The desire to live forever is a deep rooted one, and there have been all kinds of stories and books about how that might be accomplished, from myths and fables to novels and movies. The newest effort to imagine how someone might be able to cheat death is Stanley Bing’s Immortal Life: A Soon to Be True Story.
Set in the not-too-distant future, the book focuses on one Arthur Vogel, a trillionaire tech giant whose empire ranges all the way to Mars, and who’s already extended his life, through various means, to 127 years. Now even those methods aren’t working anymore and his body is fading, but still Arthur’s not ready to let go. His newest plan is to transfer his consciousness, his self, into a new, young body. That body, Gene, has been specifically created for the purpose of extending Arthur’s life. The only problem (and you know there has to be a problem) is that Gene is a person in his own right (at least in his own mind), and Gene does not want to be just the shell that houses Arthur’s consciousness for the rest of his days.
Once Arthur and Gene are joined (you didn’t think there was any possibility Gene would be able to prevent Arthur’s consciousness from being implanted in him, did you?), the battle begins. Arthur wants to take over the world by gaining control of the cloud into which all humanity is plugged, and Gene wants to free humanity from bondage to the cloud, to their virtual existence. Two different personalities in the same body, fighting for control of the body and fighting for the control of the world: add this to a sly sense of humor and a satirical look at current trends in connectedness and in the growing gap between the super rich and the poor, taken to logical extremes, and you have an entertaining look at how immortality might be achieved (by the wealthy, at least) and whether it’s a good idea. Come and check it out for yourself.