If you want to write a dystopia start with this map…
This fictional map shows what the British Isles might look like in 2100 if sea levels rise and are 100 meters higher than they were in 2000. The artist/cartographer Jay Simons imagines that as London and Dublin have gone the new capitals would be Birmingham, Glasgow and Belfast, although I suspect Cork and Edinburgh might have something to say about that….
To my surprise Brighton survives as an island so Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s have gone but the Pavilion survives and I would guess the city would be as car-free as Venice. Yorkshire becomes the heart of England while Scotland and Wales to my uneducated eye remain essentially the same. Ireland though is further away from England than ever with the widening of the Irish Sea and as a second generation Kerry woman I am worried that we won’t have anyone to compete against in the Gaelic football championships.
What if…? is perhaps the most important question for writers and this map is a glorious starting place if your sights are fixed on the future.
I found out about Jay Simons through Her.ie – the website for Irish women – and his work can be found at Deviant Art where you can buy posters of this map and the new face of the rest of Europe and the USA if the water rises. You can also see his most famous work – the internet map of the world.