The Standards Blog

Alright, this is getting Spooky

Adventures in Self Publishing

Crystal BallSo a year and a half ago I wrote a book called The Lafayette Campaign, a Tale of Deception and Elections. In it, a totally ridiculous conservative candidate leaps to the top of the polls, and then wins the nomination. Sound familiar?

Sadly, yes. But wait, there’s more.

Another part of the plot was that the real intentions of the candidate’s handlers was to get him elected, and then get him out of the way, so that the Vice President could take over. Well, here are a couple of clips from prominent newspapers.

From the Washington Post, quoting a professor who had earlier predicted that Trump would win:

At the end of our September conversation, Lichtman made another call: that if elected, Trump would eventually be impeached by a Republican Congress that would prefer a President Mike Pence — someone whom establishment Republicans know and trust. 

“I’m going to make another prediction,” he said. “This one is not based on a system; it’s just my gut. They don’t want Trump as president, because they can’t control him. He’s unpredictable. They’d love to have Pence — an absolutely down-the-line, conservative, controllable Republican. And I’m quite certain Trump will give someone grounds for impeachment, either by doing something that endangers national security or because it helps his pocketbook.”

And from the New York Times, in a column by David Brooks calling for a new third party:

After all, the guy will probably resign or be impeached within a year. The future is closer than you think.

And this isn’t the first time this has happened. My first book, The Alexandria Project, a Tale of Treachery and Technology, predicted pretty accurately a series of events that North Korea then enacted in the real world. But it even got weirder than that. Here’s an outtake from one of my blog entries a year after that book came out:

Okay. Most of that could be attributed simply to the fact that I did my research well, and that others might make the same speculations based on past events that I did in developing my plot.  But this morning’s news included a story that makes me seriously wonder whether my book has crossed the divide from predicting events to acting as a “how to” manual for real-world, state-supported cyber attackers.

Why? Well, let’s give a quick read to some from my book. The setting is the main character’s attempt to access an important file early in the book:

Highlighting the file name, he hit the entry key, leaned back, and waited for the proposal to display.

Except it didn’t. Frank leaned forward and poked the Enter key again. Still nothing. Perhaps his laptop was frozen. But no – he could still move his cursor.

Then Frank noticed that something on the screen was changing . . . [T]here was a line of text, but in characters he couldn’t read . . . He reached for his cell phone and took a picture of the screen just before it suddenly went blank . . . The picture wasn’t great, but once he enlarged it he could tell that the characters were ancient Greek.

Pretty fanciful, right? Now let’s take a look at an article from the real world, titled Cyber attacks Seem Meant to Destroy, Not Just Disrupt. It begins as follows:

American Express customers trying to gain access to their online accounts Thursday were met with blank screens or an ominous ancient type face. The company confirmed that its Web site had come under attack.

Whoa! Just a coincidence? So I’ve been thinking of perhaps trying a different business model for my writing career. Perhaps the FBI or CIA would like to pay me not to write. They probably already know where to find me.

Be that as it may, I sincerely hope that my latest book, The Doodlebug War, a Tale of Fanatics and Romantics, doesn’t prove to be prophetic. The problem is I’m pretty sure it will, because no one seems to be even talking about, much less doing anything about, the vulnerability I use as the foundation for that plot. If that piques your interest, you can find The Doodlebug War here.

The Doodlebug War