Qty:1
  • List Price: $7.99
  • Save: $1.74 (22%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The First Immortal: A Nov... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The First Immortal: A Novel Of The Future Mass Market Paperback – October 31, 1998

146 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$1.08
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$6.25
$4.11 $0.01
$6.25 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In 1988, Benjamin Franklin Smith suffers a massive coronary and is placed into cryonic suspension, igniting a storm of controversy among his suspicious relatives. In 2072, on his 147th birthday, he is reanimated by his great-grandson, rejoining a world in which such procedures--along with eugenic selection, virtual reality, and nanotechnology--have become commonplace. Ben's friends, children, grandchildren ,and mother are also given second chances in this brave new world; technology has even made it possible for Ben to have his dead wife cloned as an infant, raised by their son (also frozen and revived) to an adulthood in which she marries him again.

If this sounds a bit bewildering and overwhelming, it is, but it's also fascinating and often has the ring of genuine prediction. As in Halperin's first novel, The Truth Machine, the technology is always front and center, but this is ultimately a story of people and the political and sociological implications of near immortality. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-A family saga spanning 200 years. The catch is that most of the relatives remain on the scene throughout this whole time period, or show up again by the end. This remarkable feat is accomplished through cryogenics, the science of freezing a person in liquid nitrogen shortly before death, with the hope of resurrection at some later date. Ben Smith, born in 1925, marries his high school sweetheart, fathers four children, and becomes an advocate of cryogenics. After his "death," his children squabble among themselves and institute a suit against the estate in an attempt to unfreeze both their father's body and his assets. Each new period is introduced by what reads like a CNN clip of current news through the year 2125. The scientific ideas and possibilities presented capture the imagination, and YAs are sure to ponder and question the images with which they are left. What happens to the soul? Would anyone want to clone dead parents and raise them as their children? How is immortality to be lived? An afterword gives information about cryogenics. A challenging and fascinating glimpse of one possible future.
Carol DeAngelo, American Chemical Society Library, Washington, DC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The Master Magician
Browse more popular selections in featured Fantasy books.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reissue edition (October 31, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345421825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345421821
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #872,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Years ago I was a keyholder in the MIT Science Fiction Society, and read tons of SF. Then, I heard Eric Drexler give a talk about nanotechnology, read Engines of Creation, and started studying the field. I was ruined. Very little SF stands up to even a minimal understanding of future technology. That, plus work, cut my SF reading to just a couple books a year. I now rely very strongly on recommendations so I don't waste my few "slots."
One of the few exceptional books that does have some grasp on the technological future is Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age, a great SF novel that also gets the future of technology accurate enough that one can criticize it. There is now another equally nano-savvy novel, The First Immortal, by James Halperin. I understand he set out to write this book to force himself to research cryonics, and decide whether or not it is worth signing up. Cryonics makes sense only if we have technology in the future we do not have today. That look forced Halperin to come to grips with nanotechnology, and in The First Immortal we have a technologically literate view of future society.
If you want to understand the future, this book is a great glimpse, showing much of what nanotechnology will bring. It is also a great yarn.
The main weakness of The First Immortal is that it relies heavily on getting characters to "lecture" each other, and thus the reader. This sets out a lot of material that is important to understand, but the lecturing gets obvious after a while. Also the book starts out slow, but it's worth going through the beginning to get to the middle and end.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By T. Clough on January 10, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
James Halperin's "The First Immortal" is not only an engrossing work of fiction, but also a highly understandable introduction to the very difficult scientific, political and social subjects he addresses. Subjects we will all be forced to face directly in the near future. Please do not dismiss this book as "just" a work of imagination. I encourage every reader to look futher into cryonics and especially into nanotechnology. Mr. Halperin's greatest contribution is to make us think about our own future. Nanotech has the potential to change every aspect of our lives. I hope we will be prepared for those changes. I applaude Mr. Halperin for his research and for his vision. "The First Immortal" is a must read!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Martinez on March 6, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
James Halperin has created an easy-to-read book on the still mysterious world of cryonics. In doing so I think, I hope, that maybe some people can nurture more of an optimistic view of the future. Granted it's fiction, but his ability to develop characters that one can truly liken to people in our own lives and also speak of the wonders of "immortality" has really hit something. Here's the thing: it gives hope in technology, albeit a world we won't see for a good deal of time. I'm only 25 years old, but already I fear that this life is not enough for me to accomplish everything I'd like to, big and small. Mr. Halperin shows us how to re-look our current status, and forces us to remind ourselves that the time we have with those we love is precious, not to be abused. Suspend belief, lighten up, and don't be a critic. Read the book. If you're on this page reading this, you're probably the type to enjoy it. And if I'm wrong, shoot me an email. But I honestly won't be expecting one.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Russell Whitaker on June 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
While nominally a work of speculative fiction, I consider it similar in role to Chris Peterson and Gayle Pergamit's "Unbounding the Future", which I've heard described as "the nanotechnology book for your mom". To me, steeped in cryonics lore (since childhood) and practice (since 1990), there were no radical new surprises... but then, I'm a bit unusual in this respect: too close to the problem domain ("how to explain cryonics?") to have the clearest views on such matters.
I do recommend this book as an excellent introduction, in novel form, to the subject material. I would agree with a number of other reviewers that the book is obviously preachy in places, but not so much so as to distract from its entertainment value. Anyone who's read and enjoyed Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" would not find Halperin's most recent work too polemic.
As a libertarian, I do take issue with the assumption of "good government embodied by uncorruptable AIs" (my words, abstracted from his plot devices). This objection applies to tools and institutions such as the WFDA, the Truth Machine, and David Brin style ubiquitous surveillance technologies. I would not dispute that some of these things may come to pass, but I do not welcome them as solutions.
I'm not sure if Halperin, after a few years more literary development, might alter his views to incorporate some of the ideas put forward by libertarian science fiction writers L. Neil Smith and Marc Stiegler, whose worlds are crafted in fascinating detail without falling back on the deus ex machina of government authority.
Still, I very highly recommend this work to anyone. I've already passed my copy along to a friend, with praise.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The First Immortal: A Novel Of The Future
This item: The First Immortal: A Novel Of The Future
Price: $6.25
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: boston harbor accident