Most disaster stories create dramatic tension by having the heroes find out of that the world needs to be saved at the last possible moment. How about for a change of pace that astronomers announce that a meteor is fifteen years from destroying civilisation? From this premise you could write multiple novels about how different people spend these years.
One book should be about someone deciding to pursue a career as a physicist / space-flight engineer with the goal of saving the earth, another about people preparing to rebuild after the meteor hits, an apocalyptic cult and yet another centred on people looking to burn down the world before the meteor arrives.
As for sequels I can see three directions it can go in:
- The physicists fail. Various stories about life as a new ice age begins
- Physicist partially succeeds. No ice age but plenty of destruction from small meteors
- Physicists succeed (probably by redirecting the meteor) but an enormous fragmentation of society has occurred. People planning to build a Utopia after the meteor hits initiate a coup
In all honesty though I have no intention to writing these books. What I “envision” is a cast of very different characters in each book reacting to the slowly approaching disaster and each other in very different ways. The problem here is that I am too much of a socially-oblivious shut in to do this concept any justice. Therefore I am putting the idea out for any novelist who stumbles across this post to use.