I have read your novel Patriots and passed it along to several people that I know. Most of them now own their own copy as well and it has been a big boost in helping them see the need for making preparations for the times ahead.
It is with great interest that I have read the recent discussions about solar flares on the blog. The novel that first piqued my interest in survival and preparedness was the book Solar Flare by Strategic Air Command veteran and former NASA employee Larry Burkett. The premise of the novel is an eruption of solar flares that destroys much of the technology in the modern world, and how people begin to cope and adapt. Certainly not as comprehensive as your novel but it is an interesting read nonetheless. Before his death in 2003, Mr. Burkett was also a well known Christian financial advisor and wrote other books such as What Ever Happened to the American Dream?, The Coming Economic Earthquake, and Your Finances in Changing Times.
Thanks again for your work on the blog, and God Bless! – Bryan S.
JWR Replies: The majority of opinion is that the likelihood of a truly massive solar flare event (i.e. a huge coronal mass ejection (CME) with an accompanying X-ray flare burst) is extremely low. Ian O’Neill, one of the chief debunkers of solar flares and similar threats posts at the Universe Today web site. I generally agree with him, but I don’t completely rule out the chance of a massive flare that could have EMP-like effects. Just like the often over-emphasized “magnetic pole shift.” and sudden-onset climate change threats, I personally place the CME threat way over at the far end of the threat matrix. It is the corner of the chart that I label “Extremely low likelihood in our lifetimes, but devastating if it were to occur.” My viewpoint on preparedness for a massive CME event is this: As long as we are preparing for nuclear fallout and EMP as every family should, then we are also preparing for solar flare shielding–since those preparations are nearly identical.