I’m gonna go ahead and let the description of Laurie Penny’s book speak for itself:
Time is a weapon wielded by the rich, who have excess of it, against the rest, who must trade every breath of it against the promise of another day’s food and shelter. What kind of world have we made, where human beings can live centuries if only they can afford the fix? What kind of creatures have we become? The same as we always were, but keener.
In the ancient heart of Oxford University, the ultra-rich celebrate their vastly extended lifespans. But a few surprises are in store for them. From Nina and Alex, Margo and Fidget, scruffy anarchists sharing living space with an ever-shifting cast of crusty punks and lost kids. And also from the scientist who invented the longevity treatment in the first place.
First, a couple of warnings:
- This is a novella. It’s not a full-length book. (I know it seems weird to point this out, but I absolutely hate seeing books get low ratings because readers didn’t expect something obvious)
- The premise may seem familiar, but don’t let that detract you.
I loved this book. Loved, loved, loved it. I love thinking about science fiction like this because it feels so speculative at this point. How ridiculous is it, really, to imagine a near-future where we’ve figured out aging enough to halt it with a pill? And how ridiculous is it to think that this will be dangled in front of us, just out of reach, as demand outstrips supply?
The plot is tight: a brilliant scientist plots to give the world her gift, with the help of a group of crafty youngsters who live in a world where the anti-aging pill is doled out like a treat for obedient dogs. One of them holds a terrible secret but stays true to his convictions, his belief that what he’s doing is right.
And that’s what makes for the scariest of villains.