Living Forever: Fantasy or Reality?

Science is getting us ever closer to defeating mortality. But how long exactly is "forever"?

Some scientists argue there is a "natural arc" to our lives, something like 125 years. Others argue we can be genetically engineered to live 1,000 years or more.

To achieve this, conflicting theories abound, among them:

  • diet to keep your caloric intake down by some 30 percent: mice can do it but it's hard to do for humans!
  • use telomerase, an enzyme that mends protective coverings on cells 
  • replace our fragile body components (blood, cells) with stronger ones like metal or computer backup, i.e. "android bodies". This the dream of at least one Russian billionnaire who plans to become immortal by 2045!  
Of course, so far none of this has proved feasible and it might take another 70 or 80 years of research to come up with anything like a reliable solution. I've blogged about this before (see here). What is most likely is that a baby born today could have the chance to live 120 years.

Would that spell happiness? A perfect question for literature to explore! Indeed, this is the central theme of my Science Fiction novel, Forever Young, set 200 years from now when it is highly probable that "living forever" (or at least our "natural life arc") will become a reality.

A perfect world? 

I don't think so. For starts, the medical programme needed to achieve this goal is likely to be very expensive and reserved to the ultra rich. This implies that we will have an even greater cleavage in our society than the one we are experiencing now with the Occupy Wall Street movement and the One Percent against the 99 Percent.

There's more to it. 

Imagine that only a minority among us will look young even when they are in fact one hundred years old or more. Imagine further that they walk around in society not letting on how old they really are. And with their youthful looks, they fool the young people around them. Suppose a beautiful 122 year-old woman falls in love with a young man and their love is reciprocated? How can this work out when her time is up and she must die?

This is what Part One of my serial novel Forever Young explores. There will be five Parts in total, and each will explore different aspects of this brave new world where longevity is reserved to the few who can afford it. Before embarking on this novel, I wrote a short story that you can find here on ReadWave. Whether you're a reader or a writer,  take a look, this is a real cool site. Please share with a friend or click "like" if you liked it!

Read on  

After reading this short story, to hop over to the blogs of other Boomer Lit authors, click here.  Yes, because this is once again Boomer Lit Friday, a Blog Hop of Boomer Lit authors. 

Now it's your turn: what do you think our future reserves for us? A divided world where the ultra rich get all the benefits from technical advances? Or do you believe we are headed for a more equal and just society?