without a summer
Three events fuel this worldbuilding-related musing: firstly, the omnipresent Covid-19 situation, which has been ongoing worldwide since December, and in my backyard for the past month or so. Second, my recent dive in Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist Histories series, specifically the third book, Without a Summer. Third and final, Pesach, and the annual reading of the Pesach Haggadah, including a recitation of the Ten Plagues of Egypt.
Covid-19 has got everyone with disaster on the mind, but in some ways it’s an apex of a common sentiment I’ve seen online for years now, expressing that each year/month/time period is more terrible and disaster-ridden than the last. Memes about volcanic eruptions and wildfires spark both fear and laughter, depending on the reader. For myself, they remind me of the Plagues of Egypt. Because of the timing — a Seder in isolation is no ordinary feat — and because Pesach happens to be my favorite holiday, and I especially love the Haggadah.