Speculative fiction takes a lot of inspiration from what-ifs. What if aliens landed in the middle of the Super Bowl? What if a giant serpent really lived in the ocean? What if robots rose up against the human race?
Those what-ifs stretch the imagination, but there are every day things that spark ideas and generate new worlds. One of those things is the weather. That ever-changing, difficult to predict, mighty force. What makes it more ominous is that there is little we can do about it.
We've had no snow this winter where I live. It's been so warm, previous records have been broken on a weekly basis. What if this continues? Or accelerates? We now have rattlesnakes in the area and brown recluse spiders. People have died from bites. If the warming trend continues, we'll have even more poisonous critters moving up.
With the bouncing temperatures not being too cold or summer hot, it's the perfect environment for viruses. So many folks have been sick and hospitalized recently. What if a virus gains strength in these temperatures? What if it mutates?
I have friends in the southern hemisphere experiencing a brutally hot summer. Crops have dried up, and there's been several power outages. What if the temperature continues to rise? How hot will it have to be before people won't go outside anymore? How will we adapt then?
Some days I dream about winters like I had when I was a child. So much wonderful snow. I've never experienced a storm that kept us inside longer than a day, but the cold can be just as vicious as the heat. What if we were thrown into another ice age? What would our lives be like then?
What are some of your favorites stories that played off the what-ifs from the weather?
Weather can certainly be terrifying and/or inspirational. We're also going through strangely warm temperatures. We hit 60 in February in New England. Insane!ReplyDelete
I remember being very moved by a graphic novel about Hurricane Katrina. Out of the Dust was also well done. I recall reading Grapes of Wrath as a teen and being blown away by the bleakness.
What excellent examples of great stories with the weather! It is ridiculous how warm it is. I'm in central Indiana and we're getting up to 70 this week.Delete
We hit 74 today! I actually drove with the top down. My husband and daughter went skiing in NH, and it was slush.Delete
Hi Christine - the weather has always played games with humans and life on earth - I can't see it changing now - we're having a 'warmish' winter ... I really don't want a 1962/63 winter when everything froze up for over 10 weeks. But stories can be devised using the weather as a back-drop ... I really don't want to think about too many 'what ifs' ...?! Cheers HilaryReplyDelete
I remember the really cold winters when I was a kid too.Delete
We've been having a brutal winter in the west, but I know the rest of the US has been pretty mild... hot even in some places. The what ifs no longer apply to just fiction, which is the scariest part.ReplyDelete
So true! If the Earth tilted just a degree or two any which way, can you just imagine!Delete
And winter is my favorite season. Such a disappointment this year. The scary part is when fiction becomes nonfiction. I guess Trump isn't the only reason to move further north. : )ReplyDelete
Yes, totally! I miss winter too. I get excited when people say "Winter is coming" but for a different reason. Heh.Delete