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?