Stranger Than Fiction: Novels That Predicted the Future

Stranger Than Fiction: Novels That Predicted the Future

by Lindsay on August 4, 2011

in Intuition

Photo credit: Noel Glynn

Edgar Allan Poe’s novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, tells the story of  a young man aboard a ship called the Grampus. The ship encounters a terrifyingly large squall, and only a handful of men aboard the ship survived. Among the survivors was a cabin boy named Richard Parker, who was later cannibalized in what was then known as the grim “custom of the sea.” Though this story was entirely conjured up in Poe’s mind, decades after the book was published, the Mignonette (a British naval ship) was destroyed under almost identical circumstances after a 40-foot wave capsized the ship. Among the survivors was cabin boy Richard Parker – who was the first to be killed and cannibalized, just as had happened in Poe’s novel.

Throughout history, several writers have managed to craft plot elements into their stories which would later prove to have startling ramifications in the real world. In many instances where such startling similarities have occurred, names, dates, and places have even accurately been named, as though the authors had somehow tapped into actual future events and predicted their outcome.

In Stephen King’s book, Dreamcatcher (about an Earth invasion by an alien with repulsive albeit somewhat humorous methods of reproduction) written in 1999, published in 2001 and reprinted in 2003, there is a scene containing a singular one time reference of main character Owen Underhill’s family, wife and daughter KATRINA and RITA. The names were psychically transmitted from one character to another, as proof of the psychic phenomena and to gain that person’s attention.

Futility by Morgan Robertson tells the story of an unsinkable ship called the Titan — the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. The Titan hits an iceberg on its starboard side and sinks in the ice-cold Atlantic sea during the month of April. The description of the Titan is hauntingly similar to the Titanic. But again, this story is said to have been written some 14 years prior to the sinking of the Titanic.

In Neuromancer, William Gibson used the term “matrix” to describe a worldwide communications network – years before the World Wide Web came into existence. Neuromancer examines terms such as artificial intelligence and genetic engineering long before the concepts were popular.

Were these writers psychic? Or are these mere (freaky) coincidences? Stephen King has been known to say that he channels into “other realms” to do some of his writing, which points to perhaps the ability to tap into the collective unconscious knowledge. Let’s just hope Pet Cemetery never comes true!

 Do you know of any other books that have predicted the future? Share your thoughts & stories here! 

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{ 14 comments }

Justin | Mazzastick August 4, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Hi Lindsay,

Poe died in my home town of Baltimore and I am a huge fan. I believe that many of these writers are able to access different levels of time and space through the use of their brain and mind.

David Icke is a controversial author who had made predictions in his books that he had written decades ago and they are happening now.

Lindsay August 5, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Hi Justin – I’ll have to check out David Icke’s stuff. What kind of things are happening now that he’d previously written about? I’ll have to google that! :)

Patti Foy | Lightspirited Being August 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm

What an original topic this is! I’ve never really thought about this before. I guess in the sense of sci-fi, there are often predictions of the future that come true, but not exact events like you’re talking about here.

Thanks for the interesting examples and opening my eyes to this phenomenon. Very cool.

Lindsay August 5, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Thanks, Patti! I found the topic fascinating…but I think the article wasn’t a favorite amongst readers! lol I’m not sure why…I am so curious about this. Prophetic writers (not just Nostradamus)…makes me wonder what sort of things being written right now will turn out to be prophetic!

Lisa August 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Jules Verne’s novels always seemed ahead of its time.

This is a great great topic!!

Lindsay August 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm

You’re a bookworm like me, Lisa! I figured this would be up your alley. :)

crystal August 7, 2011 at 10:27 am

in Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift described the two moons of Mars, giving their size and speeds of rotation, more than 100 years before they were actually discovered.

Lindsay August 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

WOW, really?! That one is shocking to me! Thanks for sharing that, Crystal!

Colleen August 9, 2011 at 4:06 pm

In college I spent a semester in Washington, DC studying foreign policy. For my seminar class, my professor asked us to write an essay detailing how the US might respond to a -hypothetical- attack on US embassies in Jordan. For some reason I was compelled to completely change the scenario to a devastating Al Quaeda terror attack on Manhattan– to which the US responded by bombing a random country in the Middle East. In my story the US shortsighted military “retalliation” made matters worse and contributed to its decline and so on and so forth… I still remember sitting in the computer lab tapping out that story with abandon– I even remember having to wikipedia ‘Al Quaeda’ because when the name popped into my head I didn’t know for sure what it meant. I should go dig the essay out of my hope chest and revisit it.

The essay, btw, was written 11/19/00. It received an A, fwiw.

Also noteworthy… back in Oregon… on the morning of 9/11/01 my roommate woke me up shouting, “America is under attack!” She and I distinctly recall me rolling out of bed groggily saying, “I know. Turn on the radio”. As I woke up a little more I realized I didn’t know exactly what was happening, but I could recall dreaming of a chaotic emergency in a military setting. Since then I’ve learned that many people had a similar dream that morning.

Lindsay August 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Colleen, your story gave me CHILLS! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. That is definitely noteworthy. Have you had any other similar psychic/intuitive experiences? I’m willing to bet these things happen to you all of the time (although probably/hopefully on a smaller scale)!

Evelyn Lim August 9, 2011 at 11:59 pm

This is awesome sharing. I have posted a link on my facebook page. It’s spine-chilling but I am not surprised that authors enter a hypnotic state sometimes to write their books. The authors that you’ve mentioned had obviously tuned into the future.

Lindsay August 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

I’m glad you enjoyed it, Evelyn! Thanks so much for sharing it with your Facebook friends! I really appreciate that.

Kemy January 21, 2013 at 10:50 am

Yes, can you tell me, only if you know, about people predicting events through writing. I am a novelist of six novels, and strangely so, some of the events, timings, people, and occurences have come true. I used to say what a coincidence, but now I just do not know, and I really do not know who to talk with about this gift, without someone thinking I am crazy, any advice with be helpful. The latest prediction is based on my sixth novel which is titles “Shadows of Obsession”, please help me.

Yael December 7, 2014 at 8:27 am

I wrote and published a collection of short stories. Last week I met someone said to me one of the sentences one of my characters says. At first I just thought that was funny, but then it turned out he was from the exact small town in the USA that my character hails from, and also has the same (unusual) middle name. My character’s grandfather is also the same name as his grandfather’s. Moreover, I have another character in my book who has the same name as he does, and in an email to me, the real person used the same phrase that this fictional character does.
I came to this post after trying to google authors whose fictional predictions came true. I believe we can channel things beyond our own understanding. Another author I was discussing this with told me of a very odd occurrence where the random store she was writing about, called her the same day, though she had never called them in her life – claiming that they were calling her back as she called them!

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