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Blackout (Elsberg novel)

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Blackout: Tomorrow Will Be Too Late
Cover of the German edition (2012).
AuthorMarc Elsberg
Original titleBlackout – Morgen ist es zu spät
SubjectPower outage
PublisherBlack Swan
Publication date
Published in English
AwardsWissenschaftsbuch des Jahres 2012[1]
ISBN978-1784161897 (first edition in English)
Followed byZero – Sie wissen, was du tust 

Blackout: Tomorrow Will Be Too Late is a disaster thriller book by the Austrian author Marc Elsberg, described by Penguin Books as "a 21st-century high-concept disaster thriller".[2]

Published in German in 2012, as of 2016 it had been translated into fifteen languages and sold a million copies worldwide.[2] The English version was published in 2017.[2]

The novel is about a European power outage due to a cyberattack. For realism the book is written on the basis of interviews with intelligence and computer security officials.[3]


The novel starts with a collapse of electrical grids across Europe, plunging the population into darkness and disaster.[2][3] The prolonged electricity cut causes major problems: no more petrol, no telephone, no food in supermarkets, no cash machines working, nuclear disasters, etc.[3][4] A former computer hacker and IT professional tries to find out the root cause for this. While doing so he himself becomes a hunted person as officials find suspicious e-mails sent from his laptop and think that he is involved.

Film adaptation[edit]

The novel is currently being adapted into a miniseries starring Moritz Bleibtreu, directed by Oliver Rihs and Lancelot von Naso and is scheduled to begin filming in fall 2020.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ In the category "Unterhaltung" (entertainment).
  2. ^ a b c d Blackout (Marc Elsberg), Penguin Books (page visited on 3 September 2016).
  3. ^ a b c (in French) Blaise Gauquelin, "Coût de la panne. Marc Elsberg plonge l’Europe dans le noir avec l’aide de hackers", Libération, 6 May 2015 (page visited on 4 September 2016).
  4. ^ Nico Fried, "Innenminister in der Kritik - De Maizière stellt Zivilschutzkonzept vor", Süddeutsche Zeitung, 24 August 2016 (accessed 4 September 2016). In this article, the German Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière, cites Marc Elsberg's book Blackout to illustrate the vulnerability of the power supply infrastructure.
  5. ^ "Moritz Bleibtreu übernimmt die Hauptrolle in "Blackout"" (in German). goldenekamera.de. 15 June 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2020.

External links[edit]