The Aging Machine

The cost of incarceration is skyrocketing, and Dr. Elmore Fishbein has a solution that will not only bring him wealth, but will also launch him to popularity in the eyes of the governor. Dr. Fishbein has been working on a machine that can age someone the span of years in mere seconds, and while he was not the primary mind behind the invention, he knows what must be said in order to make the machine the success he knows it can be. When two orphaned boys are accused of a terrible murder, Dr. Fishbein sees the opportunity to showcase the power of his invention and give the public the show of a lifetime.

This compelling short story is written from multiple perspectives, shifting from one character to another as the narrative unfolds. While John and Taylor, the fifteen-year-old orphans, are at the center of the action, several adult characters intersect in their lives in myriad ways. Filled with intrigue, the fast-paced narrative will leave readers enthusiastically absorbing the momentum of the story as it flows easily from one chapter to the next. Occasional scenes describing blood and violence amplify the intensity of the novel, and these inclusions make the story best suited to mature young adult and adult readers.

The overall premise of the story is one that will give readers pause and inspire them to think about the implications of the dramatic concept of artificially increasing a person’s age. Even if accelerated aging were possible, several questions remain, including the conscionability of such an action and whether it would have the desired effect on incarcerated people. Corruption and greed run rampant in this novel, and the mystery of what has really happened will keep readers engaged from one moment to the next. Fast-paced and well written, this gripping short story concludes in a satisfying way while leaving open the possibility for further investigation of the ideas introduced in tale. This is a thought provoking and intriguing story for young adult readers with an interest in mystery, police dramas, and speculative science.

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