Developmental Inertia is one name scientists have given to the extraordinary case of the people who barely age – including an 8 year old girl who is still an infant, a 29 year old man whose body is still 10, and a 30 year old woman in the body of a 2 year old. This is perhaps the most remarkable mutation I have ever heard of.
“In some people, something happens to them and the development process is retarded,” medical researcher Richard F. Walker told ABC News. “The rate of change in the body slows and is negligible.”
The idea of immortality of one kind or another, of arresting physical and mental development at some point, is not new, but I had never heard of the reality of it. It leads to all sorts of questions (such as, if you could choose the age when you would stop developing, what age would you choose?)
When my son and I wrote a SF/fantasy book about a similar topic (Entropic Quest) we considered various angles of this kind of situation, little knowing it could actually happen! Earlier this year we continued the story with a sequel (Prisoners of Perfection) in which some of the previously immortal characters broke out of that condition, only to find themselves in peril of uncertain and drastic changes. AIn’t it the truth that whenever you put some sort of genie in a bottle, the danged thing has a way of getting out again (actual genies may be replaced by secrets, or even popular revolutions, in some cases!).
We have now begun the third and final book in this Epic Fail Trilogy – working title “The End of the Line” – in which the problems of stasis and rapid change both come into play in a new a different take on the topics. This news story sheds a different light on it, one we’ve already incorporated into the tale. Hint: it involves a certain high-tech company known as World Weary Avengers