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Date: Fri, 23 Sep 88 11:40:13 
From: sun!munnari!attila.oz.au!pete (Peter Merel)
Message-Id: <>
To: munnari!ho4cad!kqb
Subject: CRYONICS - what did you do in the afterlife, daddy-o
Status: RO

  In article #18 "Carl F. Huber" <> writes
>	.
>	.
>	.
>	So the questions and issues are :
>	1.  How do we decide who get's life extension,
>		assuming everyone can't?
>	2.  How will people feel about those who get to go?  This includes
>		the people of the future who are around when cryons are
>		waking up.  How will these people feel about those who got
>		life extension in the past, are here now, but they themselves
>		can't go?
>	3.  How will cryons (what are they called, anyway?) fit into the
>		future society?  What will their obligations be, if any?
>		How will they take care of themselves, make a living, etc.?
>		(Historians?)  What will their psychological obstacles be
>		in associating with people of the future?  Will their
>		old fashioned notions of how the world works be a problem?
>		What should they do before they go to prepare for their
>		arrival?
>	.
>	.
>	.

	Not too long ago the prospects of life extension and time travel via
suspension were the exclusive domain of science fiction. Authors who have
speculated in great detail concerning suspension, its effects on society and
on the individual include:

H.G.Wells - "The Sleeper Awakes"

	Prototypical tale of suspension. Fellow gets suspended to avoid fatal 
illness and wakes up in a kind of victorian cyberpunk millieu.

Robert A. Heinlein - "Door into Summer", "Time enough for Love", numerous others

	"Door into Summer" deals with a fellow bent on revenge against someone 
already in suspension, who has himself suspended to follow his target. 
"Time Enough for Love" is about a chap who by various means manages to 
extend his life to several thousand conscious years, by which time 99% of 
humanity are his descendants. A quickie: "$100 invested at 10% compound 
interest yields $100,000,000 after 100 years - by which time it is worthless"

C. M. Kornbluth - "The Marching Morons"

	"The Marching Morons" is about a chap who is accidentally suspended when
his dentist tries an experimental anaesthetic on him (see, its easy). When
he wakes up the average IQ has lowered to ~50 due to life extension
interfering with evolutionary quality control. A very small intelligent
elite are run off their feet catering to the needs of the masses. 

Larry Niven - "Gil the ARM stories" and numerous others

	Niven coined the term "corpsicle" for frozen folks. I think this has
a nicely irreverent ring to it. The "ARM" stories are about abuse of
advanced medical technologies, especially wire-heading (direct electrical
stimulation of pleasure centres in the brain), organ-legging (illicit
trade in body parts) and suspension. Amongst prospects Niven advances are

	resistance of descendants to revivification - they would lose 
	their inheritance. intense lobbying results in riots.

	greatly increased lifespans + a shortage of organ donors lead to
	capital penalties for increasingly trivial crimes - even non
	payment of speeding tickets.

John Varley - "The Persistence of Vision [anthology]" and others

	Varley is the definitive downloading/editing/uploading writer. Good
example of his work is a story about a woman who keeps 6-monthly backups
of herself, + clones. She goes to the medical centre one day to be downloaded, 
but when she opens her eyes it is 3 years later, and someone has already 
murdered her 7 times...
Phillip K. Dick - UBIK

	Corpsicles are stored in liquid Nitrogen. Their brains superconduct, and
they acheive consciousness, after a fashion.

Fred Pohl - "HeeChee series"

	Pohl is another downloader, but his protagonist cannot be loaded back into
meat. Interesting speculations concerning interactions between meat people
and downloaded folks.

	Well, anyway, those are the ones that I remember off the cuff. All of these
are good books, but I believe that "Door into Summer" is the closest to the
mark. Also well worth seeing the Woody Allen movie "Sleeper".

	I think that either Charles Sheffield or Orson Scott Card, produced another 
novel where suspension does not induce a cessation of mental processes, 
so much as a dramatic reduction in their speed. Shall try to chase it down.  

                        hope this provides some fuel for discussion,


All characters and opinions portrayed are fictitious.  Any resemblance to real 

persons or beliefs is purely coincidental.         ..!munnari!

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