Chronological age is not the same as biological age and white hair and wrinkles are not reliable biological age markers even if intuitively we associate wrinkles with codgers. Scientists are still hunting for them but the good news is that they are finally getting close (see NYT article here)
For example, we now have strong evidence based on studies of the "molecular clock" that men age 4 percent faster than women, which probably explains why women's life expectancy exceeds men's, and that tumor cells age, on average, 40 percent faster than normal cells, thus shedding light on cancer.
Such news reinforce me in my view that the basic premise on which my FOREVER YOUNG novel is based is not, after all, that far off. On the contrary, it is very possible that 200 years from now, we will indeed be able to genetically control the process of aging so that you'll look young every day of your life till you drop dead, i.e. at the end of your "natural" life span - which is likely to be in the neighborhood of 130 to 140 years.
The catch? Only the ultra rich will be able to afford the expensive age-prevention procedure. Thus is created a profoundly divided world with the ultra rich benefiting from technical advances while the rest of humanity is left behind...
That's the world my "hard" sci-fi novel FOREVER YOUNG seeks to explore ("hard" sci-fi is based on facts and projections into the future, it's not pure fantasy)...And if you believe that those who belong to the Age-Prevention Programme, aka the APP, are happy, you'd be wrong. Things don't work for them either. Take a look at two of the book's main characters, Lizzie, a golf champion and Jamie, an investigative reporter. They are in love with each other, young, rich, good-looking and successful in their respective careers, yet they fight, they're not happy. Here's a sample conversation over breakfast:
“Well?” She said, watching Jamie pouring syrup over his pancakes.
“Well, why don’t you come to Evian, I’m off Tuesday. I’ve got to be there two days early so I can study the golf course.”
“And what would I do while you study the course?”
“I don’t know. You could keep me company. It’s a beautiful course, it winds its way along the lake. Lovely views on the mountains.”
“I like the sea. Besides, I need to do something. Darling, I’d be bored silly!”
“You’d be bored silly with me?” Her voice grew harsh.
“Of course not. But I like to work, you know that. And now that I’ve got a dream job, I’m not about to give it up.”
“I’m not asking you to give it up. I’m just asking you to be a little more often with me. Why don’t you ever follow me? You haven’t seen me play in a single tournament!”
“Oh, but I have. At the Canadian Women's Open last year…”
“That was last year, before I joined the APP. But now, since we’ve both become APP members, nothing. You’ve never found the time to follow me!”
“I’m not a sports writer, you know that.”
“No, you certainly are not. You’re busy writing so-called investigative pieces for the WUS News. God, you have time for nothing else!”
“They keep me busy, that’s true but I’m glad they do. It means there’s someone up there who likes me…”
“Come one, you know that being an APP member has helped you. That someone up there is no doubt another APP member. You guys are a mafia!”
Jamie felt anger welling inside him. Lizzie just couldn’t see the world in any other way than through her golf goggles. “What about you?” he rejoined. “Hasn’t the APP made a difference for you?”
Today is our Boomer Lit Friday Blog Hop and I urge you to check the excerpts from my fellow Boomer Lit author, click here to start hopping!
Note: FOREVER YOUNG is a serial novel, each episode is self-standing. Part One is available on Amazon, click here, Part Two is here and Part Three, The Immortality Trip is coming soon.