cryonics n.

the practice or technique of deep-freezing the bodies of people who have died, usu. of an incurable disease, with the aim of reviving them once a cure has been found

SF Encyclopedia

  • 1966 Galaxy Magazine Aug. 85/2 (advt.)

    The time is NOW! Immortality is within your grasp. The Cryonics Society of New York Inc. is the leading non-profit organization in the field of cryogenic interment. This involves freezing people immediately after death, in the hope of restoring them to full life, health, and youth sometime in the future. We have a practical program of action, which enables the individual to commit himself to this idea in a meaningful fashion. For detailed information write—Cryonics Society of New York, Inc., 2083 Creston Avenue, Bx. New York 10453.

  • 1966 R. C. W. Ettinger in Worlds of Tomorrow Nov. 71/2 R. C. W. Ettinger

    One of the newest and most active nonprofit organizations is the Cryonics Society of New York (corresponding secretary Saul Kent, 2083 Creston Ave., Bronx, N.Y. 10453; send for brochure).

  • 1975 S. Robinson A Voice is Heard in Ramah.. Nov. 168/1 Spider Robinson

    ‘You can’t clone people, Eddie.’ ‘Not today, you can’t. Maybe you an' I won’t live to see it happen, either. But I can take ya inta Manhattan to a place where they'll freeze a slice o' yer skin, a lousy coupla million cells, an' keep 'em on ice 'til they can clone people. Tom Flannery’s there now, frozen like a popsicle, waitin' for 'em to invent a cure for leukemia; he tol' me about it. So how 'bout it, Rachel? You want cryonics? Or d'ya just wanna cry?’

  • 1988 K. Randle & R. Cornett Aldebaran Campaign 174 Kevin D. Randle Robert Cornett bibliography

    I was lying frozen in an experimental medical cryonics lab while they used me for a guinea pig. I was the perfect subject. After all, I was already dead.

  • 1989 C. MacLeod Vane Pursuit (1990) vii. 65

    Grandfather himself had led me to believe so, before he got involved with Star Wars-style cryonics. As it stands now, the will can’t be probated until he’s declared legally dead.

  • 1989 C. MacLeod Vane Pursuit (1990) xxii. 202

    There’s been a power outage at the cryonics laboratory. He and the other—er—occupants were accidentally defrosted and it—er—didn’t work.

  • 1992 Locus June 67/2

    He publicly backed cryonics and other methods of life prolongation.

  • 1994 Interzone July 44/3

    I met White a year ago when he and I appeared on a talk show promoting cryonics.

  • 2000 How to Live Forever Jan. in Ethics 408

    Most of the remainder consists in consideration of an immense variety of speculative fiction proposals for life extension—from imaginary medicine to cryonics to vampirism to a wide variety of proposals for transferring the consciousness of a human being to some other material or nonmaterial substratum.

  • 2001 B. Bova Precipice 110 Ben Bova

    It took several years for Selene’s governing council to realize that a new trend had started. Cryonics. People were coming to Selene to be declared legally dead, then frozen into suspended animation in the hope that they could one day be cured of the disease that killed them, thawed, and returned to life once more. Cryonics had been banned in most of the Earth’s nations.

Research requirements

antedating 1966

Earliest cite

Advertisement, Galaxy magazine

Research History
Jeff Prucher noted that the Nicholls Encyclopedia suggested that R.C.W Ettinger coined the term, and Mike Christie subsequently submitted a 1966 cite from an article by Ettinger in Worlds of Tomorrow. Douglas Winston submitted a 1988 cite from Kevin Randle and Robert Cornett's "The Aldebaran Campaign". Douglas Winston submitted a 2001 cite from Ben Bova's "The Precipice". Duglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Charlotte MacLeod's 1989 "Vane Pursuit". Imran Ghory submitted a 2000 cite from a review article in the journal "Ethics", James T. Harrington's "How to Live Forever: Science Fiction and Philosophy". Douglas Winston submitted a 1975 cite from Spider Robinson's "A Voice is Heard in Ramah...". Fred Galvin submited a 1966 cite from an advertisement for the Cryonics society in the August 1966 Galaxy.

The OED has a 1965 cite from "Christian Century", though this article mis-spells the society's name as "the Cryonic Society"; we would be interested in seeing other cites from 1965, or any antedating 1965.

Last modified 2021-01-05 18:08:12
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.