Death is taboo. Death is incomprehensible, inexplicable; and, yet, inevitable.
The most ancient desire of humankind is to conquer death; we humans don’t see death as part of life. We want to play God, want to find a new direction in the eternal circle of life—or stop it altogether.
After publishing Cluster (“one of the best science fiction novels published from a Hungarian author” - Köki Terminal Bookshop), in Stephen Paul Thomas’s new short story collection, we can look deeply into the problem that the whole of humankind wants to solve: How can we live longer? In eleven short stories, we follow the characters through different paths to prolong their own lives or the lives of others. For some of them, the soul is a separate entity (a thing that can live without the body); for others, this is impossible—they still live and die as before, in sickness and in old age, some in sacrifice for others. In the big race, in the fight for long life, we can see the picture of a big cataclysm; the collective death.
But at its deepest level, this book is not about death. The stories—set in the same Colonial Universe as Cluster—about Life; they are a quest for answers about incurable sickness, about how to replace the body in a world where the soul is immortal. Can humankind alone kill Death? Do we need to prolong life—sometimes even to a pointless, meaningless degree? Why would we do that, why would we want to live longer than the stars? Even they stop shining one day.