While I was in high school and college, I wrote occasional letters to the editor of my hometown newspaper, The Indianapolis Star. The practice seems quaint now--The Star has been downsized into irrelevancy--they appear to have only two decent reporters and an AP feed left. I'm pretty sure more people read my Twitter feed than read The Star. I've forgotten the topics of most of those letters, but one that's stuck with me was a complaint about increasing FICA tax rates. (Yes, I was incurably nerdy, even then.)
At the time, I was working full-time and going to school full-time, and it seemed unfair that a bigger bite would be taken out of my tiny paychecks to stabilize Social Security. Now that I'm older, I'm not as convinced that stabilizing Social Security was such a bad idea. Funny how that works, isn't it?
And this brings me around to Lissa Price's excellent debut, Starters. What happens as lifespans continue to lengthen? Medical science is adding something on the order of a third of a year every year to our life expectancy. Political power inevitably pools among the elderly--they have experience, connections, and wealth acquired over a lifetime. How might that power be put to use in the future?
Starters imagines a world in which the elderly--Enders--can rent the bodies of youth--Starters. As I've argued here before, the subject of all dystopian fiction is some element of present day society, and Starters is no exception. Today, it seems that every entitlement except Social Security is under attack. Is it really so far-fetched to imagine that when it becomes technologically feasible, political power might be exerted to transfer not only money from the young to the elderly, but an infinitely more valuable commodity--time?
Of course, there's more to Starters than its politics. Callie is a fascinating character, and Lissa's plot is twisty enough to set your head spinning. Best of all, the world feels plausible and fresh--different from anything I've read before, and therefore interesting. Pick up your copy of Starters here.
And now to the important stuff--contest winners!
Monday, Swag Package: Congrats to Sylvia!
Tuesday, Starter Necklace: Congrats to Jessirae!
Wednesday, Signed Chapter Sample: Congrats to Susan Light!
Thursday, Personalized ARC and wristband: Congrats to Jamie Dorst!
Friday, Signed Hardback: Vivien (deadtossedwaves)
If you've won please email your shipping info to lissapriceauthor at gmail dot com. Thanks!