The official first day of spring is next week. That doesn’t mean that it’s really spring everywhere. It’s probably been spring for weeks in Texas, and it still feels like winter here in South Dakota, but March 20 is what divides the calendar.
There are many commercials that are playing into the concept of upcoming spring, and they got me thinking. In fantasy, you generally see worlds that are variations on our own planet. Science fiction is different, of course, as it often features different planets. But fantasy is still speculative fiction, and who’s to say that an Earth with magic, or a magical realm different from Earth, needs to function the same as our planet?
It’s an interesting and very unfamiliar thing to think about mixing up the seasons. Would it even really be possible? If there is a hot season and a cold season, there would by necessity be a cooling-down season and a warming-up season to transition between the two. Perhaps that’s why no one has really played with seasons, because there isn’t a lot of room for play.
There are places on our planet where seasons are different, and often fantasy stories will take place in rainforests, deserts, or mountains, taking advantage of the change in climate to work in a variation on weather. The necessary logic of seasons might preclude toying with them in a fantasy novel, but it might be interesting to consider incorporating some the other variables that can change when you free yourself from the world we live in.