Michael Remembers Book 3
MICHAEL REMEMBERS is not just an amusing science-fiction novel but also a scathing social satire decrying the corruption and subversion of America's once-vaunted legal, judicial, and political system. The Retrogression Procedure is allegorical for the draconian sentences handed down routinely by judges nowadays. More
After Michael Tadlock has attained the pinnacle of happiness as a family man, model citizen, and esteemed historian on terraformed Mars, his fortunes suffer a catastrophic reversal. In 2386, when he travels to Earth to accept a prestigious award, Michael is arrested in California on an ex post facto law, tried and convicted by a kangaroo court, then sentenced and subjected to his third Retrogression Procedure. Before it he was 85 but looked and felt 40. Now he is still 85 but looks 8. Past the prime age for adoption, he is put into foster care with an eccentric scientist and a scandalously but hilariously ill-behaving younger retro "brother." Living again in Palo Alto, Michael manages to find a dear, old friend and to make several new ones. After one tragedy and a series of both harrowing and uproarious misadventures, Michael, through an elaborate subterfuge, manages to escape from Earth and return to Mars. Here, too, he must come to terms with the fact that, as a third-time retro, he will remain biophysically a child the rest of his life. Still, as always, Michael adapts. He is loved, welcomed back, and honored by his family, his colleagues in academia, and the entire Martian community. By the end of the story, although Michael can never get back what has been taken from him, in its own way justice is served.
The narrator-protagonist's third "book" of memoirs ends in 2416, though Michael lives on for 35 more years. The Epilogue is written by his oldest grandson, also named Michael Tadlock. It briefly recounts "Grand Michael's" last years and days and summarizes the significance of his place in human history.