Newton’s Ark and Salvation

I’ve just started watching a new CBS TV series called Salvation (well it was new in the US summer, I’m streaming it now on Amazon). My wife is convinced they stole the story from my first novel, Newton’s Ark, but humanity’s salvation ≠ virtual reality, so no.

Nevertheless, I’m struck by the many parallels (MAJOR SPOILER ALERTS for both the book and the TV series):

  • A previously undetected, extinction level asteroid is discovered to be on a collision course with Earth when it’s too late to stop it
  • The US government decides to keep the asteroid secret, with the DoD at the heart of the conspiracy
  • A wealthy industrialist – James Newton in my novel, Darius Tanz, who is basically Elon Musk, in the TV series – realizes the government can’t save humanity and comes up with an escape plan, an “ark” (mine is virtual while in the TV series it’s physical)
  • The industrialist enlists the help of a young, tech savvy guy – Cyrus Jones, a programmer, in my novel, Liam Cole, an astrophysicist, in the TV series
  • A plucky female reporter – Jenny Ryan in my novel, Amanda Neel in the TV series – realizes that the government is hiding something and sets out to expose the secret, and damn the consequences
  • The US president is overthrown and murdered…

What’s the lesson here? Perhaps that my ability to construct a story is good enough to write a major network TV series. Fortunately, with three more novels under my belt since then, my writing has improved!

Asteroid Strikes

Asteroids seem to have been in the news lately, especially with 2012DA14’s anticipated close call (the NASA illustration above shows it passing inside the orbit of our geosynchronous satellites) and then on the same day the totally undetected asteroid that became a meteor exploding over Chelyabisnk, Russia.

At the risk of a slight spoiler (revealed in Chapter 2, so it’s only slight) the event that threatens the extinction of the human race on December 20, 2047 in Newton’s Ark is an asteroid many times the size of either of those seen last week on a collision course with Earth.

In addition to being a high-tech thriller, Newton’s Ark attempts to explore in a serious way how humanity would react to the news that a killer asteroid is on the way knowing there is nothing they can do about it.