If you had 24 hours to live, what would you do?
The premise to G. Michael Smith’s newly published sci-fi trilogy, The Forevers, is a bit like that question. Except, instead of 24 hours, it’s 200 years, give or take. And instead of you, the question is what would the human race do?
The Forevers are the result of more than four years of work by the Qualicum Beach author, who said he hopes the books, aimed at young adults, help readers to fall in love with science.
“Because it’s the best,” he said. “It sends chills down my spine every day when I read some of the things (being theorized and discovered).”
Smith is a former computer, English and drama teacher who said he had to choose between electrical engineering and writing when going to UBC.
But his science and creative writing passions have come together here, in a world that Smith created inspired by science fact and theory.
The books take place on an Earth that will be destroyed some 200 years in the future by a swarm of meteors from an arm of the Milky Way that will sweep away the solar system.
The premise gave Smith a lot of creative leeway, he said.
“The death of the planet is a fait accompli. It’s going to happen,” he said of The Forevers’ world. “And for a lot of you, you’re going to be dead when it does happen, but as a species, we have to do something about it. And then that allowed me to … change the basic nature of governance, of war, of family. I could manipulate everything.”
One of those manipulations is a class of ultra-rich seniors who harvest the organs and bodies of young people in an attempt to live forever.
With a laugh, Smith said that’s not meant as a commentary on living in a retirement community, but more of a commentary on the very rich and affluent.
Smith also draws from his experience raising three daughters to inform the thought process of his young, female lead character, Jayne Wu.
Now that his daughters have daughters of their own, Smith said he’s got plenty of experience with the minds of young girls.
“I know how they think, I think,” he said.
The three books – Fixer 13, Master Fixer and Impostor – are now available at Mulberry Bush Bookstores, at Amazon, and on Smashwords.com where the first book is free to download.
With his debut novels out, Smith said he’s a combination of excited and worried.
Though Smith has written and directed several plays for schools and ECHO Players, he said he’s kept pretty well out of the spotlight most of his life.
“When you live your life, you make choices all the time, and a lot of my choices historically have been to find the nearest rock and crawl underneath it and feel cool and safe. But lately, as I got older, I realized that that wasn’t very satisfying,” Smith said.