In January, I kicked off my annual review of real-world events that mirror plots and characters from my books. This month, I’m back with a few more interesting parallels. I’ve also included several scenarios crafted by Vince. It’s incredible that seven years after his death, his work still feels like it could have been published yesterday.
Russia’s fictional leader, Maxim Krupin, had a brain tumor and now Vladimir Putin may be ill? Red War called and wants its plot back. I’m feeling a little unsettled with this one because it will be very difficult for a strongman like Putin to step down. Dictators tend to be either in power, desperately trying to cling to power, or dead.
Protect and Defend
The Patriot Attack
Years ago, I wrote a few books for Robert Ludlum’s Covert One series. I really enjoyed spending my days with a hero who was an army microbiologist because it let me unleash my inner science geek. The Patriot Attack was my exploration of a war between China and Japan using next generation weaponry. One scene imagined two fighter pilots in a dogfight against artificially intelligent drones. The humans were hopelessly outclassed by computers that could make millions of calculations per second and withstand deadly g-forces. It appears that DARPA liked my idea.
Another fun detail that’s come to pass relates to the protagonist’s partner, Randi Russell. She had a pair of shoes with removable heels—the perfect solution for the bad-ass operator who wants to transition from the boardroom to the battlefield. I’d like to think that the inventor of these real-life shoes read the book and was inspired by my creation.
Transfer of Power
Marcus Dumond, a brilliant CIA hacker, was introduced in the first book in the series. It turns out that Vince’s crystal ball was working overtime on this one. He described the real-life Marcus Hutchins almost perfectly. Not just the first name, but what he looks like, his computer skills, and his arrest by the FBI. Interestingly, Hutchins was only one year old when Vince wrote out his life story.
My premise in The Immortalists revolves around the ultra-rich chasing a treatment that would give them health and vitality well beyond the lifespan of today’s human beings. Of course, they will do anything to get it and to keep it out of the hands of others. Hopefully, things will go smoother when it really comes to pass. And it may well. Some of the world’s wealthiest people are now working to develop just those kinds of therapies.
Haven’t read Part 1 of Stranger Than Fiction 2021? Find it here.