Dr. Evan Feldman was a visionary, and he liked to dream about the future. He dreamt of a new Golden Age of mankind where cloning and genetic manipulation would alleviate all human suffering and sickness. He envisioned a new world where medical science and technology no longer focused on treating the symptoms of disease, but instead focused on helping people to live longer, happier, more productive lives. Unfortunately, he died before he could see his dream become reality. The year is 2075, and Dr. Evan Feldman has just been restored to life after fifty-two years of non-existence. And the world is nothing like he imagined it. The technologies he’d dreamt about are real, but they've resulted in global famine, a third world war, and the deaths of billions. Worse yet, a mysterious plague has affected those that remain, and humanity is on the verge of extinction. The world's most powerful CEOs have a plan to save the human race, but they are going to have to break the law to do it. Evan’s granddaughter, Aubrey, is one of those CEOs, and she believes Evan is the key to humanity's survival. With the weight of the world hanging in the balance, can one man really make a difference?
Nobody's life is perfect, and we all encounter challenges and difficulties from time to time. My life is no exception. I won't bore you with the gory details but suffice to say that I didn't grow up in a "Leave it to Beaver" family (no, I'm not that old...but I have seen re-runs!). My childhood was difficult. Not as difficult as some, but certainly more difficult than I would have liked. I struggled with the emotional trauma of losing my mother (she and my father divorced when I was 5). I was angry...really angry. I acted out at home and in school. I did whatever I could to let the world know how pissed off I was. I wasn’t fun to be around. I spent a lot of time in my bedroom (usually because I was grounded). But then one day, shortly after my 19th birthday, I had a realization—one that probably saved my life. I realized that the past was the past and I had no control over it. What I could control was the present, and especially the decisions I make every day. I realized that if I didn't like my life then I needed to make different choices...and I did. The first choice I made was to forgive my parents. Then I forgave myself.
Restoration will challenge your beliefs about what makes us human while taking you on a wild ride to the Asteroid Belt and beyond. Spanning more than five decades, Restoration explores the moral, physical and ethical consequences of using advanced technologies without fully understanding their effects and implications for our species. It also challenges our definition of what it means to be alive, and it asks us to consider whether the entirety of who we are can be digitized and transferred from one body to another without losing any part of ourselves.
Writing Restoration was a labor of love. I've wanted to write nearly my entire adult life (my first attempt was in 1997!), but it just wasn't in the cards until recently. Mine wasn't a case of being afraid to chase my dreams. Rather, it was a case of having too many dreams and thinking that I had enough time to chase them all! As I’ve grown older (and, hopefully, a little wiser), I’ve come to realize that none of us know how much time we have, and that we have to prioritize how we spend each and every day if we are to live our best life. Maybe I will get a second chance, like Evan did, but I can’t count on it. At its core, Restoration is a morality tale wrapped inside of a sci-fi adventure story. It asks us to confront the questions of “Just because we can, should we?” and “What is it that makes us who we are?”. If someone brought you back to life 50 years from now, would you be happy about it? What if everything you knew was gone, and the body you inhabited wasn’t even your own? These are the questions that inspired me to write Restoration, and I hope that they will inspire you to read it!
I love words. Words are powerful, and our mastery of them makes us unique among all living things (at least on this planet). Their power comes from their ability to incite an emotional response within us. History is rife with tales of powerful orators who have moved entire populations to action through the sheer force of their words, and it is replete with writers who have accomplished the same thing simply by putting pen to paper (for proof of the latter you need look no further than the U.S. Constitution!). And in every case these powerful influencers derived their power not from spewing endless streams of facts and figures at their audiences but by tapping into their emotions—by creating a vision of a future state that the people believed in and wanted to be a part of. As a science fiction writer, I strive to write words that emotionally engage my audience. I want you to feel like you’re there. I want you to worry about the characters when things aren’t going well for them. I want you to cry when they are hurt or sad. And I want you to celebrate when they experience some joy or success. I often struggle to find the right words, but I believe that it’s worth the effort.
What are seasons? Well, it depends on who you ask! An astrophysicist might say that they are localized climate changes caused by perturbations of our planet's axial rotation as it travels around the sun. A meteorologist might simplify that some and say that they are weather phenomena caused by changes in the amount of sunlight a region receives. A spiritualist might simplify even further and say they are symbolic of the perpetual cycle of life and death that encompasses all of creation. What about the seasons of our lives? We all experience them. There are the highs and lows. The bright, happy times filled with hope and exuberance. And even the dark, dreary days filled with sadness and grief. But why do we experience these things? What is our purpose? Why are we here? Is suffering a necessary part of the human condition? Must we suffer the bad in order to appreciate the good in our lives? And, perhaps the greatest question of all: What should we do with the time we are given? For me, I plan to spend the summer finishing book two of the Restoration series. When I am not doing that, you’ll probably find me out on the nearest lake sunning or fishing. Thanks for reading and I wish you a bright and happy summer!
One of my goals for Restoration was that it be as realistic and believable as possible. This meant doing lots of research into the current state of dozens of technologies, and then synthesizing my understanding of them into a reasonably accurate portrayal of what they might become in the future. My other challenge was avoiding too many extraneous details. I worked hard to build a realistic world for my characters to occupy and interact with while leaving plenty to the reader's imagination. What do you think, did I find a good balance?
One of my biggest challenges writing "Restoration" was to realistically portray future events and technologies in ways that are believable based on what we know (or think we know) today. And, although I did tons of research, I had to get creative when it came to the restoration process because there is no hard science to support my ideas. Our science is still struggling with how to preserve someone in a way that would make future resuscitation possible, and nobody (to my knowledge) has made any real progress on the revival/restoration process. I believe that cloning and memory transfer will ultimately be the most viable means of significantly extending our lifespans, but only time will tell.
Doctor Evan Feldman is dead, and he wants his daughter, Lily, to continue his life's work. But he's asking a lot, and she's not sure that she can honor his last wishes. One of my goals when writing "Restoration" was to challenge our beliefs about what makes us human. Evan's request causes Lily to reflect on her own beliefs, and its sets off a series of events that will forever change our world. How might your beliefs change if you found yourself in her situation?
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