The Phoenix Alliance. The Phoenix Council. I was playing around with a name that would represent a group of immortals in my novel. They do come together to vote and make decisions, but those names didn’t fit. All I think about when I say them is… Star Wars.
Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just that this novel, The Phoenix Gene, is not that kind of science fiction. Councils and Alliances come from epic worlds where democracy has attempted to reign for ages. They come from worlds that have been coping with diversity for eons. My story is coming from our world, a world still relatively stained by exclusion.
Then I realized what these groups of immortals are: old secret societies. People with the rare gene that allowed them to die and come back to life found one another and tried to cope with being different. How did they explain what was happening without modern science? How did they protect one another from exploitation? What did they think about themselves? Were they better than mortals? Was immortality a gift or a curse?
Since the gene in my novel is worldwide, I’ve create multiple secret societies with different missions, understandings of their conditions, and histories. To make things more interesting, my novel is set in the present day so these societies have evolved. Some more than others, and I am able to explore how the understanding of genetics is causing the societies to change. I’m still creating these societies, so I’ll post more on them and how they fit in my novel soon.
As much as we’d like to think we’re close to the alliances and councils of science fiction, we’re issuing from a world of secret handshakes and inequality, and science fiction set in the present-day and near-future must reflect that.