September 30, 2009

Science fiction as fact?

Just like John Scalzi's Old Man's War and Frederik Pohl's Gateway series: By 2040 you will be able to upload your brain. (h/t to Insty.)

In the former, several hundred years from now, Earth's colonial defense forces are comprised of elderly humans who've uploaded their consciousness into new, biologically engineered bodies. This awesome story is continued in The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony and Zoe's Tale.

In the latter, Pohl imagines a world where people can upload their minds into computers and essentially live forever at the hyperfast speeds of electrons. That's really only a subplot to Gateway, however. The real coolness of the yarn is humanity discovering an alien asteroid near Venus stuffed with faster-than-light spacecraft. The humans can use them -- but can't control them. They're all automated and pre-programmed! It's a "take your chances" sort of scenario where an interstellar flight can mean agonizing death from starvation (or, more rarely, via spatial phenomena) or can make one rich beyond the wildest dreams of avarice (to quote a certain "Bones" McCoy from "Star Trek IV"). The follow-ups Beyond the Blue Event Horizon and Heechee Rendevous aren't as good, and there is at least one more sequel out there whose title I can't recall. But there's also a neat collection of vignettes surrounding the Gateway Asteroid in The Gateway Trip.

Posted by Hube at September 30, 2009 04:29 PM | TrackBack

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Unfortunately this seems to mean that I will then be uploading the brain of an 84 year old. >sigh

Posted by: steve Newton at September 30, 2009 07:12 PM

I'll be only ten years younger, my friend. :-)

Posted by: Hube at September 30, 2009 08:11 PM