October 31, 2018
Paralytic State by Steven Orlowski
Paralytic State is a metaphysical science fiction written by Steven Orlowski.
Jaron Brundt is a world famous virtuoso guitar player. After replacing the legendary Tod Vas as the lead guitar player for the Darren ‘Loud’ Ray band, Jaron is about to become a big time rock star.
He is in the middle of recording his major label debut with the band when he feels that he is losing his dexterity. Before the end of the recording session, he is diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. He is given 3 – 5 years to live. After twenty five years, however, Jaron is still alive, albeit in paralytic state.
A former fan turned Virtual Warden at Aeternalis Federal Penitentiary finds Jaron to be the perfect candidate for a new but secret virtual reality program funded by the Federal government, where a person’s consciousness is transferred to a computer and live in a virtual reality world where he can walk, talk, and play guitar. But once he enters Aeternalis, there is no turning back.
Basically, I love the concept of this book. It brings up the most important issue of all, a person’s mortality. By portraying the main character as an extraordinarily talented young man with a promising career ahead of him, the author successfully presents the glaring truth that life is but temporary. Everything we have at the moment, the things we enjoy in life, the skills we learn, and the special abilities we possess may disappear at any moment and there is nothing we can do about it. No amount of money or fame can buy us health and vigor.
Furthermore, the choice presented to Jaron between living in a virtual world free of sickness and disease and living in the physical world with his family but confined in a wheel chair unable to take care of himself, is a wake-up call. It answers the basic questions ‘what and who are we living for?’
Except for the several errors that make reading a less pleasurable experience, I love the book including the lengthy explanation about ALS and the possibility of a virtual reality program.