Many science fiction authors have probably experienced the feeling when something you wrote about in SF just a few years ago becomes reality. Hells, I even asked that question in my interview with Peter Watts.
But less frequently, reality catches up with you before you can even write the damn story. In early 2015, I started writing a piece about a mission to an interstellar comet. It progressed a bit during the year, but I abandoned it temporarily, meaning to get back to it later.
Rewind to 2017. We’ve spotted an interstellar comet, and there is already a bold mission proposal (though, unlike in my story, it’s unclear who would provide the funds to actually run it).
I can’t feel grumpy about it, since I love the discovery and definitively approve of interesting mission proposals, though I try not to grow attached to them (spoiler alert: too few ever get implemented, even if sound in all aspects, but that can hardly be changed anytime soon). Moreover, it doesn’t make the story obsolete. It makes it much less original, but than happens all the time for various reasons. It’s not like we’re anywhere near a crewed mission to a comet, which happens in the story.
The whole thing also serves as a reminder that I shouldn’t take so much damn time with some stories. And if you’re too curious about it before it finally gets finished, I have good news for you: I’ve released an excerpt for my Patreon subscribers!