. None of that makes sense to me. Especially the main character’s motivations. I have also some trouble understanding why Mitchell would stay in town when the storm hits, and why people trust him as some kind of authority on storms even though his field of expertise is statistics, not meteorology.

The basic idea of having a math genius making a lot of money from predicting risks for rich clients is interesting for a global warming novel. I liked that part. I am sure that the insurance industry employs people like Mitchell to figure out how much premiums they need to charge. All things equal, more risk means more business for insurance companies.

But I don’t think that he would be able to say anything about individual storms hitting any individual area. With global warming we know that extreme weather events will become more frequent and more damaging, but we don’t know when and where exactly they will hit.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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