With emphatic thanks to Jay Lake, I bring you this link: Suicide by Roller Coaster posted up at Discovery News. Julijonas Urbonas, a PhD candidate at London’s Royal College of Art’s Design Interactions department, has developed a voluntary euthanasia roller coaster. I highly recommend you take the time to read the entire article.
I have a few reaper stories creeping around in my brain. In some of those cases, I consider how a reaper might deal with an assisted suicide or voluntary euthanasia situation. I have many more stories that involve death and leave out the reapers altogether. I’ve studied rituals related to dying and burial. I’ve studied the technology involved in cryonics. I’ve also followed with great interest the various issues and movements related to voluntary euthanasia.
One of my favorite story ideas involves a place where people can go to die in just this kind of way. It is on their terms and is representative of the lives they’ve lead. An industry has grown around it. When I saw mention of and then read the roller coaster article, I was very excited. Other ideas also sprouted.
This is just a short snipit today. Most of the links take you to Wikipedia as usual (for my post). I encourage you to check out many of the resources linked below the Wiki articles. Certainly some of the information includes links to how these topics are treated in culture and more specifically in fiction. I hope you check those out.
In the meantime, share your thoughts. I’d love to hear them. Does the roller coaster bring any stories to mind either in your own writing or something you’ve read?