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Trevelyan's Wager

David Bassano

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Harvard Square Editions

Published : 2016 

Copyright : David Bassano 2016

ISBN-10 : PB 1-941861-19-9
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-941861-19-6

Publisher's Write-Up


This intriguing story investigates timeless themes of life and death, as genetically-modified individuals enjoy eternal youth in great luxury on the mysterious island of Elysium.

The trillion-dollar Elysium Corporation has perfected the science of genetically-induced immortality. Decay and death are no longer inevitable. For the right price, you can now enjoy eternal youth, and in great luxury. This is mankind’s ultimate achievement.

William del Grappa, a journalist with a taste for the dark side of human life, is invited to this paradise by Sophia Trevelyan, an Immortal of almost mythical intelligence and beauty. Life on Elysium is utterly perfect – or so Sophia thinks, before her indelicate visitor dis-covers a critical flaw…

Trevelyan’s Wager proves an irresistible lure for an indelicate journalist, who suspects that people and permanence should never mix…

About the Author:
David Bassano is a History professor at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey. He holds a PhD in International, Global, and Comparative History, specializing in Human Rights. He is a human rights activist and a writer of academic, nonfiction, and literary works. Trevelyan’s Wager is his first novella. He divides his time between New Jersey classrooms, Manhattan jazz clubs, East Coast hiking trails, and a particular Zen temple in Brooklyn.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Nigel (310816) Rating (9/10)

Review by Nigel
Rating 9/10
Trevelyan's Wager is a speculative fiction novella (or short novel if you prefer) that tackles some fairly thought-provoking issues in its 114 pages.

If you were immortal what would be your main concerns? This question has been asked before in a number of SF stories so is not something new but has been done very well here.

In the not too distant future genetic engineering has advanced to the point where it can arrest the aging process. Along with other genetic tweaks and a highly boosted immune system subjects of the procedures are in effect immortal, although still susceptible to external influences such as crime, toxins, new diseases and accidents. This, among other imperatives, necessitates the immortals living in a controlled environment to reduce the risks of being killed by these outside factors.

The GM-IM (Genetic Modification – Immortal) procedure is kept a secret by the Elysium Corporation and kept prohibitively expensive so it can only be afforded by the richest 200 or so families in the world. The story takes place a hundred years after the first immortals were ‘created’ when journalist Willian del Grappa is allowed access to the island of Elysium to interview immortal Sophia Trevelyan.

Elysium is the largest island in an archipelago owned by the Elysium Corporation. The island has been cleared and turned into the safest place on earth where immortals can live in total luxury. Staff are carefully screened, while private security and defence systems protect the inhabitants. Once employed on Elysium, as mortals, staff are not allowed to leave, accepting this condition for the incredible remunerations paid.

What unfolds as William interviews Sophia over a period time is what it means to be mortal, with all our human fears and doubts. I especially liked the way the author briefly touched on the paradox of immortality and religion.

It may all sound a bit techy but it isn’t. Trevelyan's Wager is a beautifully written treatise on life and death and what is truly important, something we perhaps forget in the endless pursuit of the next iPhone. Well worth reading, it will hopefully make you think twice about your motivations in life, which is no mean feat for such a short novel.
Nigel (31st August 2016)

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