Bantam, March 2004, 6.99, 384 pp.
In the twenty-sixth century earth time, mankind has achieved immortality through the fax and duplicating clones that can be used at a moment's notice. In such a society the children have no hope of making a mark because what can they do that their older and wiser parents can't? Some young rebels turn to piracy, revolution and other acts of violence that upsets the status quo. These rebels are caught and their punishment is to take the OSS Newhope to a world light years away and colonize it for a thousand years.
The former rebels make it to planet P2 and at first it looks like they will have the freedom to pursue their dreams. However, the planet is short on tracer metals needed to keep people healthy and young. As the technology wears out, there is nothing to replace it and for the first time these immortals know what final death is. One brave former revolutionary conceives of a plan to rescue some of the population but it is history that will judge whether he is a hero or a pirate.
In LOST IN TRANSMISSION readers will find that immortality leads to stagnation and a need for the status quo, a situation that drives the second generation of immortals into rebellion so they can break free of the social constraints. The irony is that when they “grow up” in tens of centuries they are much like their parents except for a few “old” revolutionaries who are not content with their situation and intend to change it (sounds like the love children of the sixties). Will McCarthy has written a fascinating book about a future the audience hopes will never come true.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner