I spent the weekend in Spokane, Wash., for a Kiwanis District Convention. Spokane is about an eight-hour drive from Lincoln City. Most of the drive out was shrouded in a smoke-filled haze. All of the drive back was shrouded in smoke, sometimes so thick that it felt like driving through dense fog. It was surreal.

It reminded me of The Matrix, and the line “We’re the ones who burned the sky.” I covered plenty of storms in my journalism career, and plenty of destruction, including all kinds of fires. But the scope of the wildfires’ impact was very sobering.

It made the landscape feel like an alien world.

Or an apocalyptic one.

Which brought me back to The Matrix. I remember when that movie first came out. It was a game-changer. Not just because of the special effects, but also because it touched on so much of our fears of technology at the time. Computers, and especially AI, were relatively new and scary. We were preparing for Y2K, which turned out to be a non-event but was feared to bring Armageddon at the time.

So, having a movie where the main character discovers—SPOILER ALERT—he’s in a computer-created simulation (and in reality, a slave and energy source for machines) was one hell of a premise. And the moment Neo finds that out—that was one doozy of a plot twist.

P.S. The fact that I felt the need to put a spoiler alert on the plot twist from a 20-year-old movie is in itself a plot twist I didn’t see coming.

Have I mentioned I love plot twists?

Speaking of, there’s still time to get the SF Plot Twist Storybundle, but not much. It ends this week, so if you haven’t already purchased yours, be sure to click here now for more information.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go search the Internet for updates about the rumors that Warner Bros. is working on a Matrix 4.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.