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Friday, March 11, 2011

Disasters

The earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan this morning has me thinking about disasters in general, and specifically in fiction.

I rather enjoy disaster movies and books, as long as the disaster in question is implausible enough that I can reassure myself it'll never happen. Asteroids hitting the earth? Fine. Earth's rotation slowing or stopping? Great. Even Super Viruses of Doom and the Evil That Follows, no problems here.

But volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis in the Ring of Fire? I cannot cope with these. They seem too real, too immediate, too possible for comfort. No matter how unlikely the details - lakes don't really turn into sulfuric acid so easily as all that - if the basic premise is sound enough, I'm done.

So my heart goes out to those affected more directly than I (to the best of my knowledge, none of my family or friends are in Japan at the moment). I've already donated to the Red Cross for earthquake relief and sent Good Thoughts across the Pacific. It's really all I can do besides listen if a family member or friend or customer or coworker or facebook buddy wants to talk.