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Ten Lives of Johnny Foster

Ryan Bryant on November 17, 2017

Ten Lives of Johnny Foster
Hey there, Levant Techies! This week, we're going to do something a little different. Typically, we like to write about business books, or share some cool ways to boost your web presence or productivity. However, it's not every day your company's Creative Director writes and publishes a novella! That's why we're going to be talking about a great book, Ten Lives of Johnny Foster, by Levant's own Victor Moyer.

What if you had to live your entire life over and over again? What if each death led to a rebirth in the exact same place and time, forever? That's the premise explored by Victor Moyer in his new novella, Ten Lives of Johnny Foster. The story follows a baseball-obsessed kid as he navigates the joys and horrors of his young life. Things aren't easy for Johnny, thanks to a combination of neglectful parenting and a genetic predisposition for dullness. After the death of his brother in an accident, things start to spiral out of control for Johnny until he himself is killed in a car accident as a teenager.

After the accident, Johnny is born again and begins reliving his early life as if he had never been killed. Over time, Johnny realizes he is somehow getting multiple chances to live his life, allowing him to right catastrophic wrongs and mold a new trajectory for each iteration of his existence.

"When I started writing, I wasn't really sure where it was going to go," Victor said. "It was just the shell of an idea about a guy who keeps living and dying over and over again. How would he break that loop? And the conclusion he ultimately comes to is that immortality is his only solution."

Using each subsequent lifetime to better understand how to achieve his quest for immortality, Johnny acquires more and more knowledge as time goes on, hoping to one day achieve a never-ending life by digitizing his consciousness.

"When I was working on this story, I did a lot of research to understand the hypothetical ways people could live forever, almost the same kind of research Johnny does in the book," Victor said. "I just wanted to know what was out there. I started reading about the idea of full-brain emulation, and what scientists consider to be the minimum computational power required to digitize the human brain. Most believe it's so far out of reach, but it was interesting to think of ways to sort of accelerate that technology for the sake of the characters in the story."

Victor found that, as he explored the idea of immortality, the concept of living forever lost its appeal, especially when he considered the negative aspects: an ever-changing world, the loss of everyone you've ever known, the loneliness of an eternity to ponder existence.

"Really, you have to ask yourself, 'Would I even want to live forever?' And in the case of Johnny, it ultimately feels like the character is working toward something he doesn't even want anymore. What would it be like if you had eons to ruminate over everything? It would certainly give you a different perspective on life."

Regarding perspectives, Victor said he hopes readers end up thinking about making the most of the short time they have, and how selfish motivations can steer people away from helping those in need.

"A lot of times, we lose sight of how we can help humanity because we're so invested in ourselves and our own pleasures, wants, and desires. I wanted to showcase an alternative to that with a character who experiences the ultimate form of selfishness: the desire to live forever."

Without this innate inclination toward selfishness, Victor believes humanity could create a utopian society. But, until we can somehow triumph over the inherent faults of our species, people will just have to make do with good, old-fasioned kindness and consideration.

Download, rate, and review Ten Lives of Johnny Foster here!

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