ROGUE FLASH: Coronavirus & SARS predicted by Koontz, Ludlum, & Lynds?

by | Feb 26, 2020 | Gayle Lynds, On writing | 5 comments

Trying to stop the spread of the coronavirus

by Gayle Lynds

What’s stranger than fiction?  Perhaps it’s when fiction seems to predict a major current event.

A few days ago a news story in The Hindustan Times, dateline Beijing, China, reminded readers that this had just happened – again.

Here’s an excerpt of the article….

WUHAN-400, ARDS: Fictional Doomsday Viruses That Mirror the Real Ones
          Amid the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in China, Twitter users are scratching their heads to make sense of a fictional coincidence bordering on the bizarre.
         American novelist Dean Koontz wrote the novel, a thriller, “The Eyes of Darkness” in 1981 – it is about a virus called “Wuhan-400” developed by Chinese scientists at a bio laboratory in, well, Wuhan….
         A novel jointly written by Robert Ludlum and Gayle Lynds in 2000 created a disease called the “acute respiratory distress syndrome” (ARDS) in the The Hades Factor – a good three years before the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic broke out in China first, and then spread globally…..
         Eerily, the symptoms of ARDS and SARS – also actually true for Covid-19 – were similar: Cold, cough, fever and respiratory problems….

What a coincidence, yes?

Well, no.  That’s the thing about novelists … part of our job is to create stories that can be real.  In The Hades Factor, I was fortunate to find remarkable scientists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Washington, D.C., and at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Maryland, who were generous with their time.

They also gave me a warning: what they were about to tell me could become all too true!

Stay safe, Rogue Readers!  Eat well, get enough sleep, and wash your hands!

Don’t Miss a Thing!



  1. Lisa Black

    Wow, that is amazing! Life imitating art imitating life!

  2. Karna Bodman

    So prescient – so interesting. Thanks!

  3. Gayle Lynds

    LOL, Lisa. I think it's a lot more common than most people realize.

  4. Gayle Lynds

    Thanks, Karna! I know you've done the same things with your books.

  5. Unknown

    AND dont forget the movie "Contagion" with Matt Damon & Gwenyth Paltro!