"I never saw why I had to give up science in order to write, or the other way around, so I didn't!"
- Gregory Benford
||Merry-Go-Round Life Suspension (Refrigerator Plant)
||A device that offered cold sleep.
|Then I had promptly taken my leave of Captain Sperry and his wife, and gone directly to my refrigeration plant, where I was to suspend my life by instantaneous freezing.
I clicked the switches, and one of the two huge horizontal wheels—one in reserve, in the event of a breakdown—opened up for me like a door opening in the side of a gigantic doughnut, or better, a tubular merry go round. There was my nook waiting for me to crawl in...
A warning click sounded, a lid closed over me, my refrigerator – merry go round whirled— Blackness!
IN a moment—or so it seemed—I was again gazing into the light of the refrigerating room. The lid stood open.
A stimulating warmth circulated through my limbs. Perhaps the machine, I half consciously concluded, had made no more than a preliminary revolution.
I bounded out with a single thought. I must find Louise. We could still be married. For the present I would postpone my entrance into the ice. And since the machine had been equipped with two merry-go-round freezers as an emergency safeguard...
we entered the records room. There I faced the inescapable fact. My full century had passed. The original crew of the Flashaway were long gone. A completely new generation was on the register.
Or, more accurately, three new generations: the children, the grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren of the generation I had known.
One hundred years had passed—and I had lain so completely suspended, owing to the freezing, that only a moment of my own life had been absorbed.
|From The Voyage That Lasted 600 Years,
by Don Wilcox.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1940
Additional resources -
Captain Grimstone pops out every century to check on the ship:
MY chief complaint against my merry-go-round freezer was that it didn’t give me any rest. One whirl into blackness, and the next thing I knew I popped out of the open lid again with not so much as a minute’s time to reorganize my thoughts.
Well, here it was, 2266—two hundred years since the take-off.
Compare to cold-sleep from Between Planets (1951) by Robert Heinlein and the frigorific process from the 1879 story The Senator's Daughter, by Edward Page Mitchell.
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