Down Syndrome character in Aerosol Sky
A diverse future is just one of the themes of The Shade Ring Trilogy. When I started doing research on future technologies, climate predictions and future cultural scenarios, I repeatedly ran across articles about how diverse the population will be in the United States by the end of this century. So my cast of characters includes quite a range of ethnicities – African-American, Mexican-American, Indian-American, American Indian, Korean-American, Chinese, Russian, multi-ethnic individuals – you name it. The trilogy also includes clone characters. Ethnically diverse clones, I might add. I included two lesbian characters who are vital to the storyline. In addition, the President of the United States is a woman in 2117 - a Jewish woman. And in Aerosol Sky, Book 3 of The Shade Ring Trilogy, I created a character with Down Syndrome.
The young man is a firefighter in one of the early chapters. And once again, I didn’t just make him up out of whole cloth. While researching wildfires for a scene in the book, I ran across an article about a young man with Down Syndrome in Illinois who was bound and determined to become a firefighter. He kept visiting the fire station, getting to know the routines and the firefighters. And finally, they took a vote and allowed Jason Eagan to join the force. This is from the article in The Washington Times: “Though Jason doesn’t go into burning buildings or engage in perilous rescues, he’s otherwise a full-fledged member of the department.” (Read the article here.)
I thought, wow! What if I include a guy like Jason in my story? So I did. But in Aerosol Sky, the young man is a full-fledged firefighter. Writers often take artistic license. And I decided a hundred years from now – when my story takes place – there’s a good chance progress will have been made for people born with Down Syndrome.
Let me know what you think of my character, whose name is Michael. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on my Facebook author page: