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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 6 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Watch What People Are Seeing Via Brain Scanning
'had managed to see through the other man's eyes as the other man, all unaware, washed their Zis limousine sixteen hundred meters away...' - Cordwainer Smith, 1958.

PRIMA Bionic Vision Restoration
'The VISOR... was a medical device used in the Federation to aid patients who have suffered loss of eyesight...'

Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'

 

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 Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.