G.I.F.T : The Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman (New York Times Bestselling Author)


The Unwind Dystology is a series of four sci-fi and dystopian novels set in a futuristic time period not too far from our’s. It focuses on a society more technologically and scientifically evolved, and ethically challenged.

A History Lesson

“Maybe it will be like the old Cold War,” Sonia suggests.

“How do you figure?”

“They have this new weapon,” she says, “unwinding. Maybe just the threat of it is enough. Maybe they’ll never actually use it.”

“A cold war implies a balance of power. What do these kids have if the authorities start unwinding them?”

Sonia sighs, finally seeing his point. “Not a chance in hell.”

An excerpt from book 3: Unsouled

What is your take on abortion? It started out over a controversial and consequential ethicality. The right to life, and the choice to begin a life. The Life Army and the Choice Brigade. One side condoned the killing of abortion doctors as justification for their wrongdoings on terminating the unborn. The other side gave leeway to the right to sell fetal tissue simply because they deem it a simple right to do so. (What remained of) The American military, took up a third position in the war and sought to be a neutral force, determined to initiate a sort of peacekeeping between the other sides. Eventually, weak as it was, it collapsed allowing the other two sides to amass weapons, giving way to a civil war much bloodier than its antecedent. The second American Civil War: The Heartland War.

As with many wars, the Heartland War absorbed a huge proportion of the country’s budget. This drained many public programs, especially the educational system. With everyone focused on the war, schools were closed down and students came to be neglected. Young adults and teenagers demanded change. With nothing to do and much time on their hands, all their pent up anger on the world was released through extreme means and measures which they sought to make heard of by the public. As a result, they became painted in such a bad light, that they came to be associated as ‘feral’. Soon they got kicked out of their homes and were bound to live on the streets, which inevitably became dangerous. As an extreme measure of seeking attention, some teenagers injected highly-explosive and undetectable chemicals into their bloodstream detonated by swift and forceful contact by the body, most specifically by bringing the hands together. They were the new form of terrorists: clappers. Society started to fear what they had become and grasped for a solution to the madness, for a solution to the “terror generation”.

The Nobel Prize for that year was awarded to an accomplished scientist who had claimed to have perfected neurografting technology, paving a way for its full potential of allowing any and every part of a donor to be utilized for transplant.

It was a joke. It was supposed to be a joke.

Unwinding: The process by which the parents or legal guardians may retroactively abort their child until they reach the legal age of 18 and whereby sanctity of life is a given from the child’s date of conception to their 13th birthday on the condition that the child’s life doesn’t “technically end” and is processed into the “divided state”.

This is the technical and conceptual definition of unwinding by which society plays by to be rid of unwanted teens. By “aborting” their eligible child, they allow them to become rightful property of the government. Then by standard procedure, they are escorted to harvest camps and sent to be unwound. Very much is unknown about the functions of these particular facilities. Other than the fact that the supplying of donor parts, for 99.44% (minus the appendix) of the body, rose prominently with the existence of these harvest camps.

In a desperate attempt for an armistice, both the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice parties were called upon for a summit meeting. When simple negotiations proved to be futile, as a last resort, the unwinding concept played into the meeting. The military thought with the unintended proposal of unwinding, both sides would come to their senses so as to assess the situation of the war in regards of ending it. The plan backfired when both parties accepted the concept of unwinding as it was in favor of their wishes: (a) it protected life from the time of conception to the child’s thirteenth birthday (b) gave parents the choice to “abort” their child between the ages of 13-18 (c) it is the belief that with unwinding, life doesn’t technically end but rather goes on to live in a “divided state”. Furthermore, it dealt with the situation of the feral teens who were reaping havoc and ensuing fear all over the country. Along with that, the idea of “storking”, in which parents could drop off their unwanted infants discreetly onto the doorsteps of other homes, proved to be an alternative to unwinding their newborns. As such, the Bill of Life constituting of the Unwind Accord and the Storking Initiative came to be signed and enacted, the Heartland War came to an end, and unwinding came to be a norm of society.


Words by SJ

Image by https://readwatchblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/book-series-thoughts-unwind-dystology-by-neal-shusterman/

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