Après moi, le déluge.

After me, the flood.

“Deluge” is a free science-fiction short story exploring how extreme flooding reshapes the city of Paris in the not-so-distant future. Young Ginny finds herself in New Paris, the historic French capital now filled with the canals of Venice “before it went the way of Atlantis.” How did this watery world come to be? It’s not such a hard future to imagine.

“Deluge” was inspired by a writing prompt that asked how global warming might reshape the world in the future. Extreme flooding in Paris during the winter of 2018 led me to wonder how prolonged flooding might one day reshape the city into a Venice-like metropolis of waterways. The story grew from there, drawing on my own travels to Paris in 2015, imagining future flight security and expenses made outrageous by a shifting world, and reflecting on the age-old problem of generations living only for today.

I should note that while some research was conducted for this piece, including observations on recent floods in Paris, this story is far from a “hard” sci-fi short story. My science fiction is often more in the vein of Star Wars or comic books in that I am more concerned with imagining how a different environment might shape the cultures and behaviors of the characters. Consider me the type of person more interested not in how the lightsaber operates, but what one does with that tool in hand. That said, “Deluge” is intended as a story set in a world different from, but recognizable as our own. There is no magic or ancient power in this story, but if you stick around, you’ll find plenty of fantastical things to come in future months’ free reads.

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