Sunday, May 10, 2009

Horror writer Stephen King: New York City goes all Martian Chronicles over Scare Force One flyover

GQ magazine recently interviewed horror writer Stephen King, who predicted a flu-driven apocalypse in his novel The Stand (1978), about the H1N1 swine flu virus. Here’s an excerpt from the interview, in which King mentions the recent Air Force One flyover of New York City and The Martian Chronicles (1950).
GQ: Is there anything else in your books that you think will come true in the next few years?

Stephen King: Well, here’s one thing. We can’t talk about this too long, it’s too much of a bummer. But it’s been almost 65 years since anybody’s blown up a nuclear weapon in a city in the world. Everybody knows that’s going to happen. You’re going to wake up one morning to find out somebody exploded a dirty nuke in Baghdad or Islamabad. Or the North Koreans actually did launch some kind of a shit-kicking little missile and managed to blow up part of Tokyo. In terms of death toll, it probably won’t be any worse than what happened at Chernobyl. But the trauma. I mean, look at the situation we’re in -- people fly a jet plane low over New York City, and the city goes all Martian Chronicles.
The Martian Chronicles? Perhaps Stephen King meant The War of the Worlds.

Interestingly, “Mars’s Gift”, a short story by Jonathan J. Schlosser that was published online in the December 2008 issue of Aphelion: the Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy, is about a plague on Mars. The story has a passing reference to "An old book, still in paper bindings; the cover read The Stand."

Pictured above: Martian Spaceships Invade New York, by Frank R. Paul, artwork which was featured on the cover of the October 1966 issue of Amazing Stories magazine.

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