Spanking author “Lurking Dragon” has created his own vision of the 28th century, a world known as the Rejuve Universe. In this fictional universe society has been changed significantly due to a technology called rejuvenation. According to his novel Melody’s Stories this technology was introduced on Earth by aliens (in the remainder of this review I will ignore the alien part, as I find this a deus ex machina type explanation, which I don’t like).
The technology of rejuvenation allows a person to be change his or her physical and psychological age. However, this technology is subject to two fundamental restrictions:
- A person can only become younger, not older
- A person can only be changed into a prepubescent child
The second restriction is known as the puberty limit and is set at about 12 years.
It has been established by Lurking Dragon that physical age regression goes hand-in-hand with psychological age regression, i.e. someone who is changed into a 5-year-old will behave like a 5-year-old. For this reason all rejuvenated persons, called rejuves, are treated as legal minors and are placed under the custody of an adult. Interesting to note a rejuve will maintain his or her memories from before his or her rejuvenation.
In the rejuve universe there are several reasons for rejuvenating people, though I will restrict myself to the more important ones. First of all, rejuvenation is used as punishment. Instead of going the prison, convicted criminals are rejuvenated and placed under the custodian of very strict parents as part of their rehabilitation. Secondly, rejuvenation is used for medical reasons as rejuvenation resets all age related illnesses. And finally, there are people who voluntary rejuvenate themselves. This because rejuvenation also extends one’s lifespan.
The question I am most interested in is whether such technology is plausible, not necessarily in the exact way Lurking Dragon it describes but on a more general level. I will argue rejuvenation as a conceptual technology is indeed plausible (in the far future).
There is no reason that this technology violates the fundamental laws of physics, rejuvenation seems to be mostly the reversal of a biological process, aging.
I would contend that for rejuvenation to work as described, we have to distinguish two processes: cellular and somatic rejuvenation. Cellular rejuvenation is basically to undo all aging at the cellular level – removing error in its DNA, increase the telomeres and so on. As there is a lot of research in this field, this part is quite plausible.
Somatic rejuvenation is another process and is the actual change of an adult body into child’s body. This would require a significant reorganization of the body and since prepubescent children are a lot smaller than adults, it would require a reduction in size and mass.
Both cellular and somatic seems to be possible, though would require a lot of energy. Then the question is, of course, what is the most likely method to achieve rejuvenation? I would say, that nanobots would be the best choice as they would be able to work at microscopic level. And would be able to execute both processes.
Nevertheless how would these nanobots be powered? I have a proposal which would explain the two restrictions mentioned above. My idea is to use matter/energy conversion.
The matter/energy conversion method would require that some of the rejuvenated person’s own mass is changed into energy and as a result he becomes smaller. Since there would be a minimum of energy required to rejuvenate a person, he has to lose a minimum amount of mass. And since puberty is associated with rapid physical growth, this particular method would naturally limit the maximum target age at puberty.
(Lurking Dragon himself explains the puberty limit as a result of the complex hormonal changes during puberty.)
Even though rejuvenation is plausible enough to be taken serious for (hard) science fiction writers, the question remains whether we should wish such technology to exist in real life. Personally I find turning adults into children for medical reasons, a bit cumbersome and by the 28th century I guess there will be much more efficient methods.
And as a punishment, I think rejuvenation is quite disproportionate – in his novel the main character is sentenced to a 18-year sentence as a child between 6 and twelve for embezzlement. But since Lurking Dragon’s intention was to write a spanking novel, I think he should be forgiven.
And would any adult really want to become a child again? Maybe some people would, but I suspects it would be only a small minority.
Nevertheless, I find the rejuve universe a fascinating concept and Lurking Dragon certainly deserves credit for having thought out those two restrictions of his fictional technology (a common error made by writers of both science fiction and fantasy is to forget about what technology or magic can’t do).
Rejuve Universe on Spanking Art (this site is sometimes out-of-order, in that case try it later)