EVerythiNg BeloNgs to the Future Prosper and live long
released 18 OCTOber 114 pages | Paperback/ebook
author laurie Penny Publisher Tor.com
In John Wyndham’s Trouble With Lichen, a chemical’s discovered that prolongs human lifespan; the scientist gives it to (well off ) women to enable them to live longer lives and therefore do more than simply marry and raise children.
In this novella, another fungus provides the “fix” that extends life, but the focus is more on the political implications of the discovery: rich families stay young for decades longer, while the poor see no benefits. Undercover investigator Alex is embedded with a group of activists committed to spreading the benefits of the fix a little more widely, but a chance encounter with the forever-14 creator of the drug leads to potentially deadly possibilities.
It’s not all class warfare and activism though, with trans erasure, the ethics of deceitful relationships and more all making an appearance. This is a skilfully told story doing what SF does best – examining the social consequences of scientific discoveries – but it never quite hits the mark, with the righteous anger at times overwhelming the story and characters. Rhian Drinkwater
Penny’s persona on her old blog, Penny Red, was inspired by Yelena Rossini, from the comic Transmetropolitan.