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The Immortals

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  94 ratings  ·  15 reviews


For nomad Marshall Cartwright, the price is knowing that he will never grow old. That he will never contract a disease, an infection, or even a cold. That because he will never die, he must surrender the right to live.

For Dr. Russell Pearce, the price is eternal suspicion. He appreciates what synthesizing the elixir vitae from the Immo

Paperback, 173 pages
Published 1975 by Panther (first published 1962)
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The Immortals consists of several linked short stories that James Gunn published in various magazines in the 1950s. The basic premise is that a man named Cartwright has blood that allows him immortality, and a blood transfusion from him every 30 days could keep another person alive indefinitely as well. The stories focus on the rich men who want to find Cartwright, the doctor who wants to synthesize his blood to mass produce, the consequences of Cartwright reproducing and the effects on his ance ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
These loosely linked short stories appeared in magazines in the 1950's, formed the basis of a TV series in the 1970's, and have apparently undergone some rewriting by Gunn in the past twenty years or so. I read a 1962 Bantam paperback, so I assume that I got something pretty close to the original version of this material.

Marshal Cartwright sells a pint of blood for $25. When it is administered to a dying millionaire, the patient has a remarkable recovery. Cartwright's blood contains a hemoglobin
Steven Cady
Four short stories from late 55 to 60 from Fantastic, Venture, and Astounding. The best, The Immortals (Immmortal) is from STAR SCIENCE FICTON #4 1958. Intern Harry Elliott works for the Medical Center in Kansas City, hoping to become a doctor and have a crack at immortality, provided for the rich elite of society. On a house call to the wild and uncontrolled city outside of the center he encounters old man Pearce, teenage Marna, and boy Christopher. He is charged with bringing them to the Gover ...more
I thought the first two stories were interesting views on what would happen if a genetically immortal (via self-healing) person showed up on the scene. According to Gunn, he'd be hounded down by millionaires trying to steal his blood to en-youthen themselves. Also, according to Gunn, his best solution would be to impregnate as many women as he could to spread his genetic immortality as wide as possible to lessen the pressure on him (I guess immortality is a dominant gene?). I don't really suppor ...more
Book # 13 in the shelf experiment

A curious sci fi novel that I'd definitely recommend to those interested in "science gone wrong" stories. The story is broken up into 4 parts, each one taking place 50 years apart from each other. In the first segment, a doctor discovers that a recent blood donor has properties to his blood that make him essentially immortal and that barring accidents, he will live forever. As this is news to the donor as much as it is to the scientific community, the immortal go
My brother and I both share a love of post-apocalyptic literature...well, I wouldn't say "love," as much as sci-fi appreciation. The Immortals appears to be a pulp book, written and produced in mass in the mid-19th century. My copy cost 30 cents when it was first written. I thought the book was wonderful. The author was imaginative with his characters, plot and structure. He asks the question, what happens if medicine is only for sale, which is still part of the discussion today.

Gunn looks at m
Jacob Ingram
May 31, 2010 Jacob Ingram rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jacob by: the shelf
I randomly found this book on the shelf of my public library and thought it looked interesting enough to read. After the introduction by Greg Bear I realized that the author was a local. I always enjoy locals authors who write about the surrounding area, but never have I seen those done with a Science Fiction twist.

The book itself is comprised of multiple sequential short passages that were published separately in popular (at the time) magazines. To me I feel this is detrimental to the flow of t
Ann aka Iftcan
Novelization of the first episode of the old TV show, The Immortal starring Christopher George as the title character. Basically, by accident, it is discovered that his blood can--temporarily--cure and heal others. This is discovered when he donates blood and the man receiving it--an elderly, dieing multi-millionaire suddenly recovers.

This, of course, leads to the whole pursued innocent man with mysteriously lost brother trope that was so popular in the 1970's. He's fleeing those seeking to cap
This was a very dark and dystopian novel about the societal effects of limiting medicine only to those who can pay for it, and of arrogating the practice of medicine as though it were a religion (i.e. lay-persons are punished from giving medical assistance and discouraged from understanding its effects). Both of which I think are still cogent themes for today, 50+ years after the book was conceived.

There were several sequential sections of the story set generations apart from another, which didn
Rylee Long-nickell
Overall, I'd say this book was sometimes too "out there" for me to stick with it. The classic sort of fountain of youth story that we all dream of with every cliché about the consequences of endless life is basically portrayed. The whole short story concept made the book feel shorter than it was. I think that if it was drug out any longer, I would not have not been able to put myself through finishing it. . The Immortals’ message of greed and that everlasting thirst for eternal life does put th ...more
Matthew Arrington
Great old fashion story telling. Gunn puts together an interesting world through short stories which all focus around the same plot over time. Great quick read with multiple layers of lessons and messages to be gleaned.
Otis Campbell
The windows are
The perfect picture
Theyre always changin
Go on get lost
Jump in the waters
when they are raging

Jacob Compton
This was an "alright" story, perfectly far-fetched, yet extremely predictable. I did not think the Immortals were in the story enough, only at the beginning and end are they in it, when really they're what everything is about, James Gunn should have had more about their day to day lives. But it was an extremely entertaining book.
Interesting selection of short stories with the theme of a man with a genetic anomaly in his blood that allows him, and his descendants, to become effectively immortal to disease or decay. Clear, concise, and well written.
Just started this, finished the first short story, "New Blood." I like it so far, I like the exploration of the societal impact of immortality. Nothing necessarily new so far in the author's view point, but well executed.
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American science fiction author, editor, scholar, and anthologist. His work from the 1960s and 70s is considered his most significant fiction, and his Road to Science Fiction collections are considered his most important scholarly books. He won a Hugo Award for a non-fiction book in 1983 for Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction. He was named the 2007 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master ...more
More about James Edwin Gunn...

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