A short unedited snippet of April #8

April scanned down the list of shows and articles her bots retrieved from Earth sources. She hadn’t checked them in a couple days. Over time she’d edited the bots until they did a pretty good job of discarding things like documentaries that mentioned specific dates. Fiction was also a waste of her time usually, although a lot of anti-spacer propaganda was presented as fiction. Still, it didn’t often tell her anything new.

She almost didn’t examine one story, until she saw the key word count was just off scale. Looking at the title was usually sufficient to delete a good two thirds of the bot’s other catches. On rare occasion she read the first paragraph or watched the first couple minutes of a video on fast forward before deleting it.

This wasn’t fiction, it was a public channel on health issues. British supposedly, but sent to a lot of English speaking markets including India and North America. The ‘expert’ being interviewed was dressed in a white lab coat, and a very expensive tie, which would establish his credentials with most of his viewers. They refrained from overdoing his image with an obsolete stethoscope. For the deeper thinkers they went to the trouble of saying he was a molecular biologist, but said nothing about his career history except that he was a researcher associated with a Scottish hospital.

He was seated behind an improbably neat desk, which was another authority conferring image, and the man interviewing him was seated in a shell chair that pivoted. April found it distracting that he did move it back and forth. He had on a proper suit and tie, and had his legs crossed at the knee displaying a shiny hard leather lace up shoe only an Earthie would wear. They were both turned to the camera a little so they had to turn their heads toward each other.

April glanced at the text generated from voice recognition. It had quite a few more error marks than she was used to seeing. She went back to the video at the beginning and found out why the program struggled so, the man had a strong local accent. In fact it was so thick she went back to the text, even with the odd error it was necessary to ignore. She scrolled past the first few minutes of pleasantries until they started saying something of substance as far as her interest.

“So, Dr. Carson, you were called as an expert witness for the crown because you understand the underlying basis of these so called life extension therapies?” the interviewer asked.

“Yes, I’m not a therapist, John. I deal with the numbers on a much more abstract level. I can look at a lab report and tell you much more about a fellow than staring at him all day sitting in his skivvies on an examination table. Appearances deceive and doctors sometimes fall into false conclusions just like lay people. Last century we had a hard time knocking the silly idea from doctor’s heads that a ‘glowing’ tan was a sign of health. It’s really a warning marker for skin cancer and when you see one it’s time to ask where they got it, to see if they’ve been exposed to tropical disease and all sorts of nasty things associated with impoverished third worlders like TB and parasites.”

“Mine was picked up golfing in Spain,” John said, “looking at the back of his hand a little embarrassed like he’d never seen it before.

“And I assume you have the good sense to keep up the prophylactics that suppress Melanoma,” Dr. Carson said. “The thing is, if I were looking for markers for that, or any number of problems it wouldn’t be apparent to me if you’d had life extension therapy or not. A person so modified doesn’t suddenly display an amazing spectrum of vibrant health. They are still subject to infection, injury and if they lose a finger or a hand to amputation they still have to have the same treatments to stimulate growth.”

“But they do look younger don’t they?” the newsman asked.

“Yes, which is all that matters to some vain people,” Carson said disapprovingly. “I have no idea if the treatments do damage to your mental health when applied to older persons. They may escape the sort of catastrophic side effects that the Germans saddled some of their young folks with trying to create prodigies. Many of those youngsters are now in mental hospitals as adults.”

“Yes, the ‘Wiz Kids’. John agreed. “That was pretty well documented at the time.”

“I’m not a psychologist,” Dr. Carson disclaimed, “but it must be hard to assess if an adult has an alteration in his personality from LET, since they have to be well outside the norm and a risk taker of questionable judgment, to seek this therapy as an adult.”

“Kiss my butt, Doctor,” April muttered at the screen.

“Indeed, that was the whole question of the case at law in which I consulted. If it was within the reasonable freedom of choice for our subjects to seek such therapy. Not that we’d offer it here,” he said a bit indignantly. “But people travel to Italy and the Balkans, Laos and Japan. They have different standards for medical procedures, or China even, where I’m not sure they believe in any standards except that they’ll take your money. Should we admit such people back into our county, and resume responsibility for their health in our care system, in their now altered state?”

“Well, we know the court decided no,” the newsman said. “I wonder though, doesn’t the fact they look younger reflect that they are healthier in some way?”

“Bah! It’s a scam,” Dr. Carson said. “Those terrible gene modified pets they made, the PermaPups, and the others, the kittens that never matured. Does anybody think they were healthier for looking young? They looked young right up until a couple days before they died, then…” he made a graphic flopping motion with his hand.

“The truth is we have no evidence that these so called life extensions actually extends life,” Carson insisted. “It’s all theory and supposition and you are betting your health now against a possible longer life. Nobody is going to know if there is any increased life span until we see these people reach their eighties, nineties and see how many survive, and what the tradeoffs will be. Will they have more or less dementia? Will they still look pretty good and just suddenly die one day? We don’t know. The biggest thing that people falsely think is that it’s rejuvenation. Even the advocates of it don’t say that, but if people have this false expectation we don’t see it corrected either. I think the court came to entirely the correct decision to protect the public and our limited care capacity.”

The rest of it was pretty much repetition. She cut the critical block out of the video to share with a few close friends. It was good to see how the Earth governments were suppressing the treatments. It amazed April that it worked. Nobody ever mentioned that when all the data on how her generation benefited or not from LET was gathered, one thing was certain. None of the people who didn’t try it would be alive.

The other very amusing thing was that April had seen lots people with and without Life Extension Therapy, and witnessed them making the transition. She could tell from a glance at someone’s face if they’d had the full range of genetic modifications or not. The newsman John was heavily gene mod and a flaming hypocrite.

25 Responses to A short unedited snippet of April #8

  1. Katie F May 23, 2016 at 7:41 am #

    Ohhhhh fresh snipet!

    Can’t wait till the story is out!

  2. JimH May 23, 2016 at 11:36 am #

    Thank you, Mac!

  3. Jørgen Gangfløt May 23, 2016 at 8:04 pm #

    More Please, I’m starved for this type of stories. I have read all other series I have found that deals about mans early space exploration like they do in Aptil series and a main character with some sort of edge like gene mod, aliens tinkers, intelligence etc.

    I have found several series that have sort of a similar plots, but I have read them ALL.. so if the next book comes soon it will stave my hunger for a while. And maybe just maybe I find some more or some of you have some tips or recommendations for me.

    Love this series by the way. So please oh please keep up the good work.

    • Mac May 27, 2016 at 9:02 am #

      Thank you. I like to think it helps they are not all doom and gloom. Well yes there is some gloom, but in contrast there are also people working around it and making themselves a good life.

      • John Leggett May 28, 2016 at 9:25 am #

        This brings to mind something that has occurred to me. What is happening with the French colony after “A Depth of Understanding”.

        • Mac May 28, 2016 at 4:13 pm #

          You may assume nothing earth shattering has happened until this next book and the Turnip is still there.
          Tiny super double secret snippet:
          “I have a fellow from New Marseille, an Albert Poincaré, holding to speak with you,” Dakota informed Heather. “A politician,” she added, like an indictment.
          Something about Dakota’s manner was off…And she’d walked down the hall to tell her…
          “That isn’t who I was speaking with trying to arrange for Dr. Holbrook to go there. I don’t know this new name. You are withholding something,” Heather accused. “You are amused. It worries me when you are amused. Is he another one like Harshaw, running a revolutionary committee?”
          “Good guess,” Dakota admitted. “Very similar, but not quit as revolutionary. I didn’t ask the details but they aren’t literally up in arms. Let him explain,” she urged.
          “Very well, but I’m not going to abandon my breakfast,” Heather decided. “He can talk to me while I finish, if he wants to speak to me.”
          Poincaré seemed indifferent to her continuing to eat. Indeed he seemed oblivious to it.
          “Madam, I am Monsieur Poincaré of the French base. How may I address you?”
          “Try Heather. What’s going on at your colony?” She asked, continuing to spoon oatmeal.
          “We usually avoid colonie,” Poincaré said, though he didn’t seem to take offense. “Our habit has been to say avant-poste, but we are going to have a new level of autonomy.”
          “And how did you attain this new independence?” Heather asked. She was careful not to sound skeptical or accusing. She was genuinely interested.
          “We negotiated the terms of it,” Poincaré said. His face said he had some pride in that accomplishment, and well he might. How often do people accomplish that without bloodshed? Was Heather’s honest thought.
          “France has some experience of actual colonies,” he reminded her. “They have learned the hard way the wisdom of letting go rather than automatically seeking conflict. It leaves us with a relationship still, which satisfies everyone rather than utter alienation.”
          “I congratulate you on that,” Heather said sincerely. “”I spoke with a Monsieur Torres about one of our refugees from Armstrong going to New Marseille to work with some of your people, and we did a deal trading tech for a tunnel boring machine and other things. It that deal dead now? The scientist part at least, since we already sent the small machine and had the tech delivered. Do you still want the larger machine they anticipated buying?”

          • John Leggett May 30, 2016 at 9:57 am #

            Thanks! I am eagerly waiting for the new book.
            I am going to try again. If you would like someone to add a chapter index to “April” and “They Said it Would be Easy” I am volunteering.

          • Mac May 30, 2016 at 10:18 am #

            Thank you but no. I took a poll and there was very little support for having a TOC in ebooks.

  4. Xander Opal May 24, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    Well done. This reads like watching a current day show and how people try to undermine treatments proven to prolong life and reduce suffering with effectively no side effects.

  5. 1Stew May 24, 2016 at 7:16 pm #

    Thanks for the Snipet! Hope your having a great summer.

  6. James Crutchley May 26, 2016 at 10:55 pm #

    That snippet was great! Love the books. Eagerly waiting the next book you write no matter what series it is 🙂

  7. Silke May 29, 2016 at 5:04 am #

    2 Snippets in 1 yeah 🙂 thank you!

  8. Paul Carroll June 1, 2016 at 10:03 pm #

    Excuse me if I am repeating something already asked, but is there an expected date for the April #8 novel release? I am looking forward to it with anticipation!

    • Mac June 2, 2016 at 9:36 am #

      I never mind answering that. I’m glad there IS anticipation.
      #8 is so far untitled and over the half way point. I’d say a couple months to finish it, but I’m having some life issues. My wife hurt herself getting down from a friend’s tall truck and this is cutting into my writing time. I am driving her to work and picking her up and doing many of the things she’d normally do like yesterday washing the towels, folding them, and putting them away. A couple months to finish and maybe a month for editing and getting a cover. I could get ahead on the cover a little if I could just think of a title…

  9. 1Stew June 14, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

    Sorry to hear about your wife hope she’s doing well.

    • Mac June 14, 2016 at 10:08 pm #

      Taking her to Flint for PT in the morning. She has progressed from “like on fire” to pins and needles. She regards that as a good sign it is healing.

      • Mac June 19, 2016 at 10:42 am #

        My wife is getting there…she says it is a dull ache now instead of a raging fire. I can see she is moving easier.

        • KatieF June 20, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

          Its good to hear your wife is doing better!

  10. nathan June 19, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

    Hope everything works out for our wife. love your work

  11. nathan June 19, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

    your. lol

  12. Rick Bannerman June 23, 2016 at 4:46 am #

    So sorry to hear of your wife’s pain. I speak as another 60-something child daily paying the price for my youthful superman complex.

    As an avid consumer of fiction, it is helpful periodically to be reminded that my favorite authors are real people with real lives, and churning out the word count that I consume so voraciously is far from the only thing going on in their world. The authors I enjoy with whom I’ve had real world or online contact – including Joe Heywood, Dana Stabenow, now you – humanize this issue. It helps me to be more patient.

    Do you have any projection how far you plan to continue this series?

    • Mac June 23, 2016 at 7:17 am #

      Thank you. She is doing better slowly. I’m still driving her to work.
      I plan to write until I die or feel I’ve slowed down mentally. I just turned 69. It’s one of the few activities I still enjoy. The series may come to an end eventually but I am working on a couple stand alone books also. I’m a fan of Cherryh and just bought the 17th book in her series! There quite a lot to write to bring the April series up to the Family Law series.
      The 2nd and 3rd Family Law books will soon be available in print too.
      I value the writing because I can’t go afield very far and do wildlife photograph and hike like we used to. My wife finds long trips exhausting and I find a five hour drive pretty tiring now myself. I still get to the range and shoot a little – but I was never an avid hunter. I did enough to feel I knew how and stopped. I always regarded it as a survival skill. Even around the house I do things still but they are limited. I just pulled the air conditioner out of the sleeve in the wall and cleaned the heat exchanger. We have cottonwood trees here and the lint/floss plugs them up. We have two through the wall units instead of central. I’ve been replacing the wall plugs one at a time as the ones used a lot are 40 years old and worn out. I find going up and down a ladder hard now with my bad knees. I sort of went on and on – you get the idea.

  13. RHM June 23, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    Is “old man Lewis, the mayor of Luna City kin to April?

    • Mac June 23, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

      Don’t know, yet…I haven’t written it in the timeline…could easily be. Keep reading, there will be a few more between April number 8 (I haven’t picked a title yet.) and “Secrets in the Stars”. Family Law #4 is started too.

  14. Joyce June 24, 2016 at 10:34 am #

    Keep ’em coming! Each new one is eagerly anticipated and greatly enjoyed.

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