What do Frankenstein and many vivid early nineteenth-century artworks, including paintings by J.M.W. Turner, have in common? Supposedly, that would be the 1815 eruption of Indonesia’s Mount Tambora and its climactic repercussions.
Ada Lovelace is now most famously known as the mother of computer science, but during her lifetime, she was also well known on account of her famous father: Lord Byron. Although Ada never met her father, his scandalous behavior had a profound effect on how she was raised — on a strict diet of mathematics.
Science fiction is filled with tales that pit humanity against the natural world: earthquakes, meteor strikes, Sharknados. While some of those stories are birthed from abstract (or entirely made-up) fears, others are inspired by specific occurrences—comets, catastrophes, and climate events.
Last week, I explored two early plague-themed stories of the apocalypse in webcomic form. This week, we're once again going back in time to look at the very earliest tales of the end of the world, this time delving into tales in which the Earth reaches its expiration date. In this short comic, I trace these modern…