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In 1898 author Morgan Robertson published the novella Futility, in which the largest ship in history, the Titan, which was proudly touted as "unsinkable", hits an iceberg on its maiden April voyage and sinks.  Sound familiar?  The actual RMS Titanic experienced an eerily similar fate to the fictional ship fourteen years later on April 14, 1912. There are many distinctions between the sinking of the fictional Titan and the actual Titanic—most notably in the number of survivors (705 survived the Titanic and only 13 survived the fictional sinking), the course taken by the ship, how it hit the iceberg, and how long it took to sink—but even some of those differences have odd similarities (for instance, the Titanic was travelling from England to New York when it sank whereas the Titan was headed on the opposite course).  As Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Books and Special Collections division at the Library of Congress, commented, "I challenge anyone not to raise an eyebrow.  It's all within inches of being completely identical." The remarkable similarities between the plot of Futility and the actual disaster of the Titanic fourteen years later has fascinated historical experts and Titanic authorities for years.  Adding to that intrigue is the fact that very few first editions of Futility exist, with only one known copy in circulation in the United States.  The owner of that copy, Vaughn Barber of Bicentennial Books in Kalamazoo, Michigan, bought the book years ago and plans to put it to auction this year, hopefully capitalizing on the centennial anniversary of the Titanic.  The last available copy of Futility sold for $2,200 at auction in October 2010, but Mr. Barber says he "won't sell for less than $10,000".  

Rare book 'predicted' the Titanic