Cryonics in Fiction: More Fun With Frozen Dead People

Creative Commons Photo by Eric, Flickr user Illuminaut.

Cryonic fiction! In case you either just can’t get enough information about freezing your head, or you just keep retyping “Chronic Fiction” into your search engine and are too baked to navigate your way to the right site, the MacNisi blog has a new post from yesterday that’s essentially a rumination on cryonics in science fiction, with a big long random list of stories that feature the theme.

The post is a bit too random and ruminatory to serve as an effective reading list, and divests itself wholly from organizational logic toward the beginning for a detour into all the words that use the prefix “cryo.” But the post does make interesting reading for someone who wants to put together a reading list about cryonics in fiction.

I have absolutely no idea who this MacNisi person is; people who don’t put up About or Bio pages seem to be breeding like bunnies out there in the very scary interwebs. But the starting point in this case is the new Lois McMaster Bujold novel, Croyoburn, which came out in paperback last month (October 19, 2010) from Baen. The book features cryostasis as a way to avoid death, but the post by MacNisi focuses the reading list both on cryostasis of the likely-to-keep-living and cryostasis of the not-dead-yet-but-getting-there.

Science fiction often uses cryonics as a vehicle to span the ages — essentially unidirectional time travel — and as a way to explain the transiting of the vast yawning caverns of space. But the point of contemporary cryonics is as a way to avoid death, which appears far less often in science fiction. When the avoidance of death is the theme in fiction, all does not usually go well.



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