|Cover artist||Richard M. Powers|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
To Live Forever is a science fiction novel by American writer Jack Vance, first published in 1956. In the Vance Integral Edition, it was retitled Clarges.
The city of Clarges in the future is a near-utopia, surrounded by barbarism throughout the rest of the world. Abundant resources and the absence of political conflict lead to a pleasant life that should be stress-free. However, nearly everyone is obsessed with a perpetual scramble for longer life, as measured by slope.
Medical technology has led to a great lengthening of the human lifespan, but, in order to prevent the Malthusian horrors of overpopulation, it is awarded only to those citizens who have made notable contributions. Five categories have been created for those playing the life-extension game, the first four each offering an additional allowance of life: ten more years for achieving the second stage, then sixteen years, and finally an extra twenty years (a lifespan of 128 years) before achieving immortality. One's progress can be shown as a graph, whose upward direction indicates a greater likelihood of achieving the next level. Therefore, the slope of one's "lifeline" is a measure of success. A person whose lifeline reaches the vertical terminator is not merely deprived of life-lengthening treatment, they are deliberately eliminated by government operatives, known as "Assassins".
Eventually the Fair-Play Act was drafted, and won a grudging approval. In essence, the system rewarded public service with years of extended life. Five phyle, or levels of achievement, were stipulated: Base, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth. Base became known as Brood; Second, the Wedge; Third, less frequently, Arrant; and Fourth, Verge. When the original Grand-Union group organized the Amaranth Society, Fifth became Amaranth.
The ultimate prize is the top category, called Amaranth , which offers true immortality to the fortunate few. People who achieve this distinction are accorded the honorific "The" in front of their name.
Grayven Warlock was one of those few (thus known as The Grayven Warlock), but he has become a fugitive after a feud with another Amaranth resulted in the latter's death. Masquerading as his own "relict" (clone) using the name Gavin Waylock, he lives in obscurity, looking for the accomplishment that will reinstate him among the immortals. However, Waylock's dramatic stratagems result in changes to society far beyond anything he had intended.
Galaxy reviewer Floyd C. Gale praised the novel as "frighteningly logical", saying that "[t]he sick, inbred society of Vance's imagination comes fully alive, even though his characters remain mere symbols."
Katherine Anne MacLean was an American science fiction author best known for her short fiction of the 1950s which examined the impact of technological advances on individuals and society.
Beyond This Horizon is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein. It was originally published as a two-part serial in Astounding Science Fiction and then as a single volume by Fantasy Press in 1948. It was awarded a Retro-Hugo award for best novel in 2018.
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is a 1966 science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein about a lunar colony's revolt against absentee rule from Earth. The novel illustrates and discusses libertarian ideals. It is respected for its credible presentation of a comprehensively imagined future human society on both the Earth and the Moon.
Methuselah's Children is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein. Originally serialized in Astounding Science Fiction in the July, August, and September 1941 issues, it was expanded into a full-length novel in 1958. The novel is part of Heinlein's Future History series of stories. It introduces the Howard families, a fictional group of people who achieved long lifespans through selective breeding.
Stephen Baxter is an English hard science fiction author. He has degrees in mathematics and engineering.
John Holbrook Vance was an American mystery, fantasy, and science fiction writer. Though most of his work has been published under the name Jack Vance, he also wrote several mystery novels under pen names.
The End of Eternity is a 1955 science fiction novel by Isaac Asimov with mystery and thriller elements on the subjects of time travel and social engineering. Its ultimate premise is that of a causal loop, a type of temporal paradox in which events and their causes form a loop.
Galaxy Science Fiction was an American digest-size science fiction magazine, published in Boston from 1950 to 1980. It was founded by a French-Italian company, World Editions, which was looking to break into the American market. World Editions hired as editor H. L. Gold, who rapidly made Galaxy the leading science fiction magazine of its time, focusing on stories about social issues rather than technology.
Immortality is the concept of eternal life. Some modern species may possess biological immortality.
The Gandalf Awards, honoring achievement in fantasy literature, were conferred by the World Science Fiction Society annually from 1974 to 1981. They were named for Gandalf the wizard, from the Middle-earth stories by J. R. R. Tolkien. The award was created and sponsored by Lin Carter and the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA), an association of fantasy writers. Recipients were selected by vote of participants in the World Science Fiction Conventions according to procedures of the older Hugo Awards.
Joe William Haldeman is an American science fiction author.
Second Foundation is the third novel published of the Foundation Series by American writer Isaac Asimov, and the fifth in the in-universe chronology. It was first published in 1953 by Gnome Press.
They'd Rather Be Right is a science fiction novel by American writers Mark Clifton and Frank Riley.
Marooned in Realtime is a 1986 murder mystery and time-travel science fiction novel by American writer Vernor Vinge, about a small, time-displaced group of people who may be the only survivors of a technological singularity or alien invasion. It is the sequel to the novel The Peace War (1984) and the novella The Ungoverned (1985). Both novels and the novella were collected in Across Realtime.
A World Out of Time is a science fiction novel by Larry Niven and published in 1976. It is set outside the Known Space universe of many of Niven's stories, but is otherwise fairly representative of his 1970s hard science fiction novels. The main part of the novel was originally serialized in Galaxy magazine as "Children of the State"; another part was originally published as the short story "Rammer". A World Out of Time placed fifth in the annual Locus Poll in 1977.
Ageless is an adjective describing a person or thing whose age cannot be defined, is non-existent, or appears not to change. It can also describe something that has always existed without a precise beginning or an end.
The Gray Prince is a science fiction novel by American writer Jack Vance, first published in two parts in Amazing Science Fiction magazine with the title The Domains of Koryphon. Given that the novel's setting, the planet Koryphon, is integral to the plot, The Gray Prince may be said to belong to the science fiction subgenre of the planetary romance. Also significant in this regard is the work's original title, The Domains of Koryphon, which gives prominence to the setting of the conflict narrated in the novel rather than to one of its many characters.
The Viagens Interplanetarias series is a sequence of science fiction stories by L. Sprague de Camp, begun in the late 1940s and written under the influence of contemporary space opera and sword and planet stories, particularly Edgar Rice Burroughs's Martian novels. Set in the future in the 21st and 22nd centuries, the series is named for the quasi-public Terran agency portrayed as monopolizing interstellar travel, the Brazilian-dominated Viagens Interplanetarias. It is also known as the Krishna series, as the majority of the stories belong to a sequence set on a fictional planet of that name. While de Camp started out as a science fiction writer and his early reputation was based on his short stories in the genre, the Viagens tales represent his only extended science fiction series.
Immortality is a common theme in fiction. The concept has been depicted since the Epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest known work of fiction. Originally appearing in the domain of mythology, it has later become a recurring element in the genres of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. For most of literary history, the dominant perspective has been that the desire for immortality is misguided, albeit strong; among the posited drawbacks are ennui, loneliness, and social stagnation. This view was challenged in the 20th century by writers such as George Bernard Shaw and Roger Zelazny. Immortality is commonly obtained either from supernatural entities or objects such as the Fountain of Youth or through biological or technological means such as brain transplants.
Why Call them Back From Heaven? is a 1967 novel by Clifford D. Simak, which became the initial volume in the Ace Science Fiction Specials line.