UPDATED WITH NEW QUOTE FROM THE AUTHOR HERSELF! SCROLL DOWN TO THE LAST PARAGRAPH!
An Israeli sci-fi novel titled "2020" by Hamutal Shabtai in 1997 predicted today's COVID-19 pandemic
by Dan Bloom, staff writer
"Science fiction tales about near-future dystopias and plagues and such tend to lean toward the lurid, in order to chill us with dire warnings we then strive to prevent. Hamutal Shabtai's novel '2020' strikes an especially vivid chord, an alarm about all the fine things we might lose, if fear makes us turn on one another."
That was acclaimed American science fiction novelist David Brin in California commenting on renewed international literary interest in a 1997 sci-fi novel from Israeli psychiatrist Hamutal Shabtai. Some 23 years ago, she imagined what we are all seeing all around us now, although her vision was a sci-fi tale and set what at the time she wrote the book was the distant future.
Fast forward to 2020 and Neta Halperin, a literary critic in the leftwing Israeli newspaper Haaretz, leads off with a headline: ''The Coronavirus Novel: An Israeli Author Wrote a Book on the 2020 Pandemic 23 Years Ago" accompanied by a subheadline that reads: ''In her science fiction novel ‘2020’ published in 1997, an Israeli author described a global pandemic much like the coronavirus. Now she explains why she went there and how she managed to get things so right.''
Meanwhile, the author herself tells this blogger:
''Dear Mr. Bloom,