"Destiny is something not be to desired and not to be avoided. a mystery not contrary to reason, for it implies that the world, and the course of human history, have meaning"
- Däg Hammarskjold, Swedish author (1905-1961)
I said I wasn't going to do this! No, I said, let the readers work it out. What am I rambling on about? You've guessed it - the ending to 2012
I have received a huge amount of e-mails via this site, Tweets, DM messages, carrier-pidgeons, even some unfavourable reviews on Amazon, all asking/complaining about the same thing: what was the ending all about? (Incidentally: I also have a so-so review for Full Disclosure from someone who obviously didn't read the last chapter, disguised as an author note - what is it with you people?)
When writing this novel I deliberatly set out from day 1 to give it this controversial ending - remember the promotional blurb: 'and ending you won't forget'. If you check out the Writing Tips entries on this site, especially the one about avoiding Burn-Out where I describe how I work, you will see I start at the end of any novel. I had the last scene of this novel crystal clear in my mind when I wrote the first words of Chapter One.
Why did I want to leave things up in the air like that? Because it is a challenge to you, dear reader. Some got the ending right away (several e-mails etc with comments); some mulled it over for a while, even had discussion groups with their friends then worked it out (several e-mails again - well done to all the theories you put forward); and of course, some had no idea what I was on about.
I had promised myself that I would not explain the ending. Why? Well there were two basic reasons - one, I was too busy writing Full Disclosure then the CULL which are both more 'conventional' novels (i.e. the endings are not deliberately ambiguous - asuming you DO read the whole novel!), and I was toying with the idea of a sequel! But before pursuing that, let's step back for a minute and tackle what that last page was all about.
The first thing you should note about the last chapter is the date and time when it happens. This is the date and time oft mentioned in the Mayan culture when, supposedly, it's all going to end. (Students of this will of course know that they did not predict the end of the World, rather, a change in our way of thinking).
Then there's the implication of the event itself:
In our arrogance, Mankind has historically taken many issues to the brink where our own self-destruction could have resulted. Clear examples would be the use of atomic bombs during WWII, or the Cuban missile crisis. We believe that we can control our destiny; that we know when to step back from the edge. Today everyone is familiar with global warming, a man-made ill, yet we are reluctant to do anything about it because we think that, when the time comes, we can put things right. The message in the ending was this: sometimes the outcome will not be in our hands and we should not play with things we do not understand!