February 17th, 2019

I see coincidences all the time and recently decided to make a list(I love lists. Shut up)

Coincidence Number 1: Killjoy

I was watching the TV show Killjoy, and not paying much attention to it(my wife is a big fan). I was also reading a book and stopped, stunned at a word on the page. The word was Killjoy. I mean, how often do you randomly run across that word?

Coincidence Number 2: All the stars in the sky

I was writing Star Charmer and wrote about a star named Arcturus, 37 light years from Earth(it was the peng-weasel homeworld) Before I had finished editing the book, I saw the movie Passengers, where a spaceship passes by a star - named - Arcturus. WTF? Of all the stars in the sky, they had to choose that one? Crap. It wasn't published yet, so I changed it.

Coincidence Number 3: Brad Pitt’s Phone Booth

In my book Temporal Fuse I wrote about a robot character who changed his face to look more human. The face he chose was Brad Pitt because why not? This same character also turned a phone booth into a time machine. At this point, I must have forgotten Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but that’s obviously where I got the idea. But wait, that’s not the coincidence, though. I was researching something unrelated, and Google showed me a picture of Brad Pitt with a phone booth in the background. A phone booth! I don't remember what I googled, but there I was, facing two things that, in my mind at least, were only together in my book.

Coincidence Number 4: Robot Laser Rescue

I had just written a chapter in my next book Daniel Shires where(among other things) a giant robot uses a laser to extract something from under the ice of a frozen lake. I don’t recall how much later it was (less than a few weeks), I was watching the remake of Lost in Space where a robot uses a laser to save the girl from a frozen lake.

Coincidence Number 5: Thomas

And finally, just this week I was reading John Scalzi’s book The Consuming Fire (excellent BTW) and he introduced a new character: an intelligent spaceship with a quirky personality named - wait for it - Thomas! I almost fell out of my chair! For those unfamiliar with Star Charmer, it features an intelligent spaceship with a quirky personality named Thomas. I had to check the publishing dates to make sure I didn’t subconsciously steal a character. I was pretty sure I hadn’t read his book before. Nope, Star Charmer came out a year before Consuming Fire. Whew! I’m reasonably sure John has never read any of my books. So, what’s going on here? I think it’s like the Birthday Paradox and the world is just not as random as we think it is. When I try to come up with character names, there are only so many that work. Nobody will ever name a spaceship Dennis.

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