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Immortality, Inc.

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,153 ratings  ·  55 reviews
First published in 1959 as a startling, revolutionary novel of the future, then pushed to new cinematic limits as the feature film adaptation FREEJACK in 1992, Robert Sheckley's unsettling vision of Tomorrow now arrives in ebook format for the 21st century.

Thomas Blaine awoke in a white bed in a white room, and heard someone say, "He's alive now." Then they asked him his n
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Mass Market Paperback, 250 pages
Published October 1991 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 1959)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,007)
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Stephen
Please…do NOT confuse this novel with the 1992 celluloid dump known as Freejack. Remember, the one featuring:

Emilio “I should’ve hung it up after The OutsidersEstevez,

Mick “Acting be damned, I’m a rock god and can star in any movie I please, so suck it” Jagger, and

Sir Anthony “Who do I have to blow to get out of doing this movie…really…fine I’ll do the movie” Hopkins.

That movie was an infected wart and had nothing in common with this book.

Nothing. Ignore its existence.

On the other hand, f
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terpkristin
This is a story about a man (Thomas Blaine) who has been plucked from death in 1958 and brought into another body in 2110. It's a story about a future where scientists have figured out how to separate the being that is the mind/soul from the flesh of a person, thereby making immortality a real possibility. It's a story that if you like Futurama, you'll probably recognize parts of (notably, the suicide booths and the "underground" where the zombies are forced to reside).

On the surface, the story
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Nate D
Another of the $2 vintage sci-fis blind-bought from a street vendor last week.

This one deals with a future in which life beyond death is scientific fact, if a somewhat ambiguous one. Lots of room for discussion of mind/body problems and weird test-case variations, but a lot of this is brushed aside with cursory treatment in favor of action. This, along with the sorta iffy pacing at least at first, really shows that this was written as a serial, which never really works best for novels. And Our p
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Lex Shooric
Great book and amazing plot. Glad to see tribute to Sheckley in Futurama: Suicide booths, and Mars taken over by Chinese colonists is from this book :)
Sarah Sammis
Immortality Inc. is the story of a man suddenly in a future New York (2110). He had felt himself die in a head-on car crash back in 1958 and now he's in a new body with nary a scar on himself. His new body though will be harvested again for an aging wealthy businessman. Oh yeah, and there's a zombie after him.

The novel is actually very funny and the future New York and future earth seems plausible. At just under 200 pages, it's a quick read.

Immortality Inc. unfortunately is forever tied to the v
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Cărăşălu
A great and short novel, where the protagonists is snatched by a corporation from 1958 and awakens in a new body in the 2110s, a world where life after death is scientifically proven and, ironically but unsurprinsingly, commercialized. Oh, and ghosts and zombies are real. Not only that, but normal, everyday occurences. Actually, two of our hero's best friends are a ghost and a zombie. The book is both fun and smart, as it explores the implications of scientific afterlife on society and individua ...more
Ty Wilson
Where am I? Who am I? What am I?

Thomas Blaine died in a car accident in 1958. He is brought back to life in a new body in 2110. The book is Blaine's adventures in the future, and as he explores the world he finds himself in, he ponders often on those three questions. Where, who and what am I? This is a good example of old school science fiction with quasi-scientific sounding explanations for things, but it's really an excuse to examine what it is to be human. Blaine's encounters are numerous: w
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Claudiu
Jul 25, 2010 Claudiu rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of 50s-60s sci-fi ideas
I had picked up this book a while ago, at a random book stall in the center of the city. It was almost raining, I was curious and got it on the impulse of the moment, without really checking it out first. Sci-Fi, the world of the future (as seen by a 50s writer...and character), transfer of the soul and so on...what's there to not like then?

I have enjoyed this book quite immensely. It has a great character to start off with, some intrigues here and there, and the whole world of 2110 to deal wit
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Carmen Serra
I like to read sci fi written in the 50s because all the forward thinking in the world cannot wrap their mind around women in the workplace lol. In this future, women did work but his love interest longed to be a housewife of the 50 s. lol
Dave
I thoroughly enjoyed both Sheckley's writing and Bronson Pinchot's narration of this darkly humorous dystopian mash-up. The story begins with the accidental death of the protagonist in a traffic accident in 1958, with the bulk of the action taking place after Blaine's mind is placed in a new body in 2110. A wild ride ensues -- trust no one.

Combines several popular tropes: transmigration of minds / reincarnation, corporate manipulation of the state, zombies, hauntings, and humans hunting humans.
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Kremena Yordanova
Жестока! Горещо препоръчвам :)
Brian
Robert Sheckley's 1959 novel is almost as entertaining for its past-riddled future as it is for the ideas it was actually written to encase. There is some interesting speculation about relationship between mind, body, and soul, and a several passages about how proof of an afterlife might change society.

Unfortunately, I was unable to entirely focus on that, and was happily and amusedly distracted by how many of Sheckley's then-present elements made it into his future. Sure, I understand that "fu
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John
A vintage 1950s science-fiction romp.

In short and particular, the story is of a man who finds suddenly finds himself in the future. His mind is plucked out moments from death from a car crash in 1958, and placed in a new body in 2110. Thomas Blaine ventures out to learn and discover the society of 2110.

During his adventures, he is chased by poltergeists, zombies, and hunters. He is eventually joined by Marie Thorne, as a romantic interest that he later discovers had a hand in his death and rein
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dejah_thoris
Surprised at the publication date for this one because so many of the issues seem so current, especially with the big zombie trend. Sheckley does a great job creating a bizarre future where those who can afford it are guaranteed admittance to the hereafter unless you're willing to give up 20 years to become a yogi. Unfortunately, proof the hereafter actually exists creates other problems like expensive attempts at reincarnation (occasionally producing zombies), real ghosts due to souls being stu ...more
Matteo Pellegrini

ANONIMA ALDILÀ Uscito originariamente su "Galaxy", questo romanzo rimane uno dei testi chiave di Sheckley e di tutta la social sf americana. Ma il bello è che l'avventura e l'azione regnano incontrastate fin dalle prime pagine, dove si affaccia l'ipotesi che la morte non sia la fine di tutto, quanto un nuovo (e indesiderato?) inizio. Se vi chiamate Thomas Blaine e ripensate alle tragiche circostanze del vostro trapasso, vi accorgerete che persino in quell'occasione hanno cercato di fregarvi. Per

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Jack
Total garbage, the story if you can call it that, weaves all over the place like a drunk lout. A lot of promising ideas.. are ruined in this story. Blech
Pamela
This is the first Sheckley I've read, or at least the first I know I've read. The premise was extremely interesting and the characters well developed. The problem was the length. Throughout the book, I kept thinking that this would have been a killer short story, but as a book it was overlong, drawn-out, and the pacing never quite right.

I'm not giving up on Sheckley--anyone with premises as interesting as his must be read--but I am going to try the short stories as I feel those are probably a be
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Tamahome
1/5 hrs -- We're recording a talk on this Saturday. I'm a sucker for 'body swapping' (Old Man's War, Altered Carbon) (also space and chicks that kick ass). Life after death has been banished! I would call this Soft or Loose SF, but witty. For example there's time travel, with a pseudo-scientific explanation. This novel was the basis for that horrible 90's movie Freejack, with Mick Jagger and Emilio Estevez. They have suicide booths a la Futurama (a salute?).


Done.
There's some zombies, although th
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Lysergius
Thomas Blaine awoke in a white bed in a white room, and heard someone say, "He's alive now." Then they asked him his name, age and marital status. Yes, that seemed normal enough---but what was this talk about "death trauma"?

Thus was Thomas Blaine introduced to the year 2110, where science had discovered the technique of transferring a man's consciousness from one body to another. Where a man's mind could be snatched from the past, when his body was at the point of death, and brought forward into
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Vanessa
Sheckley has that old New-Yorky style to his voice, much like Frederick Pohl, which is why he gets 3 stars instead of four because it's not my favorite. The story itself is fun and goofy, the main character is reasonably likable, the future described a little nutty but fun to inhabit for a day or two.

Basically, this guy Blaine dies in a car accident in the 1950s and is resurrected in a new body by an evil corporation in 2110. In the future, most of the notable advances have been psychic/spiritua
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Leslie
Welcome to a world which has conquered death. A world where one can live again and again in a new body and ultimately gain entrance into the hereafter. If you have the money to pay for it.

Thomas Blaine was driving down the New Jersey Turnpike when his car suddenly swerves and crashes into oncoming traffic. When he wakes up he hears someone say, “He’s alive now”, followed by a discussion of his ‘death trauma’. Thomas soon discovers that he has been snatched from the moment of death, transported t
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Samantha Boyette
I actually liked this a lot better than I expected to. It was interesting to see what people expected the future to be like back in 1959. It was pretty funny to me that people were using automatic calculators spewing out papers and things like that. A lot of little things in this book reminded me of other movies and TV shows that have come since it and left me wondering if those were at all inspired by this or just coincidence.
Martyn
The third Sheckley book I've read recently and another great read. His way of taking ideas such as someone having their mind snatched from the moment of death and transported many years into the future, is a wonderful thing to behold. His deftness of wordplay, interesting dialogue, and flat out weird concepts make his stories stand out from the crowd. I'll be reading more of his work, of that I've no doubt.
Ursule
Tai buvo pirmoji man mokslinės fantastikos knyga. Sudaryta ji iš apsakymo apie kažkokioje planetoje gyvenančią gentį, kurios gyventojai privalo nusipelnyti gerais darbais mirties ir, be abejo, pomirtinio gyvenimo, dėl to kuo tragiškesnė ir dramatiškesnė mirtis, tuo jos vertė didesnė. Apsakymėlis - tai tarsi įvadas į visą romaną, tai supratau jau įpusėdama jį :)

Romanas apie žmogų, kuris iš praeities pernešamas kūnu - nešiku į ateitį, kur fizinis kūnas ir sąmonė gali laisvai būti atskirti vienas n
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Baldurian
Sheckley con Anonima aldilà riesce contemporaneamente a criticare il fanatismo religioso e quello scientifico, sicuramente non cosa da poco. E, nonostante il finale un po' calante, il suo romanzo resta un solido esempio della buona fantascienza di una volta, impreziosito da sottili venature horror.
Alex G
I am going to face it. I do not like books with the fact of ghost and zombies. But I liked this certain one because it gave a future that sounds very depressing to me and puts a man from a time period where he might live like me.

``Right place, wrong time``
Христо Блажев
Робърт Шекли възкръсва у нас с “Корпорация “Безсмъртие” и “Цивилизация на статуса”
http://www.knigolandia.info/2011/02/b...

Решението на “Колибри” да преиздадат класиците може само да бъде адмирирано предвид по-лесния достъп до тях. Затова с удоволствие започвам с представянето на тяхната поредица "Галактики” с Робърт Шекли и двата романа, сбрани в едно тяло - “Корпорация “Безсмъртие” и “Цивилизация на статуса”.

Бих казал, сполучлива комбинация – тематиката е различна, но стилът има определени схо
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Mercurial
Carino, leggero e pieno di idee. Futurama ha attinto a piene mani da questo libro, tra le cabine del suicidio e cose come le branchie degli allevatori di alghe :)
Chris Evans
I think the writers of Futurama were required to read this book before joining the staff. It is literally an unironic version of Futurama, and is hilarious.
Suzan
Fast base story line, easy to read, and Sheckley's imagined future where science 'cracked the code' of 'living' and relation to man's believes.
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One of science fiction's great humorists, Sheckley was a prolific short story writer beginning in 1952 with titles including "Specialist", "Pilgrimage to Earth", "Warm", "The Prize of Peril", and "Seventh Victim", collected in volumes from Untouched by Human Hands (1954) to Is That What People Do? (1984) and a five-volume set of Collected Stories (1991). His first novel, Immortality, Inc. (1958), ...more
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“You must realize, Mr. Blaine, that a man is not his body, for he receives his body accidentally. He is not his skills, for those are frequently born of necessity. He is not his talents, which are produced by heredity and by early environmental factors. He is not the sicknesses to which he may be predisposed, and he is not the environment that shapes him.” 3 likes
“Action isn’t my forte. I’m an expert on contemplation and mild regret.” 0 likes
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