I am looking for the name of a short story most likely by Asimov, Bradbury, or Clarke.

The plot is about a small group of explorers who have set up an outpost on a planet when they notice that the native population starts dwindling because they are migrating. Suddenly the outpost is beset by a windstorm with gusts in excess of 200 mph. The outpost suffers damage and barely survives the storm. The story ends when the explorers communicate with some of the migrating natives who tell them that they are migrating to the part of their world where they can wait out the windy season, which will start in a few weeks.

1 Answer 1


"A Wind Is Rising", a short story by Robert Sheckley, first published (as by "Finn O'Donnevan") in Galaxy Science Fiction, July 1957 which is available at the Internet Archive, as is the X Minus One radio adaptation. This was also my (unaccepted) answer to an old question.

There are two astronauts on a planet:

Before each tour of duty, Clayton dutifully promised his wife that this would be the last. After this tour, he was going to stay on Earth and work on the little farm he owned. He promised . . .

But at the end of each rest leave, Clayton journeyed out again, to do the thing for which he was best suited: staying alive through skill and endurance.

But this time he had had it. He and Nerishev had been eight months on Carella. The relief ship was due in another four months. If he came through alive, he was going to quit for good.

"Just listen to that wind," Nerishev said.

The Earthmen survive a terrible storm. Clayton is in a heavy truck:

Clayton stared ahead. In the distance he could make out the dramatic black cliffs that rimmed the plain.

"I got about fifteen miles to go before I pile into the cliffs. Not much time, at the speed I'm traveling." He locked his brakes. The tires began to scream and the brake linings smoked furiously. But the wind, at 183 miles an hour, didn't even notice the difference. His speed over the ground had picked up to 44 miles an hour.

"Try sailing her out!" Nerishev said.

"She won't take it."

"Try, man! What else can you do? The wind's hit 185 here. The whole station's shaking! Boulders are tearing up the whole post defense. I'm afraid some boulders are going to get through and flatten—"

"Stow it," Clayton said. "I got troubles of my own."

"I don't know if the station will stand! Clayton, listen to me. Try the—"

The radio went suddenly and dismayingly dead.

The storm blows over, and then they get the bad news from the natives. The weather is about to change from catastrophically bad to even worse:

"These people," Smanik said, gesturing around him, "are my entire tribe, the Seremai. we have celebrated the Festival of Summer. Now summer is ended and we must go away."

"Where to?"

"To the caverns in the far west. They are two weeks' sail from here. We will go into the caverns and live there for three months. In that way, we will find safety."

Clayton had a sudden sinking feeling in his stomach. "Safety from what, Smanik?"

"I told you. Summer is over. We need safety now from the winds—the powerful storm winds of winter."

[. . .]

"What is it?" Nerishev repeated impatiently. "What the devil did he say to make you look like that?"

"He says the really big winds are just coming," Clayton replied.

The two men stared at each other.

Outside, a wind was rising.

  • 1
    Wow. That sounds absolutely spot on. I really didn’t remember the anthology I read that twenty years ago. I appreciate your answer and give crazy amounts of respect to your abilities! Thank you!
    – Tor
    Jan 23, 2021 at 3:06
  • 1
    @Tor If you are the original querent, it seems you've lost access to your old account. Visit stackoverflow.com/help/merging-accounts to learn how to merge them so you can accept by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jan 23, 2021 at 5:36
  • One would probably notice a yearly wind problem just looking at the landscape (also, strong winds like that on a planet? I'm dubious) Jan 23, 2021 at 11:54
  • @DavidTonhofer It's not real Jan 23, 2021 at 17:15
  • @AsteroidsWithWings I guess the heading of the SO group gives it away. Jan 23, 2021 at 17:24

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