Books Like Diaspora
Immortality is a concept that has fascinated mankind for decades and it is a topic that many books, such as Diaspora by Greg Egan have explored. There has also been many debates and speculation of how immortality can be obtained and what form it would take. From a blessing to a curse, from the fountain of youth to nanomachines, it is a topic that transcends genres. For more fascinating tales about immortality and how it can influence mankind, check out the following novels like Diaspora. While their themes and genres may vary wildly, they all incorporate immortality as a central plot device.
by Larry Niven
Immortality doesn't mean having an indestructible biological body, as Jaybee Corbell from A World Out of Time discovers. In this novel by Larry Novel, Jaybee wakes up from 200 years of cryosleep to find that his body has been downloaded to another body. Unwilling to remain in servitude to a harsh future state, Jaybee makes his escape via a spaceship in an attempt to return to Earth. Due to time dilation, Jaybee arrives at Earth 3 million years later and discovers that it bears no resemblance to the place he once knew.
by Neal Shusterman
Scythe by Neal Shusterman is set in a future world where disease, war, and crime have been eliminated. In fact, the only way for people to die is by getting randomly killed by professional killers who are known as scythes. This first book in the series introduces Citra and Rowan, two teens who are chosen to be scythes' apprentices. Neither of them is especially keen on becoming scythes, but are forced to learn the tricks of the trade as well as why the killing is vital. The only drawback is that only one of them can become a scythe's apprentice and the first task of the winner will be to kill the loser.
by Bruce Sterling
Holy Fire by Bruce Sterling takes place in the late twenty-first century where technology has advanced to the point that people can live far longer than ever before. It's a futuristic paradise where existence is easy albeit boring. It is this longing for something different that compels the protagonist, 94-year old Mia Ziemann, to undergo a new treatment that restores her body and mind to that of a 24-year old. Mia still retains all her memories, though, which makes for a unique perspective as she embraces youth again.
by Matt Haig
Tom Hazard, the protagonist in How To Stop Time by Matt Haig, is an immortal. On the outside, he looks like any other 41-year old but has actually been alive for centuries due to a rare condition. However, despite having seen and experienced so much of history, Tom simply wants to live an ordinary life. This is not easy when you have to constantly change your identity. His latest cover is that of a history teacher, which allows him to tell kids about events he witnessed first-hand without them ever knowing the truth. The one rule that has allowed him to keep his secret all these years is to never fall in love, but this becomes harder due to his desire for a real life.
by Octavia E. Butler
Wild Seed by Octavia Butler is the story of two immortal Africans. One is named Doro and can take over the bodies of other people while the other, Anyanwu, has healing powers and can turn herself into a human or animal. Although both of them are immortal their methods for attaining it couldn't be any more different. After spending a thousand years trying to breed the people of a small African village into perfection Doro is forced to start anew when New World slavers destroy the village. Doro convinces Anyanwu to travel to America with him, but things do not go as planned for either of them.
by Joe Haldeman
Immortality is possible in Buying Time by Joe Haldeman but comes at a great cost. Both youth and health can be restored every ten years, but the enormous fee involved ensures that not everyone can escape their aging, ailing bodies. The protagonist, Dallas Barr, is one of the oldest men on Earth but finds himself scrambling desperately to get enough money for his next procedure. In the process, Dallas encounters a woman from a previous life, but the two soon discover that some dark secrets about the makers of the rejuvenation process.
by Poul Anderson
The Boat of a Million Years by Poul Anderson is the story of eleven immortals who live on, unaging and undying. It is a tale that spans more than 2000 years and sees these immortals trying to keep their gift a secret while searching for others like themselves. Although biologically immortal which makes them immune to the ravages of time, they can still be killed, so not all of them survive to our present time and beyond. The story continues to 1000 years in the future where things are radically different and the surviving immortals make a bold decision about their future.
by Christine Amsden
The Immortality Virus by Christine Amsden portrays eternal life not as a blessing, but as a curse that arrives in the mid 21st century. For an elite few this change means a long life and health, but for everyone else, it only results in starvation, desperation, and violence. Grace Harper is a blacklisted private investigator who sets her sights on finding the man who is responsible for the change. The goal is to solicit his help to undo the change, but he might not be alive anymore and some would gladly kill Grace if they knew what she is up to.