Sunday, November 27, 2016

Five real disasters that writers have used to generate fantastical stories

Sam Reader is a writer and conventions editor for The Geek Initiative. He also writes literary criticism and reviews at One of five alternate histories featuring actual natural disasters that he tagged at the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog:
The Black Plague, The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

Years of Rice and Salt is an alternate history that explores what would happen if the Black Plague really did wipe out most of Europe, instead of just laying waste to large swaths of the population. Without the European migration and progress, the Middle East and China emerge as the major superpowers in the world, with their philosophy and culture informing progress for years to come. Eventually, of course, this also erupts into massive war, as fewer world superpowers in no way mean fewer wars. Robinson keeps most of his fiction well within the plausible, though the novel does speculate on the afterlives of some of the characters, and takes minor liberties with tech advancement.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue