Author who ‘predicted’ coronavirus speaks out
DEAN Koontz explores evil, global conspiracy and death in his bestselling novels, but he did not predict the coronavirus, as some punters on the internet are claiming.
In Koontz's 1981 book The Eyes of Darkness, the universally fatal biological weapon Wuhan-400 is created in a Chinese laboratory and brought to the US by a defector, where the race begins to find a defence.
The Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the world started in Wuhan, China, late last year, but is not man-made and does not have a 100 per cent fatality rate, as Koontz's fictional creation did.
"That's a typical social media exaggeration,'' Koontz, 74, laughed from his Californian home yesterday.
"All I did was write a book many years ago in which, what (director Alfred) Hitchcock would have called the MacGuffin of the novel, was a virus that was created as a weapon in the Chinese lab, which was called Wuhan-400, and the story was about an American lab trying to find a defence against something very strong.
"But it's not a pandemic novel. I didn't predict the year 2020.
"I've turned down hundreds of (interview) requests because, as I said to somebody, my talent as a prognosticator is greatly exaggerated.
"I don't know even know what I'm going to have for dinner tonight!''
Koontz, who has written more than 100 books since 1968, was speaking with The Courier-Mail to promote his April release Devoted, in which an autistic boy and his dog flee a monstrous creation of failed genetic engineering.
"There's suspense, terror and grotesquery sometimes in the books, but ultimately what my readers tell me they get out of it the most - besides the thrill of the storyline - is the books give them hope," he said.
"And that has certainly my view of the world; raise them up.
"I have an office at home and I never have to get on the freeway to go anywhere.
"And while everyone else is getting frustrated about having to stay in as much because of this pandemic, I'm always staying in. I'm live in this room, there's no change for me.''
Source - World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins, other media
Originally published as Author who 'predicted' coronavirus speaks out