Are we playing at being God?

Are we playing at being God?

Diego del Alcázar He makes his debut in the novel and does not hide the initial fears that arose when he saw the "blank page": «I assumed the ridicule that one makes when starting to write», remember. Although those beginnings "full of clichés" and pauses are in the past. His daughters were the first audience his stories had, and the trial and error, plus his background as a science fiction reader, have ended up taking him to the doors of The genetics of time (sword)a book spurred by “a fascinating story,” says of the biography of biochemist Jennifer Doudna, The code of life (signed by Walter Isaacson). «His life had everything to create a fiction in which to put fascinating characters, such as “biohackers” or scientists with a terrible character», presents the author and CEO of IE University.

With that starting point, Del Alcázar began to "turn and turn" the plot, to "rewrite" and get rid of the feeling of ridicule to sign a novel of which he could be proud. «None of what is narrated has happened nor are real characters or situations described in it. The only purpose is to entertain and serve as a reflection. The novelist took the plot to his own field: "In my field, education, I am interested in the impact of technology on society." And from there he pulled the thread to «reflect on biotechnological advances, which can help us enormously. By definition, we have to embrace them, but at the same time we must be able to think critically.".

Are we playing at being God? Del Alcázar assures that he does not know, but that he does intend for "the reader to ask themselves that question and answer themselves." "We are all going to agree with biotechnology to cure a disease," he points out. Another thing is wanting to genetically select children so that they are all Aryans. We don't want that. There is a gigantic range of grays and there comes a moment when the barrier ends up blurring, and that is where I want to take the reader.

As the pages turn, more emerge. questions that not even Diego del Alcázar himself knows how to answer and that lead to "thinking a lot" while reading: "If we can improve the human species, why not do it? That was the fundamental question, the one he had to address in his research, and those children, who belonged to the select club of those who were already on the other side, on the side of the fortunate, the superior, the genetically improved, were questioning why they do and the others don't," invites a book that plays with two times, the present and a future located in 2072.

The author takes part of the action to Navaluenga (Ávila), where Sofía – granddaughter of Mercedes Grijalba, the other protagonist – has converted her grandparents' medieval house into the headquarters of GENE, a school for genetically edited adolescents who have higher IQs. to the average. «But they are not superheroes, but superhumans. They just do math faster., he points out. One of the objectives of the center is to help them solve the greatest ethical dilemma that society of the time faces: "What are the consequences of our being able to modify the code of life, DNA, at will?" asks a man who has grown up embraced the works of Aldous Huxley.

Questionable decisions

Fifty years earlier, Mercedes de Grijalba – an international businesswoman and founder of one of the most important pharmaceutical empires of the 21st century – became one of the protagonists of the revolution that took place as a result of the questionable decisions she made to help her daughter. sick, Clara. Sofía remembers the times of her grandmother until she begins to receive some mysterious letters that open a window to her true story and the challenges, some chilling, that she has to face humanity.

Navaluenga draws attention as one of the main settings, an unexpected framework directly related to the writer's own biography, but which also It intends to draw that society that has left the city to return to the the emptied Spain that Del Alcázar provides with new riches and that is a declaration of intentions: "I liked the contrast of a hyper-advanced world in which technology allows us to remain at the forefront regardless of where we are."