Gardner Flookz flunked out of medical school, then law school, but not before he picked up enough understanding to swagger his way through both worlds. A medical malpractice claims adjuster, he works the streets of Remembrance Acres, a small town in the near-future, populated by ambulance chasers, profiteers, space cadets, wizards, vampires, slumming gods, and down-on-their luck superheroes. They knew how to take advantage of a good flunkee.
Imaginative social satire in the tradition of Johnathan Swift, Remembrance Acres is a canny insider’s view of the healthcare industry, a story cycle examining the important legal issues—medical malpractice, informed consent, privacy, insurance and reimbursement, high-tech contracting, involuntary commitment, work-force reduction, management fads, fraud and abuse, and death and dying.
From A Remembrance of Remembrance Acres:
“It was the golden age of what is sometimes called Cherry Orchard Socialism. Instead of spreading the risk of healthcare costs over the entire population, to keep the cost low for each individual, the Government picked up the tab for the high risk, unprofitable sector, like the poor, the elderly, and the specialty diseases that had strong lobbies, while private insurers were unleashed to pick cherries among the profitable, low risk population.”
From Ritual Burning:
All of the town’s old timers claim to have been present at the wedding of Judge Butterfield’s daughter and Kid Flicker. A heightened social status came from being identified as an authentic wedding attendee. Many tried to bluff their way through, though pretenders, once discovered, were ostracized. The Kid himself told different versions of his wedding stories. The night of the wedding, he had been plastered, and he couldn’t separate his own memories from anecdotes people fed him over the years. My old high school science teacher took credit for bringing the bride and the groom together, and saving the world at the same time.
From The Private Life:
Congress passed a new law designed to protect health information from surreptitious telepathic interception. To implement the law, the government promulgated five thousand pages of regulations, all of them written in the impenetrable style of the Federal Register, great linguistic Gordian knots of prose that used meticulously defined terms that incorporated long strings of other meticulously defined terms, draconian single sentences that respired dragon-like in forest devouring breadth.
From The Petition:
I hate these dream peeper cases. They fall into the same category of exercise as trying to figure out whether you really have free will. Or whether the world is made of actual material or just ideas about material. Or whether dreams give you a glimpse into a higher reality or just a glimpse at your own frustrations expressed in code. You’re never going to get a definite answer in this lifetime, but there’s too much riding on the outcome to stop asking the question. Like those other questions in this category, there’s a lot of different answers come from a lot of different people who have widely diverging opinions. Many experts swear that there really are low level telepaths who can voyeuristically peer into the dreams of others. But there are equally well credentialed experts who claim that all the reported cases of dream peepers were caused by the power of suggestion. After all, most people would rather blame a mysterious outside agency than face up to the weird stuff playing in their own minds. Did the phenomena previously go unreported because the victims were embarrassed? Or they feared no one would believe their stories? Or was the first reported case a delusion that replicated itself among the credulous?
From How Immortality Killed Perpetual Man:
Wearing his hospital robe like a cape, he slouched in his geri-chair and lifted his glass. “Here’s to Perpetual Man. I christened myself with that name in a fit of fate-defying hubris. Back in the 1920’s, it seemed so dramatic, so appropriately descriptive. I took the name as a dual reference to my perceived indestructibility, and to the perpetual motional like process that powered my bodily functions. In recent years, I entertained thought about changing the old name. But it is too late for that now. Perpetual Man will be my name until I am gone; a name full of stirring connotations, acquired grandeur, and now, irony.”
From The DreaMage:
Dot Ringo was Remembrance Acres’ premier med mal plaintiff attorney, a thoroughly formidable opponent. Ringo used to say that law was a kind of magic. In the style of a true witch, she could transmute any misfortune into a fortune. At this point in her career, she had ceased to care about money, for she had made enough money to bankroll the mortgage on Heaven. She only cared about winning, for its own sake. She pursued every case as if it were an animal head trophy to be placed upon her wall. She picked her clients very carefully. Usually, she evaluated a claim by looking at damages first, preferring serious injuries, like brain damaged babies, comatose married wage earners, and deaths. She liked deaths. Nightmares were not her usual forte. But she had uncanny instincts. Somehow Ringo had smelled blood.