A cerebral story about the ethics and emotional impact of extending the human life span.
Cav and Gunjita are scientists. They’re conducting research on the space station Gleem One, testing a cutting-edge drug to see how it responds to zero-gravity conditions. They’re also married—for 50 years already, and Gunjita’s looking forward to another 60. She has just “juved” at the age of 82, returning her body to youth and health. But Cav is waiting, considering, asking himself whether three lifetimes is more than a person ought to need. More than he needs. When a deep-space mining probe returns to the station with an asteroid sample that has a mysterious yellow-green lump of something—something alive?—attached to it, the scientific mystery will affect both Cav and Gunjita deeply, testing their relationship even as they wrestle with the question of whether or not Cav is going to extend his life a second time. Blumlein (All I Ever Dreamed, 2018, etc.) is tackling the biggest possible questions in this slim volume: If it were possible to live three or more lifetimes, would you? Should you? What do we owe the people we love? What makes life worth living? The story itself is spare and demands close attention, as whole worlds and lives are sketched with a few well-chosen details. The result is thought-provoking, if not always emotionally affecting.
This intriguing thought experiment will please readers who like to contemplate the meaning of it all.