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China: Yeah, We Already Knew About That

By now you’ve heard if it — China’s massive 11-day-and-counting gridlock traffic jam. It apparently started with an overabundance of cargo-bearing trucks and was compounded by road construction. There’s already a microcosm blossoming with its own population and economic system of supply and demand. And more importantly…where are these poor people going to the bathroom?

Some of you may remember Elemental — that fabulous anthology I edited which was released by Tor in 2006, only a few months before the original AlphaOops. All the proceeds went to the Save the Children Tsunami Relief Fund (and they still do). The very first story, “Report From the Near Future: Crystallization” by David Gerrold started exactly like this, only the traffic jam was in LA. It detailed how one simple traffic jam brought Life As We Know It falling down around our ears and changed society forever.

David’s story was picked up for several “Best Of” anthologies — he wasn’t the only one of our authors who did so, a fact that bade me very proud. But I wish there was a special Nostradamus Award for writers like this, who inadvertently put their fingers right on the button of what happens years later, as if they saw it through a magic mirror and were simply reporting straight from the future.

How very Fringe.

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