Great North Road|
The very first sentence of Peter F. Hamilton’s Great North Road (2012) reads:
As midnight approached, the wild neon colours of the borealis storm came shimmering through the soft snow falling gently across Newcastle upon Tyne.
How is that possible? Auroras take place high in the sky, in the thermosphere (above 80 km), but if it’s snowing then it must be cloudy in the lower troposphere (stratus clouds have a base around 2 km), so it would seem very unlikely that you could see an aurora “through snow”. Some more explanation is needed, and it’s not provided. So is this just an unlucky slip, or an example of systematic failure to think through the consequences of the settings and events in the novel? ( Let’s read on and find out. )