Immortal Engines Life Extension and Immortality in Science Fiction and Fantasy
Edited by George Slusser, Gary Westfahl, and Eric S. Rabkin
"This intriguing anthology not only surveys the imagined mechanics of achieving and withstanding immortality in science fiction, but also at moments tentatively questions our culture's avoidance of that middle ground between fantasies of perpetual youth and dreams of endless life: the increasingly common reality of a greatly protracted old age."
These nineteen original essays seek to recontextualize the subject of immortality, examining its influence as an ancient human aspiration while at the same time considering new scientific advances and their impact on life and literature. Grouped in three broad categories, the essays provide key information about and concepts of immortality, examine science fiction stories and scientific research to consider the prospects and possible effects of achieving immortality, and discuss immortality and life extension as literary themes. The topics the essays focus on, as well as the perspectives of the contributors, range widely: genetics, cryonics, Marxism, Darwinism, cyberspace, feminist writing, religion, Italian science fiction, film, children's literature, video games, and comic books.
George Slusser is a professor of comparative literature and director of the Eaton Program for Science Fiction and Fantasy Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Gary Westfahl teaches at the University of California, Riverside. Eric S. Rabkin is a professor of English at the University of Michigan.