A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Dynasty Trusts Lively Topic For Corpsicles
Dynasty trusts - also called personal revival trusts - are a hot topic among the cold dead. More than twenty states now allow trusts that pay out funds indefinitely to future generations. Now, cryonics clients can name themselves as beneficiaries before being frozen.
(Neuropatient placed in individual aluminum container after vitrification)
At least 142 human bodies (or just heads - it's cheaper) are being held in cold storage at Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale Arizona, and the Cryonics Institute of Clinton Township, Michigan.
Who wants to be a corpsicle? Mostly those who are single, male and wealthy. Kenneth Weiss, co-founder of RSA Security is working with Swiss bank. Robert Miller, owner of Future Electronics, Inc. is also planning for this frozen future.
Science fiction writers have been chipping away at prejudices about frozen and preserved people for generations. The word "corpsicle" was probably coined by Frederik Pohl in the mid-1960's. Larry Niven used it in stories like A World Out of Time:
"Your newspapers called you people corpsicles," said the blond man. "I never understood what the tapes meant by that."
"It comes from Popsicle. Frozen sherbet." Corbell had used the word himself before he became one of them. One of the corpsicles, the frozen dead.
(More about Larry Niven's corpsicles)
One of my other favorite early cryonics stories occurs in Doorways in the Sand, a wonderful 1976 novel by Roger Zelazny. The story's protagonist is an "eternal" student, whose education is being paid year after year from the trust fund established by his frozen uncle. And what would happen if his uncle were revived? "I deal with problems as they arise. So far, my uncle hasn't."
Update 27-Jan-2006: Readers have pointed out that the entire concept was clearly stated in Robert Heinlein's 1957 novel The Door Into Summer. I cover Heinlein's cold-sleep elsewhere on the site (see the page on stasis from this book which fully describes the technique), but I didn't reference it because cold-sleep does not involve freezing you solid; however, it is a long-term hibernation method. Here is the relevant passage from The Door Into Summer:
If a man had an incurable disease and expected to die anyhow but thought the doctors a generation might be able to cure him - and he could aford to pay for suspended animation while medical science caught up with what was wrong with him - then cold sleep was a logical bet...
And there was the usual straightforward financial appeal, the one the insurance companies borer down on: "Work while you sleep." Just hold still and let whatever you have saved grow into a fortune..."
It's a great fit for the article; thanks to readers who wrote in.
Read more about the related Terasem Conference On Law Of Transhuman Persons, which covers other legal aspects of this problem. If you're not quite ready for cryonic freezing, try cold-sleep instead (from Robert Heinlein's 1941 novel Methuselah's Children. Take a look at A Cold Calculus Leads Cryonauts to Put Assets on Ice; thanks to Fred Kiesche for the tip on this story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/24/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 6 )
Related News Stories -
Robot Performs 3D Bioprinting Inside The Body
'Probably Runciter's body contained a dozen artiforgs...' - Philip K. Dick, 1969.
The Autonomous Robotic Urethral Catheter - Would You Use It?
'It'll snake its way in on its own.'
OrganEx Revives The Organs In Dead Pig
'Wakened into half-life activity one hour a month...' - Philip K. Dick, 1969.
Prototype 3D Printer Could Print Arteries In Seconds
'... in the tank the new body and the new mind and memory and life has taken almost instant form.' - Clifford Simak, 1963.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Robot Gas Station Attendant Fills Tank - Which I Saw In 1962
'... he waited for the robotrix attendant to finish fueling up his ship.'
Cheap Paper-Based Sensors Let You Snoop For Pesticides
'...the unobtrusive inspections with tiny remote-cast snoopers.'
I Am Alarmed By Efforts To Teach AIs And Robots To Hate
'LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE.'
MXenes - Atomic-Thin Metal Sheets Now Easier To Make
'...a rolled-up sheet of a thin, dark metal strange to them.'
Do We Still Need Orbiting Factories?
'... his contract with Space Industries required him to work summers in their orbital factory complex.'
Space Weather Forecasters Surprised By Strong Solar Storm
'Space-weather men had been placed at their disposal...'
JWST Finds New World Of Turbulent Silicate Clouds
'THIS is Ceti Alpha V!'
3D Printed Cheesecake Not Quite Food Replicator Quality
With each successive print, our model needed to incorporate more structural ingredients to minimize print failures.
Spectroscopic Analysis Of DART Impact Debris Cloud (SF Prediction)
'... Wendis stared thoughtfully at the brilliant lines on the spectroscope screen.'
Modern App Provides Video Technology From Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451'
'A special spot-wavex scrambler also caused his televised image, in the area immediately about his lips, to mouth the vowels and consonants beautifully.'
Win $250K By Reading Ancient Scrolls Carbonized By Vesuvius
'... it was as if the upper part had been removed, like a cut deck of cards.'
Toy-Like Robot Well-Being Coaches Are The Best
Sumomo will get those office workers into good shape!
AI-Trained Snack App Avatar Goes On Dates For You
'... who let their handbag computers carry all the conversation.'
M-Dwarf Stars May Not Have Habitable Planets
'Thus it came about that the search for a planetiferous sun near a white dwarf star was not unduly prolonged...'
Too Soon To Doom Lunar Farside Observatories
'Earth never shone there, but life was good.'
Amitabh Bachchan Wins Personality Protection
'He led me down the Hall of Portraits to the ego-likeness of the Duke Leto Atreides.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories