Immortality, Inc. by Robert Sheckley is another classic sci-fi that’s been on my list for a while and have only just got around to reading. I’m on a bit of a nostalgic kick at the moment, and this one fits right in. The future of 2110 as imagined in the 50s.
Mind swapping, indeed, mind-stealing is now commonplace. The afterlife is now a certainty… if you can afford it, of course. Our hapless hero Thomas Blaine awakens in the year 2110 in a new body after a fatal car crash killed him back in the 1950s. His mind, ripped through time just to prove it could be done.
There are certain allowances that must be given for the time it was written. The (possibly) only black man in 2110 isn’t named, only referred to as “negro”, plus other ways of thinking most of us have now evolved past. But don’t let that put you off, the story is solid as they come. I’ve read a bunch of reviews of people who hate the ending… but to them, I say they were simply not paying attention.
My only real gripe is that the story is rather short. There’s quite a lot hinted at going on which we only really graze across. A few plot points I’d have enjoyed digging a little deeper into.
Narrated by Bronson Pinchot who did a decent job, though his female voices left a little to be desired. Some of the more memorable characters were the more… insane one. Crackpot sounding doctors, furiously talking eccentrics. Pinchot really seemed to get full-on into those types of characters.
One last thing – the line to the suicide booth floored me. As a longtime fan of Futurama, I now know where they got the idea from!