Turn Back Time

The conversion to an age-based economy began when the Dutch implemented a program called Ungdom-penge; youth-money. Five years later, almost all global economies had adopted Ungdom-penge. The changes were not in the currencies themselves, but in what currencies could buy. Thanks to the pioneering research of Jens Hjelmslevm, who created a bio-economic conversion algorithm, individuals were able to buy back years they had already lived, effectively purchasing youth.  Initially, purchases were limited to terminally-ill patients, who—through their purchases—could revert to an age-state prior to that at which their diseases had manifested.  Quickly, though, the demand for age-abatement far outstripped the limited supply.   Through some aggressive adjustments to the algorithms, though, the problem was fixed, but at a price far greater than money.  Any person could buy back up to thirty years, but the price was the immediate loss of one’s existing relationships with family and friends and the relinquishment of all worldly goods.  Following the transaction, the purchaser would be “youthified,” and presented with a debit card good for six months of middle-class equivalent living expenses.

[See, I have these ideas that don’t hold my attention long enough to finish even a page.]

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Turn Back Time

  1. Juan, I used Freetranslation.com to get the Danish terms for youth and money and merged them via hyphen. The story is there, and has been there for thousands of years I think; but the TELLING of the story is the part I haven’t quite grappled with successfully.

  2. jserolf says:

    You are tagging onto some wonderful ideas. I love the mythic, SF value that you are building here. Reminiscent of Orwell, Wells, Atwood, and The Tombs of Atawuan. I was especially struck by the poetry of this line:

    “Through some aggressive adjustments to the algorithms, though, the problem was fixed, but at a price far greater than money. Any person could buy back up to thirty years, but the price was the immediate loss of one’s existing relationships with family and friends and the relinquishment of all worldly goods.”

    Aristotle claimed that any story is made of three essential elements: Protagonist, Antagonist, and Conflict.

    There lies the whole “Faustian theme” of your story, because THIS IS a story — the buying back of time, though at a price. The protagonist wants this time, but why and and is the price worth it?

    Moreover, I love it when I am fooled by the seemingly authentic nature of the writer’s terms: Ungdom-Penge. I even googled the term, and actually came up with something, but still awaiting its Danish translation.

Please tell me how this post strikes you.

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