Bill Evans, author of Category 7, discusses the effects of a major hurricane on New York City
• Every 70 years (on average) a major hurricane hits NYC. 2008 is the 70th anniversary of the 1938 “Long Island Express” hurricane. Every year that goes by without a major hurricane is another year that we are closer to that major hurricane taking place.
• Category 5 is actually the highest level hurricane we meteorologists work with on the Saffir-Simpson Scale; a Category 7 storm, if there was such a thing, would have winds of 200 mph with gusts to 250 mph.
• If a Category 7 hurricane hit New York City, it would create a storm surge of 40-50 feet. Salt water would flood the East & West Sides of Manhattan and 10-foot high flood waters would extend all the way to Midtown from the Battery. As the storm leaves, massive flooding of the same height would take place in Harlem as the Harlem River overflowed into northern Manhattan and the Bronx.
• The safest areas of NYC to be in during a hurricane of this magnitude would be the middle of Manhattan, from Central Park South to Harlem. Other safe areas are east-central Brooklyn, central to northern Queens, and central Long Island, where the elevation goes to about 100 feet.
• There is something for everyone in Manhattan because of the island's many close-set buildings. Some windows will be blown in and others, because of air pressure, will be sucked out. The same will hold true for people. People could actually be sucked out of their high-rise apartments and blown into another building. Others might be injured or killed by falling glass, sections of roofs or water towers, or anything that might have been on a rooftop—chairs, planters, decorative items.
• New York City will lose a good portion of its history. Lower Manhattan, where New York began, will be completely under water. Many of the oldest houses in the city will be lost, like the Van Nuyse-Magaw House in Brooklyn, which was built in 1800, and the Commandant's House in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
• Salt-water flooding from a major hurricane would cripple NYC's subway system. The system would be inoperable and there would be billions of dollars of damage. The tunnels under the East and Hudson Rivers, which would be closed 12-24 hours before the storm’s arrival, would be completely flooded. The city’s bridges would also be closed during the storm and there would be wind damage to the structures.
• The last estimate from the insurance industry was that a Category 3 would cause in excess of 150 billion dollars in damage to New York City. New York is a coastal city, with major infrastructure located at sea-level—not just subways and tunnels, but airports, power plants, waste water treatment plants, and more. A Category 7 would double that projected devastation!
Are New Yorkers ready? In the real world, everyone should be prepared for a storm, because no one can stop one. In Bill Evans and Marianna Jameson's gripping thriller, Category 7, Kate Sherman and Jake Baxter must stop Hurricane Simone before she devastates New York City. Released in July 2007, Category 7 (A Forge hardcover; 0-7653-1735-4, $24.95/ $31.00 CAN) is an exciting, entertaining look at a disaster in the making. Click here to learn about the devastating effect a major hurricane would have on New York City.
A Letter from Elizabeth Haydon
Reading YA Fantasy is a great way for people of all ages to make connections with many different areas of knowledge. While the reader is exploring new worlds, his or her brain is working new muscles, building the ability to imagine fantastical things and understand the links between real ones.
To capitalize on this learning opportunity, I decided to use my background in curriculum development to help foster these connections through fun, educational activities based on my new YA fantasy series, The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme. Beginning with book one, The Floating Island, and continuing with its sequel, The Thief Queen’s Daughter, readers can enjoy magical activities like Design Your Own Beard; science experiments involving the making of clouds and copper; social studies games about graveyards, families, and races; as well as activities in English and Language Arts, Math and Logic, Science, Art, Music, Geography, Mythology, and Nautical studies.
I’m out on tour, having a ball with kids who are using these fun learning tools in conjunction with reading these novels about a young boy who long ago traveled the known and unknown worlds, seeking its magic and making note of it in his journals.
The real magic is in the readers, and it’s a joy to watch them making their own connections. These free, downloadable, and customizable activities and materials are available at www.venpolypheme.com for use by teachers, librarians, parents, students, and anyone else who just wants to have fun learning new things about the magic in the world we live in.
Sam at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego says:
The other day, Patrick handed me a book. "What's this?" I asked, and he simply replied, "Read this. It's going to be the next Harry Potter." I was dubious at first, being a big Harry Potter fan, but that quickly faded as I realized he could be right. The tone for The Floating Island is set in the preface, which speaks of a time long ago when a young Nain explorer named Ven Polyphene records his adventures and "the marvelous sights he witnessed". In this world without magic, his observations provide a map to the past where pockets of magic might still be found. These statements, made at the very beginning of the book, unfold tantalizingly slowly. Each chapter to follow begins with the damaged scraps of his writings, leading into the heart of the story: one of dwarves, ships, pirates, merfolk and delightful, fast-paced adventure on the high seas. Elizabeth writes in a style that earns your interest and holds it for the entirety of this lovely and amusing tale: a book that will be enjoyed by people of all ages who have ever been curious about the larger world around them. Available for your reading pleasure (and I do mean pleasure).
The Thief Queen’s Daughter (0-7653-0868-1, $17.95 / $21.95 CAN) was released from Starscape in July. Click here to watch a video interview with Elizabeth Haydon as she discusses The Thief Queen’s Daughter.
Will Shetterly & Emma Bull: Writers At Home
Acclaimed fantasy authors Emma Bull and Will Shetterly both have new novels out from Tor. By an amazing coincidence, not only are they both married, but they’re married to each other. If you were having a chat with them, it might sound a lot like this:
How would you describe your writing to someone who’d never read it?
Emma: A friend once introduced Will and me to another writer by saying, “They don’t write that elfy-welfy stuff.” As soon as I figure out what that is, I’m going to write some just to spite him. I think my fiction is the bastard offspring of Jane Austen and Raymond Chandler. With magic.
Will: One of the great lessons to be learned from Shakespeare is that you don’t have to choose beautiful poetry or bawdy jokes or action or romance or comedy. Life has them all, so stories should, too. […] Okay, that’s more of a goal than a description. I try to write about flawed people who are better than they realize, because I think we’re all like that.
What do you think people should know about your spouse?
Emma: As a writer? He can go from hilarious to harrowing to heartrending in the space of a paragraph, and make it work. He wants his fiction to tell the truth about the world, even if it’s a hard truth to face. He’s a wonderful writing teacher and critic. As for the other stuff, he once ran for governor of Minnesota and came in third in a field of six. He’s fascinated by really small living spaces. And he’s learning to play the ukulele.
Will: Whatever you think of me as a writer, Emma’s better. I can’t remember the first thing of hers that I read, but I remember my reaction: she’ll be an author someday. She’s a wonderful singer and songwriter. She was in a duo, the Flash Girls, that won the Minnesota Music Award for Best World Folk Act. She likes to sew historical costumes. When people think she’s too perfect, she assures them that she can’t throw a frisbee. I keep meaning to get her a frisbee to test that.
Why did you write your latest book?
Emma: Territory started with Steven Brust (with whom I wrote Freedom and Necessity). He got me hooked on the movie Tombstone, which set me to reading up on the O.K. Corral gunfight. The history around that is a huge can of worms—it probably provokes more controversy among American history buffs than anything short of the Civil War. But that’s why it’s perfect for historical fantasy. The more I read, the more I wanted to write a story in which the conflicting histories were all true, and only part of the truth. And I wanted the magical, fantastical elements to come as much from Tombstone itself as from the characters, because the town of Tombstone has always been half real and half myth.
Will: As a fantasy writer, I was always a little jealous of writers who wrote realistic fiction because they could write semi-autobiographical stories. One day, I realized I could do that, too—all I had to do was add supernatural elements to the world I grew up in. The result was a book called Dogland, which was inspired by my life as a boy at a tourist attraction in Florida that had over 100 breeds of dogs on display. That book was sufficiently fun to write that I decided to do a sequel set about seven years later, when Dogland's main character, Chris Nix, is a teenager. Like Chris, I went from living in a blue-collar neighborhood in the South to an exclusive boarding school in New England, but my time at prep school was much less interesting than what happens in The Gospel of the Knife.
The Gospel of the Knife (0-312-86631-3, $25.95 / $31.95 CAN) and Territory (0-312-85735-7, $24.95 / $31.00 CAN) were released from Tor in July.