A Stand-in for Dying

Written by Rick Moskovitz⎮ Narrated by Joe Smith


Author: Rick Moskovitz
Narrator: Joe Smith
Length: 7 hours and 53 minutes
Publisher: Fluke Tale Productions LLC
Released: Dec. 11, 2020
Genre: Science Fiction

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In a near future world on the brink of environmental catastrophe, a mysterious woman brokers an anonymous pact between two men for the older man to inhabit the younger man’s body when he dies in exchange for a fortune and access to vast knowledge.

The consequences for both men evolve over the ensuing years, while the covert agency behind the mind swapping technology seeks to use it to rule the world. Their moral and emotional development is informed by the resourceful women who love them, one an accomplished journalist, the other a teacher who guides AI’s to feel emotions and advocates for them to have equal rights with carbon-based humans.

Willow's Review

5 Stars

This audiobook was provided by its author, Rick Moskovitz, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks, Rick!

A Stand-in for Dying, written by Rick Moskovitz and narrated by Joe Smith, is the first book in the Brink of Life Trilogy of Sci-Fi thrillers. Author Moskovitz has served humanity working as a Clinical Psychiatrist; his excellent understanding of the human condition was brought to light via each of his well-crafted characters and the host of mental afflictions they grappled with as they attempted to survive in a world of undiluted traumatic events of a dying planet. Dwindling resources and shortages plagued the lives of the remaining humans with despair and uncertainty.

Narrator Joe Smith's calm yet stoic vocal presence was an excellent pairing with the dystopian themes of the novel. Smith rendered an impressive performance via a balanced narration of the book with a consistent cadence and impersonating the various characters with unique accents, inflections, and tonalities.

Protagonist Marcus was a young man trapped in the cycle of poverty and had little education to better his situation. Although his life was pitiful, his physicality was healthfully robust—he was deeply invested in bodybuilding and extreme sports. Moreover, Ray was an old, sick multi-billionaire from his wealth accumulated from his creation HibernaTurf, an initially brilliant invention intended to solve a large portion of the water shortage crisis. HibernaTurf covered the arid landscapes with soft grass-like foliage that didn't require water to sustain. Instead, it killed millions of livestock and destroyed vast acreages of natural vegetation. Hence, HibernaTurf produced another environmental crisis across North America.

Ray decided to evade death and purchase his ticket to immortality via a binding contract to have his soul downloaded into Marcus's healthy young body. Terra, a cryptic woman who arranged the soul exchange agreement, referred to as "Ambrosia Conversion." The clandestine agreement would ensure Ray would receive immortality and avoid the ever-feared unknown realms of death. And Marcus's aging would stop, and he would become rich beyond measure, and the unexpected funds pulled his abysmal life out of poverty.

At times, readers may have to remind themselves that this is a work of science fiction. Although it does seem like a glimpse into the earth's future. Water is scarce, humanity is dying, the world is an arid wasteland, but the possibility to live forever is available to those who could afford to evade the clutches of death. Stand-In for Dying does present the reader with much to ponder regarding the future of humanity and planet earth.

Meet the Author: Rick Moskovitz

Rick Moskovitz is a Harvard educated psychiatrist who taught psychotherapy and spent nearly four decades listening to his patients tell their stories. After leaving practice, he in turn became a storyteller, writing science fiction that explores the psychological consequences of living in a world of expanding possibilities, including even the prospect of evading death. His characters deal with enduring moral and emotional struggles against a backdrop of a near future world that is still dealing with environmental crises as it navigates the intersection of human and artificial intelligence.

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