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I'm looking to identify an SF-nal short story I once read; it was just a few pages long, divided into four segments. Each segment described a world where "nobody could die unless..." some particular condition. I'm don't really remember the specific conditions, but they were on the lines of "nobody could die unless he specifically chose to" or "nobody could die as long as he had any money."

Three of the four scenarios had bleak endings, exposing the proposed system as self-destructive (in one way or another). The last had a condition related to love - I think it was "nobody could die as long as somebody loved him," or maybe "as long as he loved somebody else," and that one had more of a happy ending.

I have a vague recollection that the story was by Joe Haldeman, but I'm quite likely to be mistaken. I remember first finding it in a random "best SF of the year" anthology (I don't recall which, but certainly something within the past decade), and then finding it reprinted online. Finding the online reprint, if it's still around, would be especially nice - but I'll settle for identification.

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The story is indeed by Haldeman, and is entitled Four Short Novels. Each story begins with the phrase "Eventually it came to pass that no one ever had to die":

Eventually it came to pass that no one ever had to die, unless they ran out of money.

Eventually it came to pass that no one ever had to die, unless they were so horrible that society had to dispose of them.

Eventually it came to pass that no one ever had to die, unless they wanted to, or could be talked into it.

Eventually it came to pass that no one ever had to die, so long as just one person loved them.

Four Short Novels was first published in Fantasy & Science Fiction in November 2003, and was nominated for a Hugo award (source). It has been anthologized in Haldeman's A Separate War (and other stories).

The Hugo nomination explains both the "best of the year" anthology and my finding the text online (F&SF used to post award nominees freely online, for a time). The F&SF online reprint was archived: Four Short Novels.

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Could it be Memento Mori from A Separate War and Other Stories?

From what I can gather it is a short story (three pages) about life and death in the future and nanotechnology.

Its first publication was in Amazing Stories, #604, October 2004. And it was anthologized in Science Fiction : The Best of 2004.

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    Thanks for the link - it's not "Memento Mori", but it is on the list - Four Short Novels: A short story that is comprised of four stories that each begin with the words: 'Eventually it came to pass that no none had to die…' Thank you! – Standback Apr 17 '12 at 9:27

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