Pro-Immortality science fiction?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Immortality

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
48
Hello everyone,

Besides the book ‘The Trashumanist Wager’ by Zoltan Istvan ( he ran for US president during the time of Hillary and Trump, unfortunately he didn’t win, but check him out on YouTube he’s a fascinating guy and has some great ideas ) I can not find even one pro-immortality science fiction book, so I beg you all, do you know of any?

Every science fiction book or short story I have read on the subject of immortality is always written as a very bad thing. For example the author of ‘Dune’( Frank Hubert) wrote a book called ‘The Heaven Makers’, where immortality is a living hell for human beings.

This will be a challenge for all of you I doubt you will know of, or find a book that is pro-immortality in nature. Good luck and I hope you find some great pro-immortality science fiction books. Even short stories I like too, as little no as it’s science fiction. If nobody knows of any or can’t find anything like I have tried, then perhaps a fantasy book recommendation that is pro-immortality. If you can’t find any in fantasy either, then please find me a novel, novella, novelette or short stories in any genre. I’m desperate to find it. ‘The Transhumanist Wager’ was great, but I definitely want to read more pro-immortality books.

Thanks so much for you help and your time,
Immortality
 

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
2,811
An Alien Heat by Michael Moorcock
The City and the Stars by Arthur C Clarke
To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer

All of these discuss the effects and challenges of immortality, rather than being polemically pro or anti. Again, most of the characters seem content.

just out of interest, why are you so doubtful that anyone here will be able to suggest the sort of books you are looking for?
 
Last edited:

Immortality

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
48
Hey, Thanks. Still I got my fingers crossed, looking for some anti-death novels, preferably science fiction. I suppose Robert Heinlein’s character Lazarus Long would be what your talking about as well “ the effects and challenges of immortality “. But like I said I’m definitely holding out for anti-death/ pro-immortality science fiction, fantasy...or just regular literature if it came down to it. Still, those are worthy mentions and I’m going to read them.

Edit: It turns out ‘To Your Scattered Bodies Go’ is a five part series that takes place on the planet Riverworld. I hope the other books in the five part series deal with pro-immortality in some form as well.
 
Last edited:

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
2,811
There are a few quite well- known religious texts which are arguably pro-immortality as their primary focus.
But we wont go into further detail on this site.
 

Immortality

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
48
I’m not really talking about the afterlife as pro-immortality, is that what you mean? I’m talking more about the pro-immortality that takes place in the here and now, or in the future on earth, other planets, space stations, etc., etc. or in the case of fantasy, the past. So I don’t think it would be relevant to my thread, well maybe it would be relevant but it could be problematic like you said.
 
Last edited:

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
2,811
Hey, Thanks. Still I got my fingers crossed, looking for some anti-death novels, preferably science fiction. I suppose Robert Heinlein’s character Lazarus Long would be what your talking about as well “ the effects and challenges of immortality “. But like I said I’m definitely holding out for anti-death/ pro-immortality science fiction, fantasy...or just regular literature if it came down to it. Still, those are worthy mentions and I’m going to read them.

Edit: It turns out ‘To Your Scattered Bodies Go’ is a five part series that takes place on the planet Riverworld. I hope the other books in the five part series deal with pro-immortality in some form as well.
Just read the the first book in the series is my recommendation. Not only is everyone immortal, but everyone who has ever lived is apparently reincarnated at the same time on the banks of a big river. Diminishing returns thereafter from a literary perspective, though the author continues to have fun with characters who cannot die even if they try.
 

Immortality

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
48
just out of interest, why are you so doubtful that anyone here will be able to suggest the sort of books you are looking for?
No problem, I can tell you. I have spent a large chunk of my time, about two to three years, specifically looking for “pro-immortality books” and so far have only found one book ‘The Trashumanist Wager’, which is a great book , but also a terrible book at the same time. I don’t know how that’s possible, but it is. For example the author Zoltan Istvan, ripped off ‘The Three Laws Of Robotics’ and just applied them to transhumanism. I thought that was kind of a rip off in a way, copying such an important part of Isaac Asimovs robotics handbook idea. Also the protagonist name is Jethro Knights, that’s just too funny to me. I don’t know , I’m not a writer but either is Zoltan Istvan, he said he wrote the book just to get the idea of transhumanism out to the general public , which he did , it’s a very popular philosophical science fiction book, similar, at least to me to the political ideology of Ayn Rand in many respects.

Don’t get me wrong I can find thousands of science fiction, fantasy, literature books on the ‘subject of immortality’ , but they ALL look at it from a negative perspective, never , ever from a positive perspective. We are entering a new age, who’s to say we can’t achieve at the very least semi-immortality, maybe a few thousand years to love life and do all the things you may have not had time for if you lived to 70 or 80, if you’re lucky. People who live past 100 is extremely rare. This isn’t science fiction anymore, it used to be which is why maybe the golden age of sci-fi is littered with authors in a “pro-aging trance” . They write about how all immortals get bored,what’s life if it goes on forever the characters ask, or they go crazy, blah, blah ,blah. I’m looking for something new. Something that is actually good and positive, and not taking a negative stance on pro-immortality fiction. It’s time authors start writing positive pro-immortality fiction, but their minds are still stuck in that “ pro-aging trance” from which they can’t seem to escape. Still I remain hopeful and optimistic, perhaps some more people on here can find some more pro-immortality science fiction, fantasy, or just literature.

Thanks you for asking, it was a good question methinks,
Immortality
 
Last edited:

Immortality

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
48
I haven’t heard of that one, thanks. Let’s hope he’s some kind of pro-immortality Hero! jk ;-)
Seriously thanks, keep them coming guys and gals. You guys and gals rock!!!

WARNING SPOILER ALERT kinda ;

This seems to be immortality through cloning, which is acceptable to me. Am I right about it being about cloning immortality? Well, just remember it has to be about pro-immortality, not just about the subject of immortality.

Truth be told I think the best one can get is what hitmouse, lol, said : “ All of these discuss the ‘effects and challenges’ of immortality, ‘rather than being polemically pro or anti’. Again, most of the characters seem content.”

I’m not completely ok with that, it’s either pro-immortality or no science fiction at all. Like I said I spent about three years looking for such a book and all I found was ‘The Transhumanist Wager’. So, its nearly impossible that anyone here will find a pro-immortality science fiction novel. With that being said....I wish you all luck and I will love you forever if you are actually able to find such books. Of course you had to actually have read them yourselves, I don’t mind you searching like I did but all I found was a dead end. So you might find a dead end too if you run a search like I did for three years. But good luck!!,
 
Last edited:

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
2,811
You might want to try Iain M Banks' culture books, where civilization has reached a stage where people can effectively live as long as they want. Some interesting stuff on that theme especially in his later books.
 

Venusian Broon

Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity
Supporter
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
4,899
Location
Edinburgh
Don’t get me wrong I can find thousands of science fiction, fantasy, literature books on the ‘subject of immortality’ , but they ALL look at it from a negative perspective, never , ever from a positive perspective.

Well that's pretty simple. Utopias are tedious and boring from the perspective of narratives. Conflicts, good against evil, struggle, pathos and drama etc. make better stories. Tis a fact. ;)


We are entering a new age, who’s to say we can’t achieve at the very least semi-immortality, maybe a few thousand years to love life and do all the things you may have not had time for if you lived to 70 or 80, if you’re lucky. People who live past 100 is extremely rare.

Well, you don't need to give anyone any money to give yourself a better and likely longer life. We know what to do: Don't be overweight, eat well - eat little or no red meat, far more plants etc. refrain from drugs like (lots of) alcohol, tobacco etc. exercise regularly, always be happy and be as stress-free as one can be....

...that should give you an extra 20 years, I'd say.

We've known this for a long time, yet we don't seem to be listening. As I'm sure you know, the average US lifespan has recently fallen. That's because it's actually quite difficult to do in the society we live in today. (For a number of reasons, beyond the scope of this thread perhaps - see below!)

And I believe giving this foundation a mere half a billion dollars will be a drop in the ocean in trying to even understand the aging process, never mind trying to reverse it. Again perhaps better discussed in the 'Science and Nature' section.


Still I remain hopeful and optimistic,

I feel you are very optimistic :).

Which is fine. On my side, I think there are a lot of philosophical, ecological, biological, societal, scientific and moral issues that arise from the idea of human immortality, and most of them, I'm afraid, are problems or negative.

And yet again this is perhaps not the thread to go into a few of these issues that spring to mind.

Still a good topic to bring up, so thank you! I 'd be interested in how you imagine a Utopian immortal society would actually work - perhaps make a new thread in Science sketching it out for a discussion?
 

AllanR

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
138
Location
Canada
The Man from Earth (movie) is pro-immortality, at least from the protagonists point of view. It is however only a single person not a society.
 

Danny McG

a flash fire at a water bed shop
Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Messages
5,779
Location
Cumbria UK
This seems to be immortality through cloning, which is acceptable to me. Am I right about it being about cloning immortality? Well, just remember it has to be about pro-immortality, not just about the subject of immortality
Nope, there are clones in the society but also easily available immortality drugs for many years.
Due to this people have opted to sooner and sooner start their treatment, this means you have seasoned space admirals who look about 13 years old after hundreds of years of service.
When people finally tire of the infinitely long lives they go into "reclusion" and stop the treatment so they then age naturally over decades until death, this disconcerts the rest of society if they inadvertently spot an old visage
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
10,153
Location
Iowa
There are a lot of books which have a rather pro-immortality bent, but I have a hard time thinking of one where everyone is able to join. Usually the conflict in the story comes from that idea.

One of the best books which deals with immortality in a world of mortal people is Boat of a Million Years by Poul Anderson. In this book a few people are immortal by chance rather than by choice and there are a lot of interesting developments as their story is followed through history and into the future.
 

Dave

Non Bio
Staff member
Joined
Jan 5, 2001
Messages
20,711
Location
Way on Down South, London Town
You might want to try Iain M Banks' culture books, where civilization has reached a stage where people can effectively live as long as they want. Some interesting stuff on that theme especially in his later books.
I was also going to suggest the Culture books, but there are plenty of other books where people can effectively live as long as they want too (if they are rich enough). I'm thinking of Richard K. Morgan's Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and Woken Furies.

However, these books are very popular, so I don't understand how you can have been looking for two or three years and not come across them. So, I'm wondering if you only mean books where people don't change bodies, back up memories electronically, or ascend to some higher spiritual level, because you seemed to dismiss religious texts (from which any "afterlife" would be indistinguishable)? Only problem is that I can't see a distinction between those exceptions and the kind of clone spare-part surgery you are happy to include.

Obviously, not everything about immortality can always be wonderful within those books, but not everything about life is always wonderful. Long life does not give you long health, or allow you to escape poverty, grief, misfortunes and accidents. It just gives you more opportunity to experience all of them more deeply. And when writing stories, @Venusian Broon hits the nail on the head here ->
Well that's pretty simple. Utopias are tedious and boring from the perspective of narratives. Conflicts, good against evil, struggle, pathos and drama etc. make better stories.
 

Immortality

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
48
Well that's pretty simple. Utopias are tedious and boring from the perspective of narratives. Conflicts, good against evil, struggle, pathos and drama etc. make better stories. Tis a fact. ;)




Well, you don't need to give anyone any money to give yourself a better and likely longer life. We know what to do: Don't be overweight, eat well - eat little or no red meat, far more plants etc. refrain from drugs like (lots of) alcohol, tobacco etc. exercise regularly, always be happy and be as stress-free as one can be....

...that should give you an extra 20 years, I'd say.

We've known this for a long time, yet we don't seem to be listening. As I'm sure you know, the average US lifespan has recently fallen. That's because it's actually quite difficult to do in the society we live in today. (For a number of reasons, beyond the scope of this thread perhaps - see below!)

And I believe giving this foundation a mere half a billion dollars will be a drop in the ocean in trying to even understand the aging process, never mind trying to reverse it. Again perhaps better discussed in the 'Science and Nature' section.




I feel you are very optimistic :).

Which is fine. On my side, I think there are a lot of philosophical, ecological, biological, societal, scientific and moral issues that arise from the idea of human immortality, and most of them, I'm afraid, are problems or negative.

And yet again this is perhaps not the thread to go into a few of these issues that spring to mind.

Still a good topic to bring up, so thank you! I 'd be interested in how you imagine a Utopian immortal society would actually work - perhaps make a new thread in Science sketching it out for a discussion?
Understood. However, I think ‘The Trashumanist Wager’, a very popular book seemed to pull of a future techno-utopia pro-immortality without conflict, it may be the only one of it’s kind in that sense. It can be done, but he’s the only writter that has accomplished this feat as far as I’m am aware. All the others have do have ‘conflict’ as you say and others mentioned, that is a staple of nearly all the science fiction and fantasy I have read, but I have grown weary of the negativeness, personally.

Your right I write too much, I will address issues unrelated to lPro-immortality fiction” in another part of the forum, you are correct about that. If I could I would and go back and delete my long ranting, but the website won’t allow it. So , I’m sorry about that everyone.

Speaking of everyone here, I want to thank you ALL so very, very much for the current recommendations, but I bet you are now starting to realize how hard it is to find pro-immortality fiction without conflict. It’s quite hard isn’t it? I would recommend to everyone ‘The Transhumanist Wager’ even if you dislike transhumanism , it’s a fascinating read and new concepts are presented that I have not heard about in other sci-fi. It has conflict , but it’s completely unrelated to the immortality, in the book immortality is seen as a good thing, in fact the only thing that matters. He presents it at the beginning of the book with his three laws of transhumanism ( borrowing from the GREAT Isaac Asimov)Some say he goes too far, that he’s like a modern day Ayn Rand, and I could see that. But he did say to the public that he had to go too far, that this is just fiction and he can do what he wants. He said he just wanted to show the transformative power of transhumanism and immortality, It really gets you thinking and might even change your minds about immortality and technological utopias. Some don’t know if it’s the best book they read or the worst. For me it’s a fantastic philosophical science fiction, but the best? Actually I think it may be. Techno-utopias are possible in fiction, but they are rare I will agree. Ursula K LeGuin pulls it off in ‘The Dispossessed’.

Thank you all very much for the recommendations, if you think of anything more keep them coming. I got some reading to do now thanks to you guys and gals. You can personally message me if you want, I don’t have a problem with that.

Cheers
 
Last edited:

Immortality

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
48
There are a lot of books which have a rather pro-immortality bent, but I have a hard time thinking of one where everyone is able to join. Usually the conflict in the story comes from that idea.
Oh, well if everyone is able to join that’s fine with me. For example I think Robert Heinlein pulled it off with Lazarus Long and friends don’t you? But yeah, it is hard to think of stuff, lol, I will admit.

Thanks for the recommendation.
 
Last edited:

Immortality

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
48
Dave: Sorry I didn’t mean to come off as dismissive of religious texts .If you want to mention science fiction , fantasy or religious material that involves pro-immortality that’s completely fine, bring it on I say, no problem with that.

Like I said, I would give The Transhumanist Wager a try, its completely positive about immortality. It has none of the negative attributes you mention, which makes it so special and one of a kind. After you guys and gals read it you can message me, tell me what you thought of it, I would be interested to know.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads


Top