I just completed "Cryoburn", Lois McMaster Bujold's latest novel in the Vokosigan Saga series. The subject is cryonics.
Our hero Miles is dispatched to the planet Kibou-daini to investigate the cryonics industry there. A Kibou company is planning to expand its business to Komarr, and Miles's Komar-born empress is supicious of financial chicanery. Miles himself has undergone freezing (military medical emergency) and more-or-less-successful revival, but the notion of geriatric cryonics is a topic not previously explored in Bujold's universe. It is explored reasonably well here.
Although some of the cryonics companies in this book are corrupt, Bujold's take on cryonics is mostly positive. She is very much in sympathy with the human desire for immortality or at least serious life extension. But she points out and explores some practical problems. Revival is not a problem in this book. That one is pretty much solved. But cryonics is not a cure for old age, it is at best a way of allowing more time for a cure to be found. Naq pbairavragyl, gur Qheban tebhc frrzf gb unir pbzr hc jvgu n erwhirangvba gerngzrag (jryy, abg rknpgyl erwhirangvba - zber yvxr er-zvqqyr-ntr-vsvpngvba). Ohg gur gerngzrag vf abg lrg grfgrq, naq ZIX Ragrecevfrf vf pbafvqrevat gur chepunfr bs n jnerubhfr shyy bs sebmra cnhcref nf n cbgragvny fbhepr bs grfg fhowrpgf.
Another problem explored is political. On Kibou, people are generally frozen before death, so as to maximize the chances of a successful revival. So, since they are not really dead, they still can own property (in trust) and they still have the right to vote (by proxy). The cryonics companies hold those proxies and control those trusts and hence have political and economic control of the planet. And of course, they don't particularly want to revive their clients and give up that control.
And then there are technological problems. Vg gheaf bhg gung bar oenaq bs pelbavp syhvq (oybbq-fhofgvghgr/nagvserrmr) juvpu jnf jvqryl hfrq n srj qrpnqrf ntb unf fbzr fgnovyvgl ceboyrzf. Juvpu zrnaf gung n pbhcyr zvyyvba bs gur cynarg'f uhaqerqf bs zvyyvbaf bs sebmra pbecfrf ner arire tbvat gb jnxr hc. Ubj qbrf gur pbzcnal vaibyirq qrny jvgu gur ceboyrz? Uvag: ubj qvq Nzrevpna onaxf qrny jvgu gur zvyyvbaf bs zbegtntrf gurl uryq gung jbhyq arire or cnlrq bss?
All in all, it is a reasonably fun read, but not one of Bujold's best. I review it here only because of the local interest in cryonics. I don't read a lot of SciFi other than Bujold's so I can't compare to how the subject has been treated elsewhere (well, I guess I could compare to Niven, but that was a whole different generation of SciFi.)
There is another review and some more comments in another posting