Re: Meme Infection

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Mon Mar 27 2000 - 08:51:21 MST

On Sunday, March 26, 2000 8:33 PM phil osborn wrote:
> >EvMick might also consider like keeping an extra copy of something really
> >accessible to all -- like _The First Immortal_ -- to give away. I would
> >not, if I did this, act like a salesman with free samples. Instead, I
> >would just always have a copy in my truck and pass it along. At about $7
> >pop, it's not too expensive and the novel itself, though not the best in
> >terms of new ideas per page, is probably good for anyone, even if the
> >reader is not all that interested in science fiction.
> Sad to say, TFI would probably be high on my list for giveaways as well,
> lack of anything to substitute. I profoundly disagree, however, with
> Halperin's sense of life and politics,

I agree with Phil on the second point here. Halperin's politics are just
moderate Republicanism -- in American terms, here -- and pretty lame at
that. His "sense of life" I thought okay, though a bit too pollyanna.
Recall, the reason I recommend the book, however, is not because it's great
science fiction, but because it's accessible, especially to people who
aren't into science fiction.

(For the record, I haven't read a heck of a lot of cryonics novels, but I
think the best of the few I have read is Charles Platt's _The Silicon Man_.
BUT I don't think most non-science fiction readers could get into that
novel. I think they would see it, as many people who don't like science
fiction have told me of other novels, stories, etc., as too technology- and
science-centered. They might also be put off by the politics of the
anarchist character.)

> and his actual writing style is of
> the kind that originally gave SF a bad name - although it's certainly

Yes. I'm talking, as I reiterate above, about the average reader -- not the
science fiction fan or the dude who has a degree in English Lit.:)

> The worst thing, however, which was also the case with The Truth
> Machine, is that these "novels" are in fact thinly disguised propaganda
> the Drexlerian elitist technocratic camp. I know something of the origins
> of both novels, as it was I who laid out the plot for TTM to Halperin back
> around 1980, and I vaguely recall suggesting that if the novel succeeded
> then he might consider a follow-up focusing on cryonics.

I've not read _The Truth Machine_, so I can't say whether Phil is right here
on what type of a novel it is. I do agree that _The First Immortal_ is,
basically, naked propaganda. Again, I would not recommend it for its
literary or political value... Just to open minds to cryonics and related


Daniel Ust

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