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You favorite/best novels on life extension

cryonics nanotechnology stem cells robotics sci-fi

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#1 IDoNotWantToDie

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 01:12 PM

hi friends,

Im looking for your favorite fiction on life extension and/or immortality. Anything related to immortality and life extension. Books like The First Immortal by James Halperin, which i have not read since its quite old (1998) is it any good? anyway fiction on nanotechnology, stem cells, cryonics, cloning, AI, robotics ...as long as life extension and /or immortality is tied into the subject matter of the novel then im interested. any suggestions?

thank you:


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Posted 15 December 2013 - 02:20 AM

The Culture series is pretty cool and there is also the works of Cordwainer Smith. Have you read the books by Robert Ettinger? Many of them are free online at cryonics.org

#3 IDoNotWantToDie

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 06:50 AM

The Culture series is pretty cool and there is also the works of Cordwainer Smith. Have you read the books by Robert Ettinger? Many of them are free online at cryonics.org

when you speak of the culture series i assume you mean the sci-fi works of Iain Banks? if so i would love to check them out as 'The Wasp Factory' was amazing. sorry i havent gotten back to you sooner btw, but i live in chronic pain and dont sleep well, so i often cant go on-line because im in too much pain and too tired. thank you for the recommendations :)
i cant believe that no one else here has any more suggestions. you would think a forum dedicated to immortality would be full of people that read fictional books on life extention/immortality.most of the fiction i read onthis subject have negative messages about immortality. one book i read told a story of how in the future people developed immortality but they got bored living that way, lol. i know i could never get bored there is just too much to do. other books have problems with overpopulation when immortality is developed,as if in the future people cant work that problem out,lol. i just bought Cordwainer Smiths short story collection as i heard from another person that his stories are positive about the future of immortality. a lot of the sci-fi i come across about immortality is just negative outlooks of immortality/life extension. often there is fiction of the negative side effects of immortality like people would go insane from it or the emotional toll of such things as people dying would be too much to bear for immortals, but i think in the future if one were immortal then their friends snd family would be too so this would not be a problem, also with the passage of time an earth filled with only immortal people does not mean that people would not die from accidents like being hit by a car there by making room for a new baby, a new immortal being. also with mote passage of time we would eventually be able to live on other planets wete people could have new immortal babies on that planet.the authors seem to know nothing of Dr.Aubrey de Greys work and his positive message of life extension.these sci-fi authors should do more research.

I would like to read fiction that says things positive about life extension or immortality not stories that think its a problem. so if anyone has any more recommendations please enlighten this website with good fictional books that have good, not bad outlooks on immortality. because i for one am bummed out by fiction that has a story that states immortality and life extension is bad for one reason or another, i want to be inspired by immortalist fiction not let down.

cheers ;)

Edited by IDoNotWantToDie, 31 December 2013 - 07:32 AM.

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 12:15 AM

You bring up some good points. It always seems so silly to me for people to argue against immortality based on population concerns. Based on the number of people who are thrown away or already live less than full lives in developed nations, we already have a higher birthrate than we can manage. Immortality will be a vast improvement. Considering the people who "fall through the cracks" etc. due to time constraints and other factors of a short life.

Consider the modern family, most people get through it ok, some stay ignorant longer than others, and some want nothing to do with it. Why does this happen? Competing priorities, bucket lists, and all the other demands of life prevent us from devoting adequate energies into raising the children who are born and having to use blanket parenting techniques. The result of this is a need to harm the neglected for the social benefit of rest.

Consider the future family. Jane and Joe Immortalist raise kids after being around for 500 years during a period of retirement and all their kids are raised properly with the assistance of a 100% accurate mind reading AI that connects via the child's cyberization link that is always there to make sure things go well. The child, parents and the AI are thus lifelong friends with full lives and in the event that something does go wrong, there is always the possibility of what I call "Relive" which means the backup and erasure of one's mind and a fresh start until the technology is developed to get it right. The Relive memories are then available to the one reliving and provide a legacy and record of the efforts of mankind. Thus a child who might otherwise be looked down upon and have no other place in society except to be ignorant is a triumphant successful achievement and the culmination of mankind's effort. Today, it is a success when we establish ignorance in an individual who we have failed.

Further, all people would be born sterile (but functioning) and new births would be determined by the carying capacity of orbital colonies and the number of kids going through the Relive program. So every person who wanted to have children would be qualified by their participation and achievements in improving the Relive program, assistive AIs, and parenting in general. If the number of kids in the Relive program was high, fewer fertilities would be granted thus allowing more resources to be allocated to lowering the number of kids in the Relive program. This would ensure an adequate balance of expansion, resource allocation, and technical development. No child would thus be born who would not achieve equal standing as an adult.

If you've read Cordwainer Smith's Norstrillia, Relive is alot like what the protagonist goes through 4 times before getting sprung by the Lord Redlady, but without the laughing deathgas (culling) for those failing the test. Instead, you just get put through Relive until you come out and all is well.

The culture also makes a habit of killing immortals where other solutions could be found that don't require killing people and creating Minds for the sole purpose of their wartime cruelty. But books are written for entertainment, if shit doesn't hit the fan and characters don't die the reader doesn't cry and buy the next book to try to replace the character :)

I've been thinking I should write a story about Relive comparing the relive experience of a cryonicist with the story of his past and also to a native future newborn up "at bat" for the first time. What do you think? I don't know if I'll have enough time for it, but it would make a cool LongeCity blog IMO.

I tend to think that in order for new births to be determined by deaths, that would mean giving up on someone who died in a car accident. It gets pretty hard to be "all dead" once cryonics succeeds. If your brain gets splattered on the pavement and you've been backing up your cyber brain to the cloud, then as long as there is some of you left, even bits that can be put back together, you can be brought at least mostly back to life. I imagine they'll have special ambulances for that kind of thing where they have a bunch of cryoprotectant and they use it to wash your road pizza into a vat where you are then cryopreserved until such time as science can fix you. With Helium (#2) and Nitrogen (#7) being as abundant as it is in the universe, I imagine we should have no problem finding the materials we need to maintain this. So you'd pretty much have to be atomized, vaporized or digested by a space alien's dog to be unrecoverable. There is also the problem of not bringing someone back if there isn't enough room for them because they've been replaced by someone else. I imagine deaths would only be considered final when someone chooses it. Some might still decide to take part in cryosleep, or just extended sleeping to make room for more people. Once you're immortal, it doesn't matter if you sleep for 10 days at a time and just dream or work on stuff in your head because you're not getting any older and machines have relegated humanity to volunteerism and those most important of tasks (I forget the exact words I'm trying to quote here, but I'm probably looking at the quote through the zoom lens of immortality anyways), you could even dream/work with friends in this state. I supposed they would call it "low energy recouperative biostasis"

Robert Ettinger wrote some interesting books, I've only read some of them, they are somewhat dated, but good reads if you get a chance. Now that I've thought about it, I think I'll start writing some of that book. I'm getting lots of ideas all of a sudden. I'll take suggestions from the LC community for different subjects to cover too. I think this could be interesting, though I might need some help with the grammar of narrative writing.

Edited by cryonicsculture, 01 January 2014 - 12:17 AM.

#5 IDoNotWantToDie

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 08:47 AM

cryonicsculture you should defintely write that story. your obviously intelligent and I think you could write a great story considering how much you know bout cryonics, AI and mind uploading.
since your busy you could write just a little bit at a time during your downtime. i think everyone , not just people here, would love to read it.


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Posted 05 January 2014 - 09:24 PM

Well the first thing I did for the book

A friend of mine just made some recommendations. The last two are in the negative in my early "haven't read them yet" opinion. They may or may not be written by cryonicists, but they are related. Both are independent authors.

Long Life? A Journey into the Unknown World of Cryonics
Cryo:Rise of the Immortals
Wake me in the Future (The Cryogen Chronicles)


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Posted 05 January 2014 - 09:54 PM

Here's a link to the first thing I'll publish for the book. Still working on the first chapter and brainstorming for the rest. I'll make more futurist eye candy videos like this if there is continuing interest.


Edited by cryonicsculture, 05 January 2014 - 09:57 PM.

#8 Zinex

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 07:36 PM

Superb idea, great potential for an apt & very current theme.
Loads of work is being done atm by the top neural guys, Jeff Hawkins & Craig Venter making synthetic DNA, Teleporting matter in the form of drug molecules and biological components.
It's getting to the point where reality is as strange as fiction and companies like neuralstem are making the kind of nootropic/neurogenic drugs seen in Limitless, Lawnmower Man and Planet of the apes. I did read Ian Banks 'The wasp Factory' which was incredible but quite dark in a bleak kind of way but also very shocking, clever book.
I can imagine a narrative not too far removed from some of these group buys on Longecity. A member gains access to a top secret dossier of military drug compounds and proceeds to have them synthesised via a reputable lab. Then it seems the compounds have remarkable transformative qualities and the group begin to notice amazing effects of some kind. Then again even that scenario seems like it may very well happen anyway (apart from stealing military secrets!)
Best of luck Cryonicsculture and i'll update if i think of any other resources.

#9 IDoNotWantToDie

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 09:51 AM

Interesting Zinex. What do you think are the possibilities are that the military or rich elites already have the technology we call science fiction, like immortality ,but are keeping it super-secret for their own power and greed? If so do you believe there will ever be a good person who will defect and leak the information for the good of humankind?

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#10 Farfetchedchild

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 08:43 PM

Any of the books by Robert Heinlein involving Lazarus Long are great candidates. If you haven't read any I'd strongly recommend it.

#11 IDoNotWantToDie

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 05:33 AM

Indeed, I love all his Lazarus Long stories. I only wish he had written more. May I also suggest 'To Live Forever' by Jack Vance as well to Longecity sci-fi readers.
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#12 sthira

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 05:37 PM

Any updates on new SF novels? I need a good, hopeful, clean, non-violent, non-dystopic read. While we wait. Wait for Godot. Probably we will wait for decades. Your sci fi recommendation needn't be human longev related -- just something HOPEFUL ABOUT THE FUTURE.

Because the present state of the world, well...

I mean, I know we're all living in the best times *ever* in recorded history. We suffer fewer wars now, and less starvation, plagues and epidemics. But we're still looking down the dark throats of possible nuclear war, climate change and technological disruption, especially the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and bioengineering.

I just need need something engrosing to read -- escape to other planets, other timelines, and other realms... And there are so many great minds here at this site -- throw me a bone, longevitarians!

#13 Heisok

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 07:13 PM

The Verge's Better Worlds short series might be a way to get started. I started reading the first, but plan to wait for all of them. In the past reading this type of compilation, I have drilled down to each Authors other work. https://www.theverge.com/better-worlds


"Better Worlds

"Better Worlds" is The Verge's science fiction project about hope. It will encompass 10 original fiction stories, five animated adaptations, and five audio adaptations by a diverse roster of science fiction authors who take a more optimistic view of what lies ahead in ways both large and small, fantastical and everyday."


Another possible source:




Utopia, Not Dystopia: The 13 Most Optimistic Science Fiction Books

Edited by Heisok, 17 January 2019 - 07:15 PM.

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#14 Olivia Fair

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 06:54 PM

I haven’t personally read all these, so I can’t comment on “best”, but there is a list here: https://best-sci-fi-...-fiction-books/

My favourites are: Roger Zelazny’s “This Immortal,” and Robert Heinlein’s “Methuselah’s Children” and its sequel, “Time Enough for Love.” Several of Heinlein’s later works follow some long-lived characters from these two books.

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#15 Olivia Fair

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 09:51 PM

Also I finally finished the Ending Aging by Aubrey de Grey and Michael Rae. Great book. Aubrey de Grey makes a clear, well reasoned argument for a complete set of 7 ways our bodies age (at the cellular level) and how aging increases our susceptibility to the diseases we develop in old age. His solution, therefore, is to manipulate the underlying mechanisms of aging at the cellar level, rather than to invest heavily in diseases after they’ve manifested.

Edited by Olivia Fair, 15 February 2020 - 09:52 PM.

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