Ghosts In The Machine

By John Auckland

A novel about one woman's fear of dying and her relentless pursuit of eternal life

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Themes: overpopulation and increased longevity

I thought it would make sense to share some more information about themes, since lots of people I connect with on Twitter are particularly interested about the subject of increased longevity and what it might mean for us.

Overpopulation is a very current issue, and we're all seeing the effects of the aging population. Public resources are increasingly stretched and the age at which most of us are likely to retire is getting further away. These issues simply aren't spoken about enough in literature or the arts, where more commentary would surely bring the subjects to the fore in the public's consciousness. Everyone wants to live longer, but no one is thinking about the consequences.

This is what I explore in Ghosts in the Machine, a world where the end game of extreme longevity is played out. Spoiler alert: it's not a pretty place to live.

I imagine there would be a new kind of global conflict, not a war that is precipitated by race, religion or fighting over national borders, but one that is driven by population density. The regions that are buckling under their own weight rise up against the areas that are comparatively sparsely populated. It's just fiction, of course, but a compelling argument for how things might play out if we continue on this trajectory.

I'd be very interested to hear your thought on the subject, so go ahead and write them in the comments section.

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