Way of the Serpent by Donna Dechen Birdwell
Way of the Serpent is the 1st volume of the Recall Chronicles by Donna Dechen Birdwell.
It’s 2125. Aging is a thing of the past, but personal memories and desires are now under corporate management. At the youthful age of 111, Jenda Swain is content with her life and her career, when an unexpected encounter with an old woman forces her to question her own identity, to try and discover the woman she once was and might yet become.
A Word from the Author
When I wrote Way of the Serpent I didn’t know there was going to be a series. I was fascinated with the implications of anti-aging research leading inadvertently into near-immortality. How would people feel and what kind of decisions would they make when YOLO stretched out over a couple of centuries?
Way of the Serpent is the story of Jenda Swain, a clueless but vaguely discontent corporate drone who is shocked into action by a disturbing encounter with an old woman. Jenda sets out to discover what’s missing from her memories and her life and where she ends up is a bit of a shocker. Even authors are sometimes taken aback to learn what their characters are capable of!
My series gets labeled “science fiction” even though I’m much more comfortable aligning it with Margaret Atwood’s notion of “speculative fiction”. Besides the drug that prevents aging, the other two essential elements in the world I’ve imagined forward (straight out of this one) are the management of memories by an all-powerful social media giant called Your Journal and the demise of governments, which left everything under the control of the mega-corporations. The title of the series comes from the subversive Recall network and the fact that “Recall” can reference both “remembering” and the withdrawing (reclaiming?) of something defective.
You should also know that I have a habit of weaving folktales into my stories’ themes. (I’m an anthropologist!) In this case, it’s an old New Guinea tale of how, at the beginning of time, a snake and a bird did battle to determine whether humans would be like snakes – shedding their skins and living forever – or like birds, who have to die.
(Donna Dechen Birdwell, October 2016)
Other Books in the Same Series
Shadow of the Hare
Flight of the Owl