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

"The answer to the problem of information overload on the Net is reputations… engineer a system called a reputation server."
- Neal Stephenson

Morgue (Recall Stage)  
  Storage and retrieval of frozen bodies.  

When they stepped onto the open platform at Thule Station, warm wind flushed from the east. The clouds had shattered under an ivory moon. Gravel and granite silvered the broken edges. Behind was the city's red mist. Before, on broken night, rose the black Morgue.
They went down the steps and walked quietly through the stone park. The garden of water and rock was eerie in the dark. Nothing grew here.
At the door slabbed metal without external light blotted the darkness. "How do you get in?" the Officer asked, as they climbed the shallow steps.
Rydra lifted the Captain's pendant from her neck and placed it against a small disk. Something hummed, and light divided the entrance as the doors slid back. Rydra stepped through, the rest followed.
Calli stared at the metallic vaults overhead. "You know there's enough transport meat deep-frozen in this place to service a hundred stars and all their planets."
“As of yet, the Customs work involved in getting ships from star to star is a science. The transport work maneuvering through hyperstasis levels is still an art. In a hundred years they may both be sciences. Fine. But today a person who learns the rules of art well is a little rarer than the person who learns the rules of science. Also, there's a tradition involved. Transport people are used to dying and getting called back, working with dead men or live. This is still a little hard for Customs to take. Over here to the Suicides."
They left the main lobby for the labeled corridor that sloped up through the storage chamber. It emptied them onto a platform in an indirectly lighted room, racked up its hundred-foot height with glass cases; catwalked and laddered like a spider's den. In the coffins, dark shapes were rigid beneath frost shot glass. "What I don't understand about this whole business," the Officer whispered, "is the calling back. Can anybody who dies be made corporate again? You're right. Captain Wong, in Customs it's almost impolite to talk about things like . . . this." "Any suicide who discorporates through regular Morgue channels can be called back. But a violent death where the Morgue just retrieves the body afterwards, or the run of the mill senile ending that most of us hit at a hundred and fifty or so, then you're dead forever; although there, if you pass through regular channels, your brain pattern is recorded and your thinking ability can be tapped if anyone wants it, though your consciousness is gone wherever consciousness goes..."
Rydra's hand came down on the crystal face, and the name glowed on the screen. “Mollya Twa, Navigator-One." Her coordinate numbers followed. Rydra dialed them at the desk.
Seventy-five feet overhead something glittered. One among hundreds of thousands of glass coffins was tracking from the wall above them on an inductor beam.
The recall-stage jutted up a pattern of lugs, the tips glowing. The coffin dropped, its contents obscured by streaks and hexagonal bursts of frost inside the glass. The lugs caught the tramplateon the coffin's base. It rocked a moment, settled, clicked.
The frost melted of a sudden, and the inside surface fogged, then ran with droplets. They stepped forward to see.
Dark band on dark. A movement beneath the glaring glass; then the glass parted, melting back from her deep, warm skin and beating, terrified eyes.
"It's all right," Calli said, touching her shoulder. She raised her head to look at his hand, then dropped back to the pillow. Ron crowded the Navigator-Two.
From Babel-17, by Samuel R. Delany.
Published by Ace Books in 1966
Additional resources -

Compare to cold-sleep from Robert Heinlein's Methuselah's Children (1941), 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).

See also the frigorific process from the 1879 story The Senator's Daughter, by Edward Page Mitchell.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Babel-17
  More Ideas and Technology by Samuel R. Delany
  Tech news articles related to Babel-17
  Tech news articles related to works by Samuel R. Delany

Morgue (Recall Stage)-related news articles:
  - Fingertip Tracking Interface For Mobile Phones

Articles related to Medical
Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It

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 Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'

Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'

BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.