SCIFI: Review of First Immortal in Washington Post

Kathryn Aegis (
Sun, 29 Mar 1998 16:57:56 +0000

>From today's Washington Post book review section. A bit of news in
the last two sentences:


Cryonics is still in its infancy when Dr. Benjamin Franklin Smith
decides to invest his future in it. He has the money; he wants to
be resurrected in a future capable of overcoming age and disease.
Naturally, when he 'dies,' his family wants an autopsy and challenges
his will.
So far _The First Immortal_ by James L. Halperin fells like a mainstream
courtroom drama. Up to the trial, Halperin has focused rather
convincingly on Dr. Smith's troubled relationship with his family.
However, once Smith has been safely put on cryonic ice, the character
of the book changes to one of brave new optimism. While the doctor
sleeps on, the world strides boldly into a glittering utopia, and, as
he hoped, technology arrives in time to resurrect him (sufficient
funds rather than personal merit being his savior).
At the end of this novel come seven pages enthusing about cryonics,
with a bibliography, hopeful possibilities and encouragement. The
author says in the introduction that his book 'might well be the most
thoroughly researched and scritinized novel ever written about our
potential for biological immortality.' The publisher says that _The
First Immortal_ is 'soon to be a television mini-series.' Will the
sponsors be cryonic-vault companies?