"When extraordinary hurricanes and floods battered parts of the United States and Caribbean this month, Paolo Bacigalupi’s readers started sending him news clips. In 'Ship Breaker,' which was nominated for a National Book Award in 2010, Mr. Bacigalupi, a science fiction writer, had invented a monster 'Category 6' hurricane.
Now, his readers were asking: Is this what you were talking about?
Climate change presents a peculiar challenge to novelists; it often seems to simmer without a singular moment of crisis. So fiction writers like Mr. Bacigalupi hurtle current science into drought-ravaged, flooded, starved, sunken and sandy futures. Climate-themed fiction, like most science fiction, is extension, not invention.
But as scientists’ projections about the effects of climate change have increasingly become reality, some works of apocalyptic fiction have begun to seem all too plausible. We chose seven climate-themed stories and asked the experts: How likely are they to come true?"