Science Fiction Dictionary
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

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"As opposed to illiteracy, where you can't read, aliteracy means that you can but you just can't be bothered. They say aliteracy is on the rise these days."
- Peter Watts

Cold-Sleep  
  A form of induced suspended animation, in which a person enters a state like hibernation.  

This is a very early reference to this idea as a way to travel between the stars. It is a seminal concept; most stories of space travel beyond the moon or mars make use of this idea.

People have probably been fascinated with the idea of hibernation-like states for millennia; recent research on a variety of animals (including amphibians as well as mammals) provides interesting benefits in the areas of sleep disturbance in humans.

During the first week out the senior surgeon announced that any who wished could avail themselves of cold-sleep. Within a day or two the bunkroom was half deserted, the missing passengers having been drugged and chilled and stowed in sleep tanks aft, there to dream away the long weeks ahead.
From Between Planets, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1951
Additional resources -

I've been able to confirm that this term appears earlier, in the 1941 version of Heinlein's Methuselah's Children; here's the quote:

They put up with it only long enough to rig for cold-sleep... Somnolents require only about one percent the living room required by active, functioning humans...

Biomechanicians have worked out complex empirical formulas describing body deterioration and the measures that must be taken to offset under various conditions of impressed acceleration, ambient temperature, drugs used, and other factors such as metabolic age, body mass, sex and so on...

There were a number of earlier mentions of the idea of freezing a person for a journey through time. For example, in Louis Boussenard's Dix mille ans dans un bloc de glace (1889; translated as 10,000 Years in a Block of Ice, 1898), the "deep sleep" actually resembled a primitive form of cryonic suspension. H.G. Wells created the first machine for suspended animation, in When the Sleeper Awakes (1898), to freeze his travelers time travel. Philip Francis Nowlan sends Buck Rogers to the 25th century in "Armageddon 2419" (Amazing, 1928) by putting him in a frozen or suspended state. (See Time Travel Literature by John L. Flynn for more details.

The essential problem solved by cold sleep is that of consumables; there is no way to carry (or launch) enough for the length of long voyages below light speed.

Compare to Suspended Animation (Frigorific Process) from The Senator's Daughter (1879) by Edward Page Mitchell, stasis from Heinlein's Door Into Summer (1951), corpsicle from Pohl's The Age of the Pussyfoot (1965) and the EverRest Cryotorium from Roger Zelazny's Flare (1992).

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Between Planets
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Between Planets
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Cold-Sleep-related news articles:
  - HetaCool - Your Personal Antifreeze?
  - Suspended Animation Works in Lab (With Nematodes)

Articles related to Biology
Tsunami Forecasts Improved By Ionosphere Signals
EctoLife Concept Video Artificial Womb For Baby Mass Production
T. Gondii And The Leaders Of The Pack
Alien Eyes - Here On Earth!

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

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 Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

'Courier Commons' By Tomorrow Lab, From Karl Schroeder (and Bruce Sterling?)
'The pokkecon rang again. *The coffee’s for him?* Tsuyoshi said.'

Terrifying Robotic Apple Harvester
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant.'

Mechanical Horse Sculpture Gallops In Place
'Rod placed the brain inside the panel... the horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

'Make Sunsets' Tweaks Climate By Atmospheric Alteration
'Pina2bo would have to operate full blast for many years to put as much SO2 into the stratosphere as its namesake had done in a few minutes.'

Eviation Alice Electric Plane First Flight
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...'

Hotels Turn To Robots As Human Workers Regroup
'Chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Changesite Mineral To Be Mined On Moon By China
'But then... not every bulldozer operator works on the Moon.'

Tongue-Controlled Tong Wearable Mouth Computer
'Griff found the white and pink map distracting and switched it off using his tongue mouse.'

Is It Better To Be Short?
'He was one of the smaller, energy-saving new breed...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.