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64 votes
Accepted

Term for immortality that only prevents death from old age

Negligible senescence largely fits the bill. Negligible senescence is a term coined by biogerontologist Caleb Finch to denote organisms that do not exhibit evidence of senescence (biological aging),...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
  • 231k
50 votes
Accepted

Science fiction story where a human is searching for immortality and meets an alien that has been searching for thousands of years

This is Cautionary Tales by Larry Niven. It ends: In the morning he arranged passage home to Sol system. Ten thousand years wasn't enough...no lifetime was enough, unless you lived in such a way as ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
48 votes
Accepted

Is Elven immortality in Middle-earth tied to the Elven Rings of Power?

No, it wasn't like that at all. This was a special choice Elrond and his children had to make, dating all the way back to the end of the First Age, before the Rings were made. The Rings didn't even ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 16k
41 votes
Accepted

Man invents immortality, loses wife, spends life of the universe looking for her

This is "The Days of Solomon Gursky" by Ian MacDonald. The story opens with Sol and his wife touring on bicycles and then moves through a series of vignettes as they use nanotech to evade ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
36 votes

Term for immortality that only prevents death from old age

"ageless" would work as it means: something (or someone) that does not look or appear to grow older Elrond's face is described as ageless (lotr, many meetings)
Pliny's user avatar
  • 1,386
36 votes

What is the origin of the "being immortal sucks" trope?

(OK, let's not work ourselves into a place where everything is like everything else.) Although TVTropes provides some examples of sucky immortality from ancient mythology, these are really just ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 16k
30 votes

Identify a science-fiction novel… key points: space travel, immortality drug, main characters stranded on distant planet, they eventually escape

I'm pretty sure this is World Without Stars (1966) by Poul Anderson. It's set in a future where an "antithanatic" drug has made people effectively immortal, though people can still be killed ...
DavidW's user avatar
  • 134k
30 votes

Book or a story about a group of people who had become immortal, and traced it back to a wagon train they had all been on

Could this be the short novel, Tuck Everlasting (1975), by Natalie Babbitt? There are two film versions of the novel, from 1981 and 2002. The plot involves a family of settlers who stumble upon the ...
Stanley Webb's user avatar
  • 7,568
29 votes

What is the origin of the "being immortal sucks" trope?

Hercules, a.k.a. Heracles, hit his master Chiron the centaur with a poisoned arrow as friendly fire during a battle. Chiron was immortal in the sense that he would never age and would live forever, ...
Marvel Boy's user avatar
  • 6,682
27 votes

SciFi short story about eating only one special food to be immortal

Sounds like The Taste of the Dish and the Savor of the Day by John Brunner. "I found that something brown and nondescript had been dumped on my plate..." "I had only taken a small ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
26 votes
Accepted

Story ID: enslaved geriatric protagonist hides in abandoned, but still functional, alien rejuvenation cabinet

I think this is Niven's A World Out of Time The group pauses near some ruins, and the protagonist tries to hide from the slavers inside a cabinet/closet he finds in the ruins. In the story, Corbell ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 52.1k
25 votes

Term for immortality that only prevents death from old age

Undying is a term that refers specifically to a state of never being in a process of dying (such as Tolkien's Undying Lands), and applies mainly to life, rather than ideas, art, or appearance. It does ...
Misha R's user avatar
  • 13.3k
21 votes
Accepted

YA novel involving immortality via drowning

The Live-Forever Machine This is an early work by Kenneth Oppel, the author of such well-known works as Airborn. It’s got "machine" in the title, of course. According to the Goodreads ...
Adamant's user avatar
  • 117k
21 votes
Accepted

In which post apocalyptic SF novel is the South Pole (Antarctica) thawed? Humans live there

I believe this is "A World Out of Time" by Larry Niven. From the Wikipedia description: The Earth's climate has changed, despite its new location in orbit around Jupiter. Among the most ...
starpilotsix's user avatar
  • 31.5k
20 votes
Accepted

Story about a mother and her son on a generation ship becoming immortal

This is The Waves by Ken Liu, collected in The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories. The story was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novelette in 2013 but did not win. It is told in a slightly ...
user23087's user avatar
  • 5,061
19 votes
Accepted

Story ID: Immortals Prone to Cancer

This is almost certainly Alfred Bester's The Computer Connection (aka Extro) which has many points of similarity with your list: group of immortals, Native American bride, power struggle, etc). ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
18 votes

Term for immortality that only prevents death from old age

Turning to roleplaying games, GURPS uses "Unkillable" for "immune to death by violence" and "Unaging" for "never growing older once mature".
David Johnston's user avatar
17 votes

Looking for a novel about an immortal man probably written in the 1960s; follows his life through being an Inca king and a viking

I believe this is Ben Bova's series, Orion, about an immortal cave man, following his defense of Humanity through the ages. There are six books in the series. John O'Ryan is not a god...not ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 23.3k
16 votes

Term for immortality that only prevents death from old age

Eternal youth. From Wikipedia: Eternal youth is the concept of human physical immortality free of ageing. The youth referred to is usually meant to be in contrast to the depredations of aging, ...
ashes2ashes's user avatar
15 votes

What is the origin of the "being immortal sucks" trope?

@duskwuff gives one small example of the ancient Greeks discovering problems with immortality. However this is a relatively minor point in one fable. More significantly, the ancient Greeks invented ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 4,824
14 votes

What is the origin of the "being immortal sucks" trope?

It seems to me that other answers describe intentional eternal suffering inflicted by gods instead of the immortality being itself the cause of boredom or unhappiness as asked in the original question....
Peter Pavlík's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Looking for a novel or short story about an immortal shapeshifter cop/detective

The story is Hardshell by Dean R. Koontz, previously identified as the answer to Short story: Cop chasing serial killer, both are shape shifting aliens. I read it in Koontz's anthology Strange ...
John Rennie's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Sci-fi novel about search for immortality using nanobots while also causing a pandemic

"Prophet Without Honour" by Ragnar Tørnquist. (2001) I feel so ashamed now. The book is an addition to an MMORPG "Anarchy Online" by Funcom. I played the game for ten years, but ...
byteflush's user avatar
  • 465
14 votes

Online short story or novella about an astronaut returning to earth and finding only immortal children

This sounds like a portion of Larry Niven's A World Out of Time possibly the section called "Children of the State." This novel features Corbell returning to Earth after 3 million years to ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 52.1k
13 votes
Accepted

Short Story About an Immortal Looking for a Wife

"To Be Continued", a short story by Robert Silverberg, first published in Astounding Science Fiction, May 1956, available at the Internet Archive. Maybe one of these covers will ring a bell. ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 167k
12 votes
Accepted

Short (?) story about immortality and end of mankind

Stars, Won't You Hide Me? by Ben Bova Mankind invents immortality but the raw ingredients come from the Flower People. For each human made immortal a flower person must die, The Others decreed that ...
Winchell Chung's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Doctor Who radio programme. Heard 1998. Scientist has transferred consciousness of his entire race into immortal robot bodies

This is a Blake's 7 audio drama called The Syndeton Experiment, broadcast in April 1999. From the linked wiki page: When they finally locate Dr. Rossum he's an elderly man with a weak heart who has ...
Astrid_Redfern's user avatar
10 votes

Looking for a novel about an immortal man probably written in the 1960s; follows his life through being an Inca king and a viking

It is possible that you are looking for In the Face of My Enemy by Joseph Delaney, published in 1985. Eighteen thousand years ago a priest ascended a high place, there to hold converse with his gods. ...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
  • 231k

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