Waking up to news of the Las Vegas shooting gave me chills. The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history took place at a concert. I wrote about a devastating event just like this about four years ago. And just in the past week a strange story came out of Cuba about Sonic Weapons being used against U.S. diplomats. I used such a weapon in my earlier writing as well. It was surreal to read about it in the news.
Since publishing NATION OF ENEMIES (NOE for short) in August 2015, I've had several conversations and received many comments about how my novel is "prescient." Events happened that were disturbingly similar to parts of my plot. From biochips to school shootings, election issues to immigration bans. And though NOE takes place in the near future world of 2032, that world was suddenly closer. Seemingly on our doorstep.
I began keeping a log of news stories until I couldn't keep up with how often they were being published. Here's a sampling from early last year: (*these are not Nation of Enemies spoilers, things would truly have to go even more awry...)
2/20/16 - Uber Driver Goes on Shooting Rampage in Kalamazoo STORY HERE
2/18/16 - Apple's Battle With The FBI - Brand vs. Privacy STORY HERE
2/1/16 - DNA Gets Kid Kicked Out Of School STORY HERE
1/27/16 - New Technology Can Track Workplace Shooters STORY HERE
1/26/16 - Oregon Militia Stand-Off STORY HERE
1/26/16 - Danish Parliament approves legislation that enables "Immigration authorities to seize jewelry and other personal valuables from refugees."
1/19/16 - Several MA area high schools receive bomb threats, schools close. STORY HERE
1/16/16 - The genetic breakthrough that may allow scientists to make permanent changes in a person's DNA. STORY HERE
I had to stop there or this post would be several pages long.
I conjured NOE out of both my imagination and exhaustive research into subjects such as genetics, emergency room medicine, the history of terrorism (both worldwide and within the U.S.), elections, and immigration.
Horrifyingly, current events are taking shape that give credence to my imagination. But, more importantly, they demonstrate that certain aspects of our future are very much predictable. Spend an hour (or days, like I did) reading up on genetics and you will see what the future will look like in medicine ten years from now. The same goes for terrorism. In NOE I spent a lot of time educating myself on "lone wolves" and hate groups, reading posts on their websites and trying to understand their mindset. I'll never understand it, but we have to at least know where it's coming from in order to stop the hate from spreading. Because it is surely spreading.
Since 2014, hate groups in the U.S. have grown by over 17% (and they can be categorized into 10 groups such as Christian Identity, Neo-Confederate, Anti-LGBT, Racist Skinhead, Anti-Muslim, and Neo-Nazi, and more). These groups produce lone wolves with their shared values who act of their own volition. They are unpredictable and don't follow group patterns known to the FBI. They're hard to track, especially if they eschew technology. You get the point.
I could write another book about this but I won't - I can't - because it's too close to reality. We're already steeped in the horror. At times like this when it's easier to retreat into our comfort zones, to stay at home and to remain in our bubbles of safely that we mistakenly think we live in, I encourage you to read.
You may not be researching for a book, but you ARE researching for life and your family. The more we all know and understand, the more we can work to change society and rid ourselves ofhate. Because as hate is growing, so should we.