Home   Bio   Books   Interview   Links   Contact    Alan's Blog   Amazon-Author-Page


Available at:

DSP Publications

Praise of Surviving Immortality

More riveting than any other Alan Chin book to date. Loved the character mix and the different variations of "family" relationships. It was fast paced and satisfying. I was intrigued from the first few pages and was impressed by the way the author connected all the different plots into an explosive climax. And the facts the author uncovers about the human condition are no less than chilling. Bravo. Mr. Chin is at the top of his form.  --Edward Harris, Author of The English Veil


When Kenji Hiroshige discovers a formula that will keep people youthful and healthy for several thousand years, he tells the world he will not divulge his secret until every gun, tank, battleship, and bomb has been destroyed. When the world is free of weapons, everyone can live forever. And then he goes into hiding.


Before he disappears, his son Matt is exposed to the formula. Kenji takes Matt on the run with him, but as they struggle to elude both government agencies and corporations who will do anything to profit from Kenji’s discovery, Matt learns that world peace might not be his father’s only goal. But what can a young man who’s barely stepped foot off his isolated ranch do in the face of something so sinister?


This is the story of human greed and the lust for violence. It’s the story of a world on the brink of destruction, but it’s also a tale of one young man who finds in himself the will, courage, and compassion to stand against the darkness—both outside and within himself.

This is a story of hope for human kind.



Rainbow Book Reviews


At first glance the title sounds like a contradiction because immortality, by definition, means survival. And maybe it does on a purely physical level for each individual, but for humanity as a whole? It would require entirely different survival strategies than the ones we have developed over the millennia since we stopped living on trees. Immortality, for humans so far, is a philosophical construct. Its consequences, beyond what it might mean for an individual, are hard to imagine – and Alan Chin does a good job of speculating about the effects it might have. Religion might cease to exist since no fear of death means no need for an afterlife so no more funding for any religious organization. The pharmaceutical industry would be gone overnight. The medical profession – wiped out except for a few doctors needed for occasional reapplication of the formula. And what about the threat of overpopulation with everyone surviving? It requires a lot of imagination to think through the effects of immortality on humanity, and Alan Chin has done an amazing job at presenting one possible scenario. He takes a kernel of (unproven but not impossible) science as a catalyst that explains how the formula for immortality is discovered, uses a range of characters to illustrate various possible reactions, and spins a tale that includes murder, secrets, deception, betrayal, and more twists and turns than should be legal in one novel. The resulting story is breathtakingly spellbinding, to say the least.

Matt Reece is only eighteen when the proverbial sh*t hits the fan, has lived on his family’s ranch since he was born, and has been pretty much a recluse for the last two years. Like his father Jessup, he is gay and the bullying in school got so bad after his older brother left two years before the story starts that he has been homeschooled. In no way does any of this prepare him for what is to come – though I would argue that nothing can prepare anyone for having to face immortality, not to mention every single political, military, and religious group on the planet being after you for the secret. Matt Reece feels the burden of responsibility to “do something great” with the gift he has been given, but, at first, he has no idea what that might be. Combined with being on the run and fearing for his life, he faces terror from so many different angles that it’s a miracle he remains sane.

Kenji has invented the immortality formula but he is a shifty character almost from the start. While he seems to have commendable goals – like ending war, poverty, and disease – I did not like his attitude toward his husband, Jessup, and that was before the blackness of his soul emerges. The things he does to achieve what looks like a noble goal expose his ruthless side, and in that sense, he is a perfect incarnation of the principle that “the end justifies the means” which has terrifying consequences for his family and, ultimately, for him.

The story is told from different points of view, revealing a variety of perspectives offered up like puzzle pieces. Nobody knew everything at any point in time, nobody had any sort of control, and most characters were out to save their own behinds. Pretty realistic on any given day, but with the bombshell of immortality affecting everyone’s world view all of a sudden, this was particularly true. Alan Chin does not pull his punches with criticism on religious leaders, multinational corporations, the corruption of governments and politicians worldwide (but particularly in the US), and the military and law enforcement are shown from their worst side as well. As a whole, this novel offers an assessment of the worst side of the human race, and the emergence of the potential of immortality worsens the greed, infighting, and ruthless power-grabbing about a thousandfold. The situation changes the world as we know it to the point where it becomes a postapocalyptic situations where new rules emerge from the rubble that used to be civilization.

Despite the overall darkness shown by exposing humanity at its worst, there are a few flecks of hope and light throughout. Matt Reese is young and naive and seems helpless at first. He suffers both emotionally and physically as Kenji tries to drag him down into the moral abyss that is Kenji’s soul. But there is a stubborn goodness in Matt Reece that gradually grows stronger as he finds his way. Finding love gives him purpose, his family members join him in his fight, and when courage grows out of fear, Matt Reece emerges like a phoenix from the ashes, a very different person than he was before.

If you like thrillers with a global scale, if you want to watch a family go from peaceful ranchers to the only guys who can save the world (with the help of a few good men), and if you’re looking for a suspenseful read that explores human nature in a mesmerizing story with a surprisingly hopeful ending, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. I found it emotionally draining yet utterly captivating!

Consuela was dead. It was a fact, a simple truth connecting other truths. All he had to do was follow the facts backward and see where they led. He consulted his inner reserves and realized he had taken part in murder. He was a teenager, who believed all life was sacred, now as guilty as biblical Cain, and how ironic his choice of new names.

He avoided consciously blaming Kenji, but in the same heartbeat he knew he had to get the hell out of there before Kenji returned. He needed a plan, to change whatever lay in front of him. He tried to take a calming breath but came up short.

He leaned forward, planted his hands on his knees, and sucked air into unyielding lungs. He felt a familiar pressure in the back of his esophagus, and he coughed, long rasping coughs that clogged his windpipe with mucus.

“Oh”—he drew a shallow breath—“fuck.” He dropped the remote as a nervy rush pushed him into a survival response. He had to find a place with enough air, and quickly.

He ripped open the front door and ran for the stairs, already dizzy from lack of oxygen. He flew down to the first floor, unaware Groucho was following him.

He dashed into sunshine. Several people on the street backed away. Groucho whimpered at his side. Heads turned in unison to stare at him. It was alarming to be so intensely visible at the moment he felt most vulnerable.

A homeless person crouched on the pavement a few feet away, scratching distractedly at whatever was crawling in his beard. He shouted, “Praise the Lord. The little green men have landed. Take me to your leader!”
Through his panic he saw a door, the closest one, and he dashed for it, ripped it open, and lunged through. A bell over the door chimed as he pitched forward and fell to his knees on a black-and-white checkered tile floor. He struggled to suck air into his lungs. His head spun. He knew he was moments away from blacking out.

Arms hug him from behind. A voice said, “Relax, cowboy. Breathe with me, nice and easy.” Someone removed his Stetson and set it on the floor beside him.

He could do nothing beyond trying to draw air. Someone laid him out flat on his back and lifted his head. He opened his eyes, and a flash of overhead lighting distorted everything into a Magoo-like blur. As his vision cleared, he saw a dark-hooded figure hovering over him, and he could feel an icy touch on the back of his neck. Within the recesses of that shadowy hood hovered a red, mutilated face surrounding gentle smoke-colored eyes under silky lashes.

Is this the Grim Reaper?

Fear caused a sick shrinking in his heart from the knowledge that he was dying.

That face lowered until those marred lips touched his and air pushed past the blockage in his throat. Oxygen inflated his lungs. As if standing at the edge of a cliff preparing to plunge, his mind delayed, struggling with the shock of coming back alive.

That face breathed more life into him a second and third time. He coughed, spitting phlegm, and inhaled on his own. He stared into that face, noting the black hair across the forehead, the coppery skin on one side, the rough, ugly, plum-colored scars on the other, and the wispy facial hair that was still a week’s growth away from being considered a beard. Matt Reece was caught in that chemic gaze as the Grim Reaper cradled his head like a newborn, smiling down with such tenderness that it loosened the muscles clinching his chest. Time stopped. Nothing else existed.

“You’re the cowboy everybody’s looking for.” His voice was soft with an Indian lilt to its American accent, slightly melodious, sounding like a flute that could form words.

“How… did you…?”

“It’s all over Twitter, cowboy, how your grandpa turned green as an avocado, and how you and your stepdad are the new Osama bin Ladens. You’re like, infamous.”

“I’m someone else. I’m Kirby. Kirby Cain.”

A dimple appeared on the coppery side of the Grim Reaper’s face. “Who’d have guessed such an unobtrusive-looking boy could be public enemy number one?”

“Who are you?”

“Vishal Mandial.”

“From India? Man, that’s cool.”

“My parents immigrated from India. But I was born here. And people don’t say ‘cool’ even on Haight Street. You say ‘beautiful’ or if it’s something really spectacular you say ‘sick.’ Coming from Mumbai only merits a shrug of the shoulders.”

Matt Reece glanced around the shop, a patchouli-oil-scented space heavy with sitar music. He saw racks of clothing, shelves holding pipes and other drug paraphernalia, posters of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, and statues of Ganesh, the elephant with many arms. Groucho lay by the door, inching toward him. He brought his gaze back to Vishal, who seemed Patrick’s age, and wore a coal-gray hoody sweatshirt with the words “Sinner’s Gin” stenciled across the front.

“Your face?” Matt Reece said, reaching up and touching the mesh of scars.

“My father fell asleep on the couch with a lit cigarette. I tried to put him out.”

Now that he was breathing normally, he detected Vishal’s scent—clean and carnal, with the hint of some exotic spice Matt Reece imagined as curry. Matt Reece wanted to ask if he had saved his father but thought that seemed too personal a question.

“You kissed me.”

“Yeah, well, that’s how I roll. Give me a pretty-faced cowboy and I lose control and snog the hell out of him.” He laughed, again sounding like a living flute. “Is that your dog?”

Matt Reece nodded. “His name is Groucho.”

Vishal helped Matt Reece to his feet and placed the Stetson on his head. His legs felt rubbery, but Vishal wrapped an arm around his waist to help him stand. Now Matt Reece saw much more than his face—the compact V of his torso, the hip clothes, the casual grace with which he moved. His hands, like his face, were red scars, as if coming forth from a furnace. A young prince deformed, seemingly incapable of cruelty or love.