Can Noted Bad Author Dean Koontz See the Future, Like a Modern Cassandra Who Writes One Book Over And Over (Though Odd Thomas Was Alright)?

In 1981 Dean Koontz released a novel called The Eyes of Darkness. It was the prolific horror/thriller author’s thirty-fourth novel in a career that was thirteen years old, and the second of two Koontz novels in 1981 alone; it fit into a late-70s/80s boom period for Koontz after years of forgotten, and now out of print, genre work, and would later be republished after Koontz became a institution, churning out novel after novel about good men and their good dogs fighting bland horror-hriller foes.

(I remember Odd Thomas being okay, though?)

But one man sees through Koontz’ bland writing and formulaic plots to the truth. For you see, Koontz is no mere mid-list horror author whose career somehow survived the demise of the 80s horror boom. He is a PROPHET. A modern Cassandra, whose words were not heeded in 1981, to the doom of us all.

Twitter user Nick Hinton may have been, judging by his Twitter name being ‘nickhintonn‘, the second Nick Hinton to join Twitter, but he’s the first to crack the code about the Koontz code, the hidden prophecies and revelations hidden in middling early 80s horror novels. Wither the Streiber code?

In The Eyes of Darkness, scientists develop a bioweapon called Wuhan-400. The name Li Chen is circled; looking up “Li Chen Wuhan” brings up articles about this supposed “prophecy”, seemingly because there is a whistleblower doctor in Wuhan named Li, a surname shared with a measly 92 million other people in mainland China alone. Truly a prophet at work here.

You’ll note some differences between the real coronavirus and the novel’s bioweapon. For instance, one is a virus and the other is a fictional bioweapon with absolutely no similarities with the real virus beside the name. The South China Morning Post proposed some theories as to why Koontz placed the virus’ creation point in Wuhan; the city’s central position transit-wise, or its status as a center for scientific research, information “smart, savvy authors” and Dean Koontz could use to make a story convincing.

Of course, he didn’t set the story in Wuhan.

According to Snopes, this image of the book describing a Wuhan-created virus isn’t fake per se. But it doesn’t tell the entire story. You see, in 1981, The Eyes of Darkness mirrored the Cold War by calling the virus Gorki-400 and turning it into a plot by the dastardly Ruskies. At some point after December 26th 1991, Koontz rewrote the book to update its xenophobia, which is hilarious to me? And here on February 21st 2020, I wrote this post mainly to make fun of highly successful author Dean Koontz.

On Twitter you can find people citing this as PROOF of predictive programming, or reality being a simulation, like the Matrix in the classic transgender coming out story The Matrix.  As usual the exact mechanism of this prediction goes unexplored. Can Dean Koontz see the future? Did someone leak a rising horror author Chinese government secrets from 40 years in the future in 1981? Did you know 1981 is nearly 40 years ago?

On r/conspiracy the story gained some traction, but not enough as transphobia or a post about how the media is fake because Michelle Obama won a Grammy for an audiobook; dare I look in the comments at r/conspiracy?

No. I’m tired, good night

The Alternate Earth Research Center

And here’s a little site I can’t believe is still online.

The Alternate Earths Research Center is a classic work of early web metafiction, presenting itself as the homepage of a group of interdimensional travelers. Supposedly, the AERC dates back to the 50s, founded by one Yeardley Dekader, who perhaps was not of our Earth. There’s technobabble about the IRTV, the vehicle used to traverse the multiverse, and the AERC’s cataloging system, which ranges from “A -drastically altered” (dinosaurs never went extinct) to the inconsequential D- and F- (the USFL merged with the NFL, New York remained New Amsterdam), and witty asides about a traveler who found six different reports of her own disappearance, and a universe where eggs are known as “pre-chickens”.

Alas, the actual fictional documents at the core of the AERC, the reports on the alternate Earths themselves, are paltry, with just three entries, all supported by gloriously rough early Photoshop. Real Tourist-Guy levels of sophistication here. One details a timeline where Lincoln survived; the travelers squee out over his autobiography, only to find that not much else changed after his term. Another goes deep on the USFL-NFL merger, with faked newspaper box scores and lore about how they merged.

The star of the AERC is the final timeline, one where reptiles – maybe aliens, maybe the descendants of dinosaurs – rule the Earth. The terrible scene is rendered with magnificent skill:

The Alternate Earths Research Center wisely doesn’t take itself terribly seriously, and doesn’t try to be anything more than an excuse for photoshopped lizardmen and puns about Lucky Charms. It’s the kind of weirdo project that proliferated in the era of the personal web (it dates back to at least 2003); I could imagine something more expansive, maybe a SCP-like collaborative project, today, but nothing this personal – except maybe in a timeline where the NBA collapsed or joined the ABA or something.