The Reanimation

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AuthorTopic: The Reanimation
Shock Trooper
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"Ever since the birth of civilization, humanity is fascinated by the secret of immortality. Chin, the first emperor of China, unintentionally poisoned himself by ingesting toxic chemicals, who his alchemists thought to have the ability to grant one eternal life. Death, who he attempted to avoid so desperately, soon repelled the life from the body of this haughty despot."

"Today, some are still trying to avoid death. Bodies are sometimes stored in extremely low temperatures, to be reanimated in future, when the medical science is sufficient enough.
Certain chemical liquides prevent the formation of larger ice crystals, so that the body cells aren't damaged to severely. In this matter, they might, one day, be reborn in what is called the far future today…"

This is the prologue of a story I am writing, and I need inspiration. Please help.

[ Monday, May 09, 2005 05:20: Message edited by: Mind ]
Posts: 356 | Registered: Tuesday, April 6 2004 07:00
Law Bringer
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That's supposed to become a story?!

You know, most people start with a plot and then write the prologue. What are you trying to make of this exactly?

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
...b10010b...
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A little tact goes a long way, you know.

Anyway, we've discussed this before but I do have a few more ideas. Consider what a cryonically suspended person already knew when he chose the procedure: he would be bequeathing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cryonics company in his will, and he would do this with no guarantee he would ever be revived. And if he did reawaken, it would most likely be into a world in which everyone he knew was long dead.

What was his life like before his suspension? What motivated him to be suspended -- simply a desire to prolong his life, or perhaps to see the future? How did he get the money -- was he rich before his death, or did he have to sell everything he owned to afford suspension? Did he have any surviving family members at the time of his death? If so, did they object to his decision? In his pre-suspension life, did he leave any legacy on the world that is still around after his reanimation?

[ Monday, May 09, 2005 02:35: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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Agent
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Yes. Is this a story set before his body is suspended and about the conflicts in reaching such a decision? Or maybe it is about his reawakening in a new world and the creation of a new life?

This has a lot of potental for development and as a side effect you could get seriously stuck deciding which course to take, good luck to you.

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I'm tired of the strain and the pain ___ ___ ___ I feel the same, I feel nothing
Nothing is important to me ___ ___ ___ ___ __ And nobody nowhere understands anything
About me and all my dreams lost at sea ___ __ But we’re not the same, we’re different tonight
We’ll make things right, we’ll feel it all tonight _ The indescribable moments of your life tonight
The impossible is possible tonight ___ ____ ___ Believe in me as I believe in you, tonight

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Posts: 1112 | Registered: Friday, July 19 2002 07:00
Shock Trooper
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Or, more tangentially, who or what keeps these pretenders of inmortality?
Nothing grants that, just because there's a claimed method to completely preserve some Tom's body, anyone in the future will have any interest in reviving him.
And, while that future arrives, where is Tom's body and what are the means to keep him in good condition? Is there anyone making sure all works fine, or is all the procedure mechanical?
The life of a mummy-keeper must be weird :)

Also imagine: bio-historians cloning Ancient Egypt mummies, some powerful sect ressurrecting their founder ... or (yech!) ... some man-eaters in a future post-apocaliptic world discovering the most bizarre larder.
Posts: 253 | Registered: Tuesday, October 9 2001 07:00
Infiltrator
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It's been done. See Futurerama.

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Posts: 563 | Registered: Tuesday, July 27 2004 07:00
Law Bringer
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quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

A little tact goes a long way, you know.

Ouch. I confess that I wrote that in a hurry and did not re-read it to notice the tone it implies. Trust me, I was not going for derogatory; I just wanted to express that I'm stumped as to what kind of plot could be developed from the premise in that prologue.

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"Polaris leers down from the black vault, winking hideously like an insane watching eye which strives to convey some strange message, yet recalls nothing save that it once had a message to convey." --- HP Lovecraft.
"I single Aran out due to his nasty temperament, and his superior intellect." --- SupaNik
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Shock Trooper
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quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

And if he did reawaken, it would most likely be into a world in which everyone he knew was long dead.
When will the medical science be sufficient enough to revive someone who asphyxiated? Also, how quickly is the average life expectancy increasing?

In the story I am writing, the daughter of the main character is still alive when he is reanimated. Then, she is approximately 105 years old, which is exceptional today, but probably less unlikely in future.

quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

What motivated him to be suspended -- simply a desire to prolong his life, or perhaps to see the future?
To see the future, mainly.

quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

How did he get the money -- was he rich before his death, or did he have to sell everything he owned to afford suspension?
He was wealthy enough to afford the suspension without selling all his possessions.

quote:
Originally written by An Upright stranger:

Is this a story set before his body is suspended and about the conflicts in reaching such a decision? Or maybe it is about his reawakening in a new world and the creation of a new life?
The latter.

quote:
Originally written by Mab:

Nothing grants that, just because there's a claimed method to completely preserve some Tom's body, anyone in the future will have any interest in reviving him.
The bodies could be used for students to practise.

quote:
Originally written by Mab:

Is there anyone making sure all works fine, or is all the procedure mechanical?
There is no-one required to do that.

Thank you for your comments and suggestions.

[ Monday, May 09, 2005 05:58: Message edited by: Mind ]
Posts: 356 | Registered: Tuesday, April 6 2004 07:00
Warrior
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quote:
You know, most people start with a plot and then write the prologue.
Haha, what a great lack of tact! Cracked me up. Makes my tired, annoyed morning a little bit better!

quote:
When will the medical science be sufficient enough to revive someone who asphyxiated? Also, how quickly is the average life expectancy increasing?

Shortly after death the lack of blood to your brain causes connections in it to start to break down, causing severe (well, you *are* dead at this point...) brain damage. So even if you could "revive" someone, after too much longer than a few minutes there wouldn't be much left to revive. That's part of the reason we can have people who are "alive," but braindead, and will never really "wake up."

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Posts: 103 | Registered: Sunday, June 20 2004 07:00
Shock Trooper
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quote:
Originally written by cfgauss:

quote:
When will the medical science be sufficient enough to revive someone who asphyxiated? Also, how quickly is the average life expectancy increasing?

Shortly after death the lack of blood to your brain causes connections in it to start to break down, causing severe (well, you *are* dead at this point...) brain damage. So even if you could "revive" someone, after too much longer than a few minutes there wouldn't be much left to revive. That's part of the reason we can have people who are "alive," but braindead, and will never really "wake up."

Are you certain this also occurs to the brains of bodies which are preserved in -273,15 degrees Celsius?
Posts: 356 | Registered: Tuesday, April 6 2004 07:00
Electric Sheep One
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You can't get to -273.15 Celsius. It's not just a good idea, it's the law: by no finite sequence of processes may the absolute zero be attained. Third Law of thermodynamics.

But you can probably get to -270 or so, and people might conceivably survive in some kind of shape. It's a business now; quite a few folks have had themselves frozen. Baseball legend Ted Williams is frozen in Scottsdale -- Googling the story turns up major newspaper articles, so I think this is actually true. If you can't afford the whole deal, I understand that you can pay less to have only your head frozen, in the hope that by the time they can revive you they can also give you a new body.

There was an interesting New Yorker article a while back that mentioned the architectural problems of the cryonics industry. They need to build freezer-vaults that can be warranted to endure and function for centuries, and no-one knows just what it takes to make a building that will do that. There are ancient buildings in the world, but it isn't clear (a) whether they were just lucky, or (b) whether they have survived well enough to have preserved the high-tech infrastructure needed for cryogenic suspension.

Larry Niven had a whole series of books set in a world where there were a fair number of such revivees. They had essentially no legal rights, and I think they ended up as slaves of the state in order to repay their medical bills, or something like that. Everyone called them 'corpsicles'.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Shock Trooper
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quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

Larry Niven had a whole series of books set in a world where there were a fair number of such revivees. They had essentially no legal rights, and I think they ended up as slaves of the state in order to repay their medical bills, or something like that. Everyone called them 'corpsicles'.
That sounds implausible to me: I cannot imagine that the social welfare would degenerate so significantly in future. It will, in my insight, probably evolve positively.

[ Monday, May 09, 2005 07:22: Message edited by: Mind ]
Posts: 356 | Registered: Tuesday, April 6 2004 07:00
By Committee
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Recent findings suggest that hydrogen sulfide may also be used to slow the body's processes with no or minimal decomposition. I found an article on the topic on the BBC here.

This has the benefit of avoiding the "what do we do to get them to thaw without dying?" problem.

"Vanilla Sky" had a pretty interesting take on the "during the sleep" part of this topic. Usually, though, suspended animation is used in liturature more as a vehicle for exploring the future in whatever utopian/dystopian form it takes. What's your agenda?

[ Monday, May 09, 2005 07:34: Message edited by: andrew miller ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Shock Trooper
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quote:
Originally written by andrew miller:

Usually, though, suspended animation is used in liturature more as a vehicle for exploring the future in whatever utopian/dystopian form it takes. What's your agenda?
My view on the future is not unusually pessimistic or optimistic, but I'm certain the progress of science will rapidly accelerate, and I strongly believe that genetical manipulation will play an extremely significant part in our lives in future.
Posts: 356 | Registered: Tuesday, April 6 2004 07:00
Agent
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Here goes. The reason for suspended animation would be more plausible if you had an incurable condition where it was close to a medical cure. Ice the person-- slow them down until the cure comes along. 5-10 years.

I can think the main reason would be historical curiosity. You could ask a person what happened when. The person would be like a disney exhibit or a theme park person like see the primitive American exhibit. Not very many people would be revived for this.

By the time they were going to revive you from the dead most likely your money and form of exchange would be useless. They might even have a completely different exchange system than money.

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quote:
Originally written by Duke of Toast:

Here goes. The reason for suspended animation would be more plausible if you had an incurable condition where it was close to a medical cure. Ice the person-- slow them down until the cure comes along. 5-10 years.
On the other hand, a cure for being frozen solid might take a little longer to come along...

quote:
By the time they were going to revive you from the dead most likely your money and form of exchange would be useless. They might even have a completely different exchange system than money.
Well, not necessarily. Presumably you wouldn't just leave your money squirrelled away in an account somewhere, but instead you'd put it in a trust fund or something which would invest it and thereby prevent inflation from eating it away. On the other hand, that's still not a guarantee; if there's a stockmarket or currency crash, or a fundamental change in the way society handles property, you could still lose everything.

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I've found a very interesting site concerning the terraformation of Mars.
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Agent
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Our currency and exchange system is already changing rapidly. Increasing large amounts of money will be represented as data encrypted software programs on memory chips. The stock exchanges are moving to electronic formats as well.

Property is becoming more and more expensive. Eventually it will reach a point where most of the middle class will only have rights to what they own, a contract for their furniture, a contract for their house, etc.

Our identities are increasingly linked to our cash. Two hundred years from now, because of more and more identity crime, you may have to have iris, biometric, or dna scans to access your cash. This is a real possibility.

Also three hundred years from now, the world will have changed significantly geopolitically. I can predict one thing-- there will be a lot less countries and more consolidation of power. There is a very good likelihood that the currency will have been replaced with a new kind of currency-- turn in your old currency and replace it with something that can be easily tracked by the government to stop crime.

Telling your heirs that you want most of your money put in a trust account for when you are frozen won't work too well. I can easily see a judge ruling this kind of action insane and handing your money over to your heirs. Until they can prove that it is possible to revive you in the future your trust account is going to be looked on as a sign of mental imbalance.

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Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.
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It already costs upwards of $100,000 to have yourself cryonically suspended. Ten or twenty thousand dollars set aside as a nest egg wouldn't add much to the overall cost.

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Terraforming mars is a long way off. I can think of three things which would benefit people in real terms.

The most lucrative project right now, would be to get an asteroid mining concern going. Seriously one asteroid has 30 times the amount of metal than has been mined in all of human history. Think of it as a giant chunk of commerce waiting in the sky. Eventually with space elevators, closed ecosystem spaceships, and solar sails -- in the next century this is a real possibility.

The other project would be to build zero gravity manufacturing facilities for pharmaceuticals, crystals, and computer chips, all of which can benefit from a sterile zero gravity environment.

The third project would be to build solar power satellites. A long way off, but possible in the next century. This could if done right meet large amounts of earths energy needs.

While asteroids are rich in the metals and minerals needed for needed for building space facilities, comets are rich sources of the water and carbon-based molecules needed to maintain life. According to John Lewis (a University of Arizona planetary scientist), for example, the smallest Earth-crossing asteroid 3554 Amun (see orbit) is a mile-wide (2,000-meter) lump of iron, nickel, cobalt, platinum, and other metals; it contains 30 times as much metal as Humans have mined throughout history, although it is only the smallest of dozens of known metallic asteroids and worth perhaps US$ 20 trillion if mined slowly to meet demand at 2001 market prices. Moreover, water ice in comets can be converted to liquid hydrogen and oxygen, two of the primary ingredients in rocket fuel today. Thus, some believe that that, as we begin to colonize the inner Solar System in this new millenium, NEAs will become convenient sources of the raw materials needed for building space habitats while NECs will become vital "watering holes" and gas stations for interplanetary spacecraft.

This comes from--
http://members.nova.org/~sol/station/ast-mine.htm

[ Sunday, May 15, 2005 02:30: Message edited by: Duke of Toast ]

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Agent
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AFAIK, they start now to freeze only the head.
To Mind's story: you could give your character another body after reanimation, e.g. place his head onto a slith corpse ^_^

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There's three step to make a good novel or comic:

First step - Character

Come up with a character or more first. Decide what personality they will have. Decide what weakness and strengths they have. Give them some personal matters, for example: A boy who hit peoples when he laugh or a girl who pass out when being embarrased.

Second step - Theme

Decided what theme you want the characters to resolve to. In your story you have decided to have the strive of immortality as a theme. Picture the characters fighting for something, strive for something and other things in this matter.

Third and last step - Story

Put the characters into a situation with a theme that connects with them. Write the story from the picture you have of the characters in the situation.

Just to add:

Always remember the 5 W and the one H:
Who (Who are the characters?)
What (What are they doing?)
When
Where
Why (Why they got into the situation)
How (How did they end up in this situation)

Keep all this in mind and you will find that writing a novel or a comic is actually not so difficult.

-Eagle, the experienced author soul

Edit: Added my name sign

[ Sunday, May 15, 2005 05:07: Message edited by: Eagle ]

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So, as the great Groxy, I have come back to be served by goblins. In the "main hall" of the goblin cave was a large totem which resembled very much of... me.
Posts: 437 | Registered: Friday, May 13 2005 07:00
Shock Trooper
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Profile #22
quote:
In 1989, scientists were asked to estimate the price of a manned Mars mission. They had 90 days to do so, and their report was called the 90-day report.
They proposed and enormous spacecraft, that was supposed to be build in orbit, that should send a group of astronauts in orbit around Mars to let them land on Mars, and when they come back into the craft, it brings them back to earth.
This spacecraft was supposed to run on liquid hydrogen ( H2 ) and liquid oxygen ( O2 ). All supplies were supposed to be brought from earth.

Their result: catastrophic $400 billion.

I don't see how $400 billion is such a high price. George W Bush wastes $386 billion yearly to maintain his army, if those ciphers aren't already out of date.

quote:
Originally written by Duke of Toast:

Terraforming mars is a long way off.
Well, in my story, the terraformation of Mars took approximately 20 years.

quote:
Originally written by Duke of Toast:

The most lucrative project right now, would be to get an asteroid mining concern going.
And Mars is close to the asteroid belt.

quote:
Originally written by Duke of Toast:

Seriously one asteroid has 30 times the amount of metal than has been mined in all of human history.
That depends on the size and the contents of the asteroid.

quote:
Originally written by Duke of Toast:

The third project would be to build solar power satellites. A long way off, but possible in the next century.
Mercury receives ten times more sun light than Earth. It also contains a gargantuan amount of metal. The colonisation of this planet could be interesting.

quote:
Originally written by Eagle:

First step - Character

Come up with a character or more first. Decide what personality they will have. Decide what weakness and strengths they have. Give them some personal matters, for example: A boy who hit peoples when he laugh or a girl who pass out when being embarrased.

It's not necessary to imagine the main characters properties before writing the story.

quote:
Originally written by Eagle:

In your story you have decided to have the strive of immortality as a theme.
The word "immortality" is only mentioned in the prologue, in fact.

My story is currently 7 A4-pages long, but, unfortunately, it is written in Dutch, because I can't always impeccably express my thoughts in English.

Interesting. If Mars was terraformed - and the ice in the Martian soil would be melt - it would look like this.

Presumably, the giant mountain which you see on the south of the equador is the volcano Olympus Mons, which is 26 kilometers high. That is about 15 kilometers higher than the Mount Everest.

As you can guess, the main character in my story awakes on Mars.

[ Monday, May 16, 2005 09:47: Message edited by: Mind ]
Posts: 356 | Registered: Tuesday, April 6 2004 07:00
Infiltrator
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quote:
Originally written by Mind:

[QUOTE]It's not necessary to imagine the main characters properties before writing the story.
The characters properties do affect the story a lot. But whether you use the theme to come up with a story, use the characters personalities to write the story or use the story and theme to estimate the characters, you still have to keep those components in your mind or else your story will end up all messed up. So remember, keep it in your mind. I also said that those rules are for comics as well.

The plot is all the three components together in a rough image. So when the plot is finished, you actually have a overviewable rough image of a potentially good story.

The rules I have posted here are only there to help you write a good story. Don't ignore them, consider them.

-Eagle, the author soul

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So, as the great Groxy, I have come back to be served by goblins. In the "main hall" of the goblin cave was a large totem which resembled very much of... me.
Posts: 437 | Registered: Friday, May 13 2005 07:00
Master
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quote:
Originally written by Mind:
Presumably, the giant mountain which you see on the south of the equador is the volcano Olympus Mons, which is 26 kilometers high. That is about 25 kilometers higher than the Mount Everest.
Mount Everest is about 10km tall. ;)

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