I'm looking for the title/author of a sci-fi book I read in the mid 90's but was probably at least 5-10 years older than that.

The basic premise was of a older guy who as an amateur scientist had discovered that the Earth's magnetic field changed orientation every few thousand years, and was currently long overdue. One of the main things I can remember is that early on in the book he used an attempted assassination of the US President (using wax bullets instead of the real thing), in an attempt to get the attention of the authorities.

There was a lot of other stuff about how this would explain the myths of Atlantis and the Egyptians & Mayans having such advanced technologies. In the end people bought into his theory, but we only just getting prepared when the lights went out...

Any ideas?


  • Simon, please avoid generic titles like "Looking for novel title". If you write a more descriptive title, this will help to make people read your question :) – Andres F. Oct 23 '13 at 12:25

This is The HAB Theory, by Allan Eckert.

Protagonist is Herbert Allan Boardman (HAB), an electrical engineer who discovers at age 94 that the Earth undergoes these magnetic reversals, and does stage a faux assassination attempt on the President to get attention for his theories.

It was originally published in 1976, and while out of print for many years it has recently been re-released so should be available. Magnetic pole reversal is a known phenomenon, and while we are "overdue" for one, current theories think that it would not be a catastrophic event: NASA page on reversal

  • Yes! That's the one. Thank you very much. I'm now off to see if there's a Kindle version available. Really appreciate your help. – Simon. Oct 24 '13 at 10:27

This sounds like The Hab Theory. Actually, the novel is not about magnetic pole reversals per se. Rather, it is about the earth physically rotating (because the poles get overburdened with ice) so that the poles and a portion of the equator actually change places. It absolutely would be a catastrophic event.

BTW, the novel has its own fan maintained website:

  • That website in the link appears to be spam now. – Organic Marble Feb 6 at 22:14

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