The populations of the rich countries are ageing (pretty quickly) and scientists are working hard to extend ‘normal’ longevity into the 90s, 100s, or beyond. Author Gemma Malley has explored the consequences in an interesting ‘what.. if’ novel  for young adults, The Declaration, set in 2140. This caught my eye in a short interview in The Big Issue. It’s not online, so I’ve retyped the good bits below.

Why ‘The Declaration’?

My novel is a glimpse of a future where ageing has been ‘cured’ – people can live indefinitely, but the price is that they sign a declaration which states that they can’t have children. Those who break it go to prison, and their children, labelled Surpluses, are sent to a Surplus Hall where they are put to work.

How did the idea for the story come to you?

I read an article written by a scientist who was working on drugs to ‘cure’ ageing – he said it was the scientific community’s responsibility to increase the human lifespan by as much as possible. I kept wondering what the world would be like if we all lived forever, and decided it would be pretty horrific.

There’s a review-cum-interview in The Bookseller.