04 April 2012

D is for Drought (A-Z Challenge)

D is for Drought

This is a toughie – droughts tend to be caused by an apocalyptic event, not to be considered as the apocalyptic event itself.  But on its own it definitely has some merits.

Scenario: Ever thought about how much we REALLY rely on water?  Not for just filling the bathtub to the brim, washing our clothes and drinking, but how about growing food, growing trees to oxygenate the air, keeping  all the dirt turning to dust?  A localized or worldwide drought would be devastating to human populations within a relatively short space of time – and those melting icecaps won’t help because it’s sea water.  Mass desalinization on a scale to hydrate the whole world is a big ask….

Characters: Any survival-type characters, families (pulling on heart strings using children is an easy option).  Romance will be difficult (you’d really hug someone who hadn’t showered in weeks?  Well, maybe…), government conspiracy a big ask.  You could also consider unlikely heroes – it’s not like they need any special skills (or a water diviner, great if clichéd idea!), maybe fighting off gangs, but this is a great average-Joe choice.

Location:  If it’s a localized drought you have the inevitable problem of people simply moving away.  But what about if it’s a country with no or limited land borders – would the rest of the world leave them to their own devices and refuse to take refugees?

If it’s a worldwide drought your choices are endless.  Any city or country location would work because the implications are the same.  If you want a whole lot of baddies and raiders you might choose a city location to begin with, and then maybe move to a country location. 

Series or stand-alone?  This scenario would work well as a series – after all, a worldwide drought wouldn’t exactly be resolved by a few fire hoses or a good rain shower.  As a stand-alone you’re going to be pretty limited in your choice of ending to the story – it could possibly work to have a stand-alone set a good period of time after the drought started.

Recommended by me

Things We Didn't See Coming by Steven Amsterdam

Published: March 2009

Pages: 208 (paperback)

For synopsis and my review click HERE

Please note, this book is not primarily set during a drought, but there is one in part of the book!


The Drought by J.G. Ballard

Published: 1964

Pages: 240 (paperback)

Originally published as The Burning World

The world is threatened by dramatic climate change in this highly acclaimed and influential novel, one of the most important early works by the bestselling author of 'Cocaine Nights' and 'Super-Cannes'. Water. Man's most precious commodity is a luxury of the past. Radioactive waste from years of industrial dumping has caused the sea to form a protective skin strong enough to devastate the Earth it once sustained. And while the remorseless sun beats down on the dying land, civilisation itself begins to crack. Violence erupts and insanity reigns as the remnants of mankind struggle for survival in a worldwide desert of despair.


  1. Ooh, this is a really interesting topic! And I think a book about it would be a unique read! The whole idea of it is extemely scary! Haha.

    I hadn't heard of either of those two books but they both sound awesome so I'm adding them to my TBR! Thanks :D


  2. I'm surprised this doesn't even come to mind for me when I think of disasters! We had a major one in our area last year (first one of that scale that I know of). There is something else that comes with droughts that many people do not realize -- fires. We had a crazy number of wildfires while we were facing the village well potentially running out of water. The biggest one came was finally contained a quarter of a mile from my house. It was very scary business!

  3. I'm Australian, drought and fire should be top of my 'scary' list! But I tend to forget about it being a risk seeing as I now live totally surrounded by water.

    Fires are horribly scary - I had quite a few nearby where I lived in Australia - and there's nothing you can do except wait and see what happens!



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