12 Must-Read Books About Cryonics

Cappuccino + a great book = perfection

The Classics

Even though cryonics is a relatively new field, having existed for “only” 50 years, some books deserve to be given this status. Classics. Or in other words, these are the books that every cryonicist should read at least once in their lives.

Even in a field as “young” as biostasis is, some books are still considered classics

The Prospect of Immortality

We felt that it was only right for “The Prospect of Immortality” by Robert C.W. Ettinger to occupy the first spot, as it is one of the books that started it all. Without it, biostasis might not have become as popular as it is today. In what could only be described as the Founding Document of cryonics, Ettinger lays down the foundational ideas of this field. A way to suspend death and a prospect to live a second life in some future. With its scientific basis backed already in 1962 by none other than Isaac Asimov, this book leaves you with a burning question: If you could say no to death, would you do it?

The Prospect of Immortality — Fifty Years Later

For those of you who are cryonauts at heart, you cannot miss this book.

Philosophical Books

Is there anything better than pondering on the intricacies of life? Anything more rewarding than delving deeply into a topic and exploring the ins and outs of all the thoughts surrounding it? We agree, it’s a sensation that’s hardly beatable. And to quench this thirst we have selected two books we just know you’re going to love.

“Life is a lot more fragile than we think” Haruki Murakami-”Dance Dance Dance”

Frozen to Life: A Personal Mortality Experiment

D.J. MacLennan makes it a second time on our list, this time as a solo author. His book “Frozen to Life: A Personal Mortality Experiment” is intimate, introspective, informative and beautifully complicated. This poetic autobiography will take you through the author’s journey in answering a fundamental question concerning life: should I surrender to death? This book has everything you could ask of it, including a welcomed sense of dark humor guaranteed to make you question your perspectives.

Forever for All: Moral Philosophy, Cryonics, and the Scientific Prospects for Immortality

A truly marvelous read. R. Michael Perry was amongst the original contributors to Ettinger’s work, discussing biostasis like few others do. Instead of wandering into future perspectives, he puts our society at the center of his inspection, deconstructing our beliefs and challenging our ideals. In this philosophy masterclass, Perry leaves no ethical stone unturned and no uncomfortable questions unasked. Why are we here? Is our life worth living? Most importantly, is it worth preserving it? With each argument broken down into its core components and skillfully organized, this book is as complex as it is surprisingly accessible. First timers warned though, the depths of this ocean are not for everyone.

Technical Books

Do you want to know just how real biostasis is? Are you curious about the processes and the intricacies of preserving humans? These next three volumes are exactly what you are looking for.

With an average length of 650-ish pages, these technical volumes are not for the faint of heart

Preserving Minds, Saving Lives: The Best Cryonics Writings From The Alcor Life Extension Foundation

Co-authored by Steve Bridge, CEO of Alcor from 1993 to 1997, “Preserving Minds, Saving Lives” by Aschwin de Wolf and Steve Bridge is one of the most complete collections of articles on biostasis. With a selection of articles taken from the years 1972–2012 of the Cryonics magazine, this 570 pages volume is as close to an encyclopedia as it gets. From procedures to scientific advancements, to the rationale behind choosing cryopreservation.

Human Cryopreservation Procedures

Written by prolific author by Aschwin de Wolf and British journalist Charles Platt, “Human Cryopreservation Procedures” is a complete and comprehensive manual on the procedures used to this day to preserve human bodies. One of the most technical manuals on the subject, this book will appeal to those that are interested in the nitty gritty of this fascinating science.

Cryostasis Revival: The Recovery of Cryonics Patients through Nanomedicine

To finish this list we have a 2022 book written by Robert A. Freitas Jr. Despite having perfected the techniques to cryopreserve our bodies over 5 decades, our current capabilities don’t allow us to revive anyone yet. Things, according to Freitas, are about to change. In this extensive 700 pages book, Freitas talks about the promising developments in nanotechnology and how nanorobots might be the key to successfully revive individuals. Going over protocols in great detail, “Cryostasis Revival” paints a clear picture of just how near we are to achieve a full human revival.

Science Fiction

We are finally coming full circle. Science Fiction holds a special place in our hearts, and it’s probably true for many of you. After all, had Robert C.W.Ettinger not grown up reading Hugo Gernsback’s “Amazing Stories” the entire field might not have been invented. In a strange self-feeding loop, Sci-Fi and biostasis have been inspiring each other since the very beginning. To continue this tradition, here are 2 Sci-Fi novels absolutely packed with all the good stuff. Space travel? You bet! Underground cities? We got ’em. Evil Big Corps and super cool aliens? Just wait and see. Although not always accurately depicted, in these books there’s all the cryonics you could ever want to read.

Biostasis might be one of the ways humans will be able to travel immense distances at sub-light speed

A World Out of Time

What would happen if a terminally ill patient decided to get himself cryopreserved? And what would happen if, 120 years later, he was revived by a BBTG (or Big Bad Totalitarian Government) only to be shoved in the body of a criminal destined to a suicide mission? If this sounds like the premise of a breath-taking novel to you, it’s probably because it is. Written in a dry yet compelling tone, “A World Out of Time” by Larry Niven takes the reader on a journey they will not easily forget. A very clever use of science mixed with more than a touch of wonder, Niven brings us in his world of changing times, corrupt governments, evil AI and hot-headed heroes. Coming from a Sci-Fi veteran like Larry Niven, this book did not disappoint.

CryoBurn

If you thought you already had plenty of cryo-readings on your list, think again, because this second entry will just freeze you in place.

Young Adult Fiction

In case you are looking for a way to introduce biostasis to your kids, look no further. These books retain all the excitement you find in classic Sci-Fi, without being excessively crude. Perfect for young adults who are just approaching the topic. But even if you are an adult reader, don’t worry. There’s still plenty of thrill to be found in these novels, with some of them punching way above their belt in terms of storytelling.

Give your kids the tools to explore the world of biostasis

Frozen in Time

“Frozen in Time” by Ali Sparkes begins like every great book does: with a TV exploding and two children going outside in search of a distraction, only to find more trouble. Buried underground, right beneath their house, lies a secret, one (actually…) that had been sleeping for the past 50 years. Packed with action and a very creative premise, this book is much more than a light read for children.

Across the Universe

Part of a series of books set in the same universe, “Across the Universe” by Beth Revis catapults us aboard a massive spaceship with a telling name: Godspeed. There Amy, a 17 year old girl, finds herself abruptly waking up from a cryogenic sleep that was supposed to last much much longer. A killer lurks in the guts of the ship, and with her parents still soundly asleep, it will be her task to face the danger. A riveting novel that fits thrill, love and high stakes in a well-paced Sci-Fi read.

Lockstep

Who said that only individuals can wake up from cryogenic sleep? What if it was an entire civilization? It’s with this ambitious setup that “Lockstep” by Karl Schroeder transports us into its ruthless world, built around cryosleep as a means of surviving. To travel great distances at sub-light speeds, in fact, people are forced into a tough regime of cryopreservation, being able to stay awake only for a few weeks at a time. What could a world like this have to offer? With the protagonist being propelled 14.000 years into the future, and a family line as cumbersome as merciless, you are about to find out.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed our list! With our recommendations you should be covered for a while. In case you want to read some more, check out our other articles on Futurism, Longevity or Technology. We also have a YouTube channel where we talk about cryonics, how cool is that?!

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