07 March 2009

Learning from Van Lustbader - Part 3

Reading "The Testament" has made me very tired of the "mounting body count" method of making something a thriller. I'd really like to do "Gutenberg's Other Book" without a casualty. Might not be possible, but I have in mind that my antagonist (The Voice) will say something like "Kill innocent people? No. Murder is the result of not being able to solve your problems." He may go on to say that Peter's friends and family would all ive, but would suffer for the rest of their lives and blame Peter for it.

That puts me in mind of another story I'd like to write. What if no one died? Suddenly, people just stop dying. They didn't stop aging or become instantly healthy. They just stopped dying. Wars would cease to have meaning because no one dies. However, far from being happy, people continue to become more and more miserable as the quality of life deteriorates.

Some things that might happen include the government experimenting on people to try to kill them and inadvertently creating a race of wraiths -- people who have been utterly destroyed, but still live. These become a malevolent army. People try to commit suicide, but end up more miserable than before because they are unable to die. People sue the government to get death back. People become disillusioned with religion that promises eternal life. All people want is for it all to end.

Well, that's another story.