>Recent reports of a massive dust storm in Australia — with an 800km storm front and sweeping across thousands of kilometers — fail to advise that the irradiated dust has drawn an attack on Sydney by the feared Godzilla! The image on the left was sent to our office only moments before the brave soul was incinerated by radioactive flame.
Mothra has been spotted on satellite images, and is moving swiftly toward Brisbane. Scientists fear it is being drawn to the Sunshine State by the scent of radioactive mangoes. The east coast of Australia remains on high alert. . .
OK, well maybe it wasn’t quite that bad, but the recent dust storm that blanketed the east coast of Australia (and is heading toward New Zealand) was certainly epic in its proportions (it really was that big). It was the biggest dust storm in 70 years, and dumped more than 75,000 tonnes of dust on Brisbane in one hour. More than one observer reported ‘It was like the end of the world’ or ‘It was like being in a science fiction movie’. The sunset was awesome, the sky as red as Martian dust (Australian desert sands have a high content of iron oxide).
When you see something like that — really experience it — it truly is amazing. It got me thinking about settings in books. If only we could channel that experience directly, make the reader feel that same creepy wonder, that otherworldlyness combined with the wake-up-and-look bite of something that is absolutely real.
It also made me realise that we owe it to ourselves as writers, and our readers, to get out there and really experience everything this world has to offer. There are some truly strange and wonderful things out there. It took that massive dust storm to remind myself of that.
So what things have you experienced that have made your head spin? That lifted you out of your own reality? And what writers have inspired similar feelings in you with their sense of setting?
By the way, if you want to see some great images of that dust storm, check out this link: http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/gallery/0,23816,5060705-17382,00.html