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My sci-fi novel predicted Challenger's demise
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Author:  Tweaked [ Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:47 am ]
Post subject:  My sci-fi novel predicted Challenger's demise

I had been writing a sci-fi novel for Star Trek. It was what is called a NOVELLA... meaning it was not being published by Paramount's division, but by a fanzine publisher who had just published my first novella, "Trojan Angel," and I was on-track to have the current one, and two others to be published as soon as they were completed.

I awakened at 4:30 a.m., PDT (West Coast) on January 28th, 1986, and felt absolutely compelled to RE-WRITE the segment of the novella in which a space shuttle from Earth was launched - and exploded when rubber tubes didn't expand correctly - and Capt. Kirk and the Enterprise were the ONLY ones who knew (from a previous encounter with Earth's Past and it's earlier shuttle program) that there was something wrong with launching the shuttle on that specific date...

Let me be clear. I was so lost in my Star trek World at that point in time, I didn't know the Shuttle Challenger was to be launched, that morning. But when I was awakened out of a sound sleep by a voice DEMANDING that I must change the shuttle segment of the storyline, I had no choice - I immediately got up, pulled out my previously typed draft, and began re-writing the shuttle portion.

It was a long and technical section of the novella, so I had to alter not just the launch, but the set-up that led to the launching. I feverishly typed away (we had no home computers in those days - I had an IBM Selectric Typewriter) - and re-doing an entire 40-page section of an already written portion was quite a task. I had to re-write the rationalization, the moments leading up to the launch, and how the astronauts would react to scrapping the mission.

I had just arrived at the part where the faulty rubber incorporated in the launching mechanism was deemed "too fallible to allow launch in cold weather" (I had never heard of O-rings...) when my telephone rang. It was my publisher.

"Do you have your TV on?" she asked.

""No," I said... "I'm re-writing the shuttle explosion section where the Enterprise transports in and saves the astronauts."

"Turn on your TV," she said, sobbing... "The shuttle has just exploded during launch, and they think everyone is dead."

I was so caught off-guard, I couldn't speak.

""I have to go now," she continued, "I can't talk anymore."

I turned on the TV and watched, with tremendous horror, the re-play of the shuttle exploding.

I was a basket-case for more than a week. Couldn't touch my typewriter; couldn't touch the draft; couldn't do anything but watch the President and the subsequent newscasts. I was so distraught, I (thought) I burned ALL of the rough drafts, because I felt if I had awakened EARLIER, and began the re-write earlier, I might have changed what happened, that day. The Fates of all those astronauts have haunted me, every day of my life, since then.

Many of you have asked why I haven't written a novel, by now - about all the strange things that have happened in my life.

CHALLENGER is the reason. I am still racked with tremendous guilt. I BELIEVE that through the eyes of my Star Trek characters, I SAW THE FUTURE... and didn't change the novella in time to change the deaths of all those fine astronauts.

Now, nearly 35 years later, I still can't write... I am afraid that what I SEE is not fiction, but perhaps something that's yet to come, and by putting it in a sci-fi format doesn't CHANGE the facts that these things I see MIGHT come true...

So, this is a warning to all of you who are writers, who may become writers, or who may know writers... Write in a positive frame; don't write things that cast negativity on the human race. While you may not know that what you see is NOT true, you can never know for sure. Lke attracts like... or so I'm told. And if that is in any way true, the way to save our world is not by writing about aliens invading, or about catastrophies that damage human pioneers.

I understand that THIS is my personal guilt, and it may not apply to everyone, This is just a warning. I would hate for someone else's literary capabilities to suffer the same FATE as mine. I WANT to write; I often feel COMPELLED to write; but, I'm afraid to write, because when I begin to write something, it sort of begins to write itself, and my psyche is "taken over" and taken in direction I can't predict. BE VIGILANT. Be careful what you put on the screen. Make sure it's positive for our humanity. Otherwise, you might fall into my writer's fear, and never again be able to write something negative that doesn't result in a similar reality.

Author:  Caper [ Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My sci-fi novel predicted Challenger's demise

I can only imagine what a surreal experience that must have been Tweaked.

It's possible that you somehow knew in advance, but weren't consciously aware that you knew what was to come, hence it coming out like fiction from the mind or an idea.

I'm sorry for what you have experienced Tweaked, but you should not beat yourself up about it. As I said, it may not have been your writings that caused the tragedy to manifest...it could have been the other way round. It's certainly a possibility.

And here is something to consider, if we live in a universe of infinite condtions, possibilities and outcomes, is there actually such a thing as fiction in the first place anyway. Surely if that's the case, then somwhere and at sometime in the universe everything has happened, is happening or will happen.

So many of the books we read and take as ficiton, and something that is made from the mind and has no basis in our reality, may well have a basis in someone else's reality.

If what I believe is correct (infinite number of universal states, possibilites and outcomes)...then there is no such thing as fiction. It can seem like ficiton in our universe but for someone else's universe it's reality and vice versa. So, to imagine a purely fictitious event would seem extremely difficult, if not impossible.

One to think about anyway.

Peace, Caper.

Author:  Kill46 [ Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My sci-fi novel predicted Challenger's demise

creapy, why did you do what the voice told you to


Author:  Tweaked [ Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My sci-fi novel predicted Challenger's demise

Kill46 wrote:
creapy, why did you do what the voice told you to


Most writers see or hear things that they then put down on paper. Sometimes we aren't even conscious of what we're writing until we take a moment to stop and go back and re-read what we've written for the past hour or two. That's just the way writing works. If you talk to nearly any author who has written fiction - even fiction based on part of a real story - they will tell you that "It's almost like the story writes itself..." If I'd been awakened on Eastern Standard Time, I'd have had enough leeway to have re-written the entire segment before the shuttle launched. But I didn't get the message to wake-up and rewrite that segment until California time - three hours later.

And as for listening to the "voices"? Let me tell you - those "voices" I hear have saved my life several times. I shudder to think how young I might have died if I hadn't been inclined to listen.

Author:  Kill46 [ Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My sci-fi novel predicted Challenger's demise

And as for listening to the "voices"? Let me tell you - those "voices" I hear have saved my life several times. I shudder to think how young I might have died if I hadn't been inclined to listen.[/quote]

That is incredible! I never knew one person could have all this stuff happen to him/her. Those voices reminded of a dream I had that inspired me to write a book. I'm not quite done. Anyway: I heard the words "Chapter 27, trapped in the cellar" and saw several pictures that will later go into the book. I dont know why this dream came about, or why I took it seriously, but I will make a book inspired by that dream!

Author:  Tweaked [ Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My sci-fi novel predicted Challenger's demise

That's how it begins, my friend! And when you listen to what your gut is telling you, or in some cases, what a voice out of the aether says to do "now"... you are not crazy. You are being protected - either by spirit guides, or other entities who want to save you from harm, or steer you in a direction that will benefit you.

Look at J.K. Rowlings... She was riding a city bus and was blessed with the initial idea for the boy we now know as HARRY POTTER. She said she had a "flash" of a small boy without parents who didn't know how special he really was... and she couldn't wait to get off the bus and start writing what she was feeling about this poor lad. And now she's richer than the Queen of England.

However... when someone talks of hearing voices telling them someone is "bad" and "shouldn't be allowed to live," or other such negative things - even taunting them to commit suicide, THEN I think it's time for that person to be checked-out by a physician and a therapist. Sometimes allergies to food or beverages can trigger negative thoughts; sometimes a cyst or a tumor can put pressure on a nerve or some part of the brain that controls rational thought. Sometimes fear of something, or fear of everything can induce unrealistic thoughts and behavior. And fear is something that CAN and IS being treated successfully, nowadays.

Your idea for your book sounds intriguing; I certainly want you to pursue it, but do it quickly. I'm told that major, money-making ideas usually come out of the aether in 5s... meaning that perhaps as many as four other people received that same message at the same time you did. Whomever jumps on the idea and gets the book finished FIRST and starts shopping it around to publishers, is the one who will eventually reap the profits. So, GOOD LUCK! (And Pssssst!!! DON'T share your future ideas aloud, or on forums, unless you do it with someone you are absolutely certain you can trust to not steal it and beat you to the rewards!) This happened to me, many years ago, by a very well-known actor. He didn't do a very good job, and was criticized for the final product - a movie. But there were enough of MY concepts and lines in that final product for me to know that he took the ideas from the screenplay I'd written, and tried to change-it-up enough to keep me from suing for plagiarism. But he did such a piss-poor job, he got his "just rewards" from his peers... and for me, that seemed fair. The Universe got even, in my behalf.

Author:  Mathew [ Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My sci-fi novel predicted Challenger's demise

Hi Tweaked,

Fascinating about the novella. From my experience, you had a prophetic dream. (I've had several too.) However, IMHO, if you were meant to make an attempt to save anyone, you would have had that dream much earlier than you did. And mind you, even if you did have that dream, days, weeks or months earlier -- would anyone at NASA really have taken you seriously? As far as I recall reading, NASA knew they had issues with those O-Rings and made the decision to launch anyway. And even if that isn't true, my first question still stands. Would they have responded? I sincerely doubt it. Therefore, what a crying shame to read that you stopped writing fiction out of guilt! Guilt is a dark influence -- nothing to do with love. So, please, if you haven't done so already, let yourself off the hook. There are countless benevolent forces in this world that could have easily influenced someone to change something in time to stop that launch, but that wasn't the way it panned out. Clearly, those astronauts agreed on some level to be part of a grand tragedy -- a tragedy that most assuredly raised human consciousness several notches when it happened. (In the aftermath of the tragedy, the outpouring of love for those astronauts was incredible.) In the meantime, compelling stories serve a very useful function in our society. And like it or lump it, compelling stories need an antagonist and dark situations to propel the protagonist into action and keep him or her moving on the hero's journey. Thus, if the overall message behind the story is meant to shed light on some aspect of the human condition, I say, please let your imagination run wild and do so without guilt and without shame! Besides, no matter what human beings create in this world -- be it stories of fiction or weapons of mass destruction, it has always been a forgone conclusion that the good guys are gonna win. The only question has been -- How long is it gonna take?

Love and Peace,


Author:  Tweaked [ Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My sci-fi novel predicted Challenger's demise

One can only hope you're right.

Author:  Mathew [ Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My sci-fi novel predicted Challenger's demise

"Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence." ~Lin Yutang ;)

Author:  Tweaked [ Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My sci-fi novel predicted Challenger's demise

Mathew, what you've just said is quite true. But isn't that the case of all paths in life? Until more than one has walked the journey and led the way, no one knows the pathway exists. It's kind of like the climate change issue... doing something for a year, in the scheme of a Century, makes little difference. But making the same mistakes over and over leaves a path of destruction for others to follow, or reject.

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