Cryonics Stories: Short Stories About Freezing Yourself, Suspended Animation or Mind Uploading

These stories will involve some attempt to suspend bodily functions, keep the brain alive, or transfer consciousness to another body or a machine, involving some type of cryonics, cryogenics, suspended animation or mind uploading. See also:

Stories About Mind Uploading or Freezing Yourself

“The Awakening” by Arthur C. Clarke

The Master is going to sleep for a hundred years. He wonders if he’ll dream. He found out his heart was failing, so he made arrangements to have himself frozen until the required treatment became available. He rests in a secure place.

This story can be read in the preview of The Collected Short Stories of Arthur C. Clarke(28% into preview)

“Exile of the Eons (Nemesis)” by Arthur C. Clarke

The Master’s fleet is being destroyed. His quest for world domination has failed. Enemy forces are closing in on his position in the Himalayas. He descends into his stronghold. He has a backup plan in case of defeat. One of his scientist’s perfected the technique of suspended animation. He intends to sleep for a hundred years. Then, he’ll emerge in a future that has forgotten him and attempt to seize power again.

This story is also in The Collected Short Stories of Arthur C. Clarke.

“Call Me Joe” by Poul Anderson

Edward struggles through an ammonia storm and makes it to his small dugout. He wanted to do some work, but now he’ll have to wait until morning. Far away, the real Edward takes off his helmet. He’s in the control room, not braving the surface of Jupiter. That’s being done by Joe, an artificial life-form, with whom Edward has a psionic connection. They’ve been experiencing some failures in the link lately. An expert, Cornelius, is assigned to the station to fix it.

This longer story can be read in the preview of Masterpieces: The Best Science Fiction of the 20th Century.

“Learning to Be Me” by Greg Egan

Almost everyone has a small, dark jewel inside their heads that learns to be them. It analyzes everything the brain processes and alters itself to replicate it perfectly. As the narrator grows up, he ruminates on the implications of the jewel. Most people switch out their original brain for the jewel in their early thirties. This allows them to continue functioning at their best.

This is the first story in the preview of The Best of Greg Egan(4% into Kindle preview)

“Rates of Change” by James S. A. Corey

Diana is at the hospital, looking at her son in the medical bay. He’s only a black casing that holds his brain and a spinal column. His brain is active, but the interface took some damage. It’s not certain if he’ll be able to integrate into a new body. They’re working on making contact with him. Diana was against the decision that led her son here.

This story can be read in the preview of Meeting Infinity(22% in)

“Rachel in Love” by Pat Murphy

Rachel, a small chimpanzee, watches a Tarzan movie on television. She knows her father, Dr. Aaron Jacobs, wouldn’t approve, but he’s still sleeping. When she gets hungry, she goes to wake him up. He has died of a heart attack. Rachel doesn’t know what to do. He is the only person she has ever known.

A lot of this story can be read in the preview of the anthology Future on Fire(38% into preview)

“Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance” by Tobias S. Buckell

A robot with an uploaded intelligence from a human makes repairs on a ship’s hull after a successful battle. While working, it notices movement. There’s a bipedal figure in a gap in the hull. He wants help, and says not to raise the alarm.

This story can be read in the preview of The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Twelve(16% into preview)

“Approaching Omega” by Eric Brown

Latimer and Karen are spending their last day on Earth. They are two of the five thousand selected to leave on the Dauntless. They’ll be held in cold sleep on route to a planet to colonize. As part of the maintenance crew, Latimer will wake up in fifteen hundred years to check everything. Many on Earth are opposed to the mission, feeling the efforts would be better spent improving things at home.

The prelude of this story can be read in the preview of Approaching Omega

“The Cold Calculations” by Michael A. Burstein

A non-human is dying in the vacuum of space. Before his mental pathways deteriorate completely, he wants to leave a record of what happened. Lieutenant Jason Sawyer was leading the Zecca on a rescue mission to Titan base. They were down to their last backup generator and the lives of the fifteen crew members were at risk. Jason’s only crewman was Zec, a robotic AI that could run the ship.

This story can be read in the preview of Fantastic Stories Presents: Science Fiction Super Pack #1(10% into preview)

“Transgalactic Consciousness Transfer” by Mark Starlin

Dr. Roosa and Dr. Nooft have teamed up to build the technology that can send consciousness across galaxies. This procedure has been outlawed due to a major ethical concern which they’re comfortable ignoring.

This story can be read in the preview of A Sci-Fi Shorts Anthology: Vol 1(79% in)

“World Enough” by Robert E. Hampson

Humans are on Fortune’s World, where they have an arrangement with another outside race, the Sylph, for the world’s minerals, especially fusite. Another race, the Aneliad, arrive and upset the balance. Soldiers from the Terran Expeditionary Forces are tracking the Aneliad through the tunnels. Some of the tunnels go through the fusite, which the humans didn’t know was possible.

This story can be read in the preview of World Breakers(16% in)

“William and Mary” by Roald Dahl

Mary Pearl receives a letter from her lawyer following her husband’s death. Her husband had been approached by a doctor with an unusual plan for him. He went ahead with it, even though Mary was against the idea.

“Far Centaurus” by A. E. Van Vogt

Pelham has invented a drug called Eternity that allows people to hibernate for decades. Knowing this would make long-term space travel possible, he partners with a rich college friend, Renfrew, on a plan. They build a ship and enlist two more college friends, Blake and Endicott, to accompany them. They take their first dose of Eternity and set out for Alpha Centauri, a journey of 500 years. After 53 years, Endicott is the first to wake up.

I’ll keep adding short stories about cryonics, cryogenics, suspended animation or mind uploading as I find them.