Deja-vu (After the Flood, the novel vs. 2012, the movie)

I watched the movie 2012 and had a sense of déjà•vu as I left the theatre. Had the movie’s script writers and I met in some dream space and used each other’s plot lines? The destruction of the earth, which takes place in the first fifty pages of my book, is in this movie! Now of course, there are some of the Hollywoodisms in the film—like fantastic special effects and the drama of the cliff•hanger—that I dispensed with for my novel. But the rest is kind of—there! They even have a little•known writer, who had published a book about this calamity, as one of the principle heroes—go figure! The only difference is that my disaster happens in a Canadian locale, whereas 2012 takes place mainly in the USA.

Is it easy to project the what•if’s that can happen to the planet if we carry on regardless? But if these trend•lines are so easy to forecast, why is no one doing anything about it? Will Copenhagen really embody Hopenhagen? Or have all the best seats in the ark been sold already to the worlds billionaires so that they are safe when the flood comes? Is that why there are Forbes’ lists and other rankings of the richest people in the world, so that they can lay claim to being at the front of the line of the box•office for this show to end all shows?

Is it also co•incidental that this type of literature and movies is coming out at this point in time? When I sat down to write my novel, I had no intention of scaremongering. I don’t even know what compelled me to write on this futuristic theme. And I was writing this book back in 2002, when the world was a safer place, other than for a couple of tall towers that had fallen in Manhattan a few months earlier. Perhaps the falling of those towers was the first inkling of a world about to go drastically wrong? Maybe that was the catalyst that started many of us writers writing in different parts of the world, unconnected to any conspiracy to scare the pants off the world but compelled to project a vision of hope should a disaster like this occur?

Despite the long years I waited to see this novel in print, I was pleased by the reception I got when it finally came out last month. Readers flocked to the book’s launch events; readers nodded and understood why I wrote this stuff—now. They would have been out having fun in the park instead had I launched this book in 2002.

And for those who thought that I had planned this novel with the Hollywood script•writers, I have to remind them that the balance 250 pages of my novel deals with what happens after the flood, a situation that the movie does not address. Maybe I should send Hollywood my book. Or maybe, just like all car models that are planned years in advance, they have already scripted the movie versions of 2025, 2035 and 2045, all to be released closer to those dates? Oh, darn…

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