"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Debris 1.6: Fountain of Youth and Its Complications

Debris 1.6 re-visits the ancient Fountain of Youth myth, in which you drink from some magical source of water and regain your youth.   Later on in the New World, Ponce de Leon was allegedly searching for a fountain of youth when he discovered Florida.  More recently, in 1985, Ron Howard directed Cocoon, in which alien cocoons found in a pool restore the youthful energy of elderly swimmers.   And just last night, Debris gave us a story in which interstellar debris literally makes very old people young again.

Of course, in the legends and the science fiction, there's always a problem with the fountain, a price to pay, assuming the fountain is even found.  In Debris, the price is that everyone who gets young again has to stay in proximity to the other rejuvenated oldsters.  If they don't, they'll get old again, and die.

You know what?  This doesn't seem like all that steep a price to me.  And this undermines Bryan and Finola's motive in the narrative for getting the rejuvenated back to their original old age.   What would be the problem in setting up a community of young-again people?  Perhaps that was explained and I missed it, but as it is, it seems that the main motive of Bryan and Finola is to counteract any effects of the interstellar debris on Earth, even if they are beneficial.

And this in turn brings to the fore a larger question which gets at the very heart of this series.  If all the effects of the debris were bad, or could be used for bad purposes, it would make perfect sense to track down all the debris and keep them out of reach.  But if some of the debris are beneficial, what then?  Are Bryan and Finola on the side of the angels, and just another pair of warriors in a very new kind of war?*

*Back in 2010, in an interview on Ancient Aliens on the History Channel, I questioned why governments rather than citizens should be the presumptive interface between humans and extra-terrestrials who come to Earth.  See1min24secs into this video

I'll be watching to see how these questions play out.

See also Debris 1.1 Some Probability of Gems Among the Pieces ... Debris 1.2: Clones ... Debris 1.3: Trapped Out of Time ... Debris 1.4: Suspentia Belief ... Debris 1.5: Fine Tuning

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