"I plan to live forever, of course, but barring that I'd settle for a couple thousand years. Even five hundred would be pretty nice."In many science-fiction works, both Cyber Punk and Space Opera, it's not uncommon for humans, or at least the upper classes, to live for centuries. Most often the reason for this is some form of technology ranging from alien substances to gene therapy to nanomachines. A subtrope of Immortality Inducer, usually results in Long-Lived or The Ageless. Brain Uploading counts when the brain is downloaded into a clone or other biological body, but not if into a machine. Compare with Fountain of Youth, which regresses one's biological age to a younger stage rather than extend one's maximum lifespan (which does not necessarily go hand in hand with this trope).
— CEO Nwabudike Morgan, MorganLink 3DVision Live Interview, "Longevity Vaccine", Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri
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- The Lazarus Pits used by Ra's Al-Ghul rejuvenate him every century or so. Various adaptations depict the process as having diminishing returns, putting more pressure on him to find a "worthy heir" before it stops working and / or he goes totally feral.
- In one The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius story, Barry remarks off-hand that he's been secretly sneaking supplements into his parents' food that will ensure they at least make it to 100.
- Judge Dredd: Aging has been slowed down quite a bit after most diseases have been eradicated and anti-aging drugs and skin grafting have become more advanced. Judge Dredd for instance is chronologically in his 70s, but still looks like a 40-something.
- In In Time, the aging gene has been "shut down", freezing aging at 25. But to prevent overpopulation and present an anvilicious message about income disparity, people are programmed to die at a certain time and use their remaining time as currency.
- In Tomorrowland Governor Nix looks exactly the same in 2015 as he did in 1964. Apparently thanks to some kind of shake he drinks every morning.
- In Jupiter Ascending "Recode" rejuvenates people when they bathe in it. Kalique Abrasax is 14,004 years old and her mother was starting her 91st millenium when she was murdered. And it's made from human cells, harvested a planet at a time.
- Rejuv in the Alliance/Union universe is made from a lifeform native to Cyteen and delays aging up to a century. Side effects include sterility and loss of hair color.
- The spice melange in Dune can extend lifespans up to 300 years.
- The prequels reveal that the Old Empire had a treatment that could extend lifespans even longer, and without causing a drug dependency. When one of the characters receives it (allowing him to stick around for the next few books), it's mentioned to be extremely painful.
- The Bene Gesserit can also alter their own body chemistry to stop aging altogether if they choose to. They deliberately don't choose this because people would notice the resulting ageless women and conflict would result. That Alia has broken the taboo against it in Children of Dune is one of many things her mother Jessica takes issue with.
- The Red Mars Trilogy features a specialized gene therapy referred to as a "gerontological treatment". The books span over two hundred years and most the major characters, many of whom were already in their 40s and 50s at the start of the series, are alive and active that entire time due to repeated use of the treatment. However, the treatment cannot overcome The Fog of Ages. In the final book, a separate treatment is created for this, giving them nigh-eidetic memory. The increasing age of the characters leads to many dying of old age in their 200s despite the gerontological treatments
- In Robert A. Heinlein's future history series, particularly Methuselah's Children and Time Enough for Love, humanity develops a form of rejuvenation through blood replacement after a group of naturally long-lived people reveal themselves and then hijack a starship when the rest of the species demand they reveal their "secret". Later more advanced methods including complete body replacement are developed.
- In the Takeshi Kovacs series, people are implanted with "cortical stacks" at birth that record one's brain state so that when they die, they can be "resleeved" in a new body.
- In Norman Spinrad's Bug Jack Barron, an investigative reporter and consumer advocate begins investigating an organization that provides rejuvenation treatments to the rich and powerful, and finds far more than he bargained for.
- Roger Zelazny:
- In Lord of Light, the so-called "Gods" (actually mutant humans) have mind-transfer technology that they use to reward or punish people. Be good, and you may end up with a bright, shiny new young body. Be bad, and you may end up with the old, worn-out body left by someone who was good.
- In Creatures of Light and Darkness, the technologically advanced world of Blis has more-or-less eliminated death by old age. Death is so rare that the few who volunteer for suicide can leave their heirs a legacy by selling tickets to watch the death.
- In John Scalzi's Old Man's War, rejuvenation treatment via consciousness transfer to a genetically enhanced body is only available to military personnel—and the minimum age for joining the military is 75.
- In Wil McCarthy's The Queendom of Sol series, you can "print" a new body for yourself, and then have your mind transferred into it. In the golden years of the queendom, everyone travels everywhere by fax, and so has their body reset to a healthy 25 on pretty much a daily basis.
- Larry Niven's stories:
- In the Known Space setting, Boosterspice (a drug derived from genetically engineered ragweed) can tremendously extend the human lifespan.
- Ringworld. There is an equivalent to boosterspice available on the title space construct.
- A World Out of Time has an immortality treatment for adults that involves removing impurities from the body.
- The prolong treatments in the Honor Harrington books. Its most blatant example is Honor's mother, Allison, who at 90 is still very attractive and capable of bearing children. And since Honor received a more advanced version of the treatment, she's likely to live even longer. Also, people not only look very young for decades, they also have the hormonal levels corresponding with the apparent age for decades. In the latter books, prolong becomes a key indicator of how socially and economically evolved a planet is: if you look old, it likely means you're poor. When the Star Empire of Manticore is created, receiving prolong is made a fundamental, inalienable right of every citizen.
- Citizens of The Culture are genetically engineered to live for centuries, longer if they feel like it.
- In John Norman's Gor novels, the Caste of Physicians developed a treatment called the Stabilization Serums, which allowed the recipient to live for hundreds of years note . The Priest-Kings, the Physical Gods of the setting, have a similar treatment, the oldest being about 5,000,000 years old.
- In Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix, the government is working on a top-secret experiment in 2000 to reverse the aging process. And it works — the main characters, who were extremely elderly and would have died before long, are given the chance to grow young again. Unfortunately, they haven't figured out a working way to stop the un-aging.
- In Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End: the Venn-Kurasawa treatments. They only work for one in a thousand, but for those they do work for, they can restore the appearance of youth, and add many years of actual lifespan. Robert Gu is one of the lucky few who respond to the treatments.
- Poulsen treatments in the Hyperion series. It will extend one's life to a few centuries - one person lived close to a thousand, although it also included a lot of time as a Human Popsicle. However, after a few times, the skin starts literally glowing blue, and it is of limited use on old people. Androids are built with the process being constant in their bodies, and can live for six or more centuries without visible signs of aging.
- The same name was later used in Robert Reed's novel, The Remarkables. It can greatly expand one's life (beyond the already genetically enhanced ~150 year lifespan), though the treatment leaves visible marks - one of the characters who has had extensive treatments has an almost young face, but wrinkled hands and oddly colored skin.
- In the Children of Steel series it's mentioned that humans can take life extension treatments that make the age of some of the executives hard to discern. There's no indication whether it's possible to use those on animorphs.
- In Mikhail Akhmanov and Christopher Nicholas Gilmore's Captain French, or the Quest for Paradise, the Cellular Regeneration treatment available on most worlds has, effectively, turned humanity into The Ageless. People choose when to "freeze" their age with most picking sometime in their 20s, although some wait until 30 in order to look "more mature". The only people who die of old age are either criminals on worlds where capital crime is punished by aging (reversing the treatment) and on recently-settled worlds where CR machines have not yet been set up. It's mentioned by the titular protagonist that, even before CR, various treatments (including cloned organs and blood vessel cleansing) have extended expected lifespans to centuries.
- Vorkosigan Saga:
- The Betans a rumored to have one, which people assume is the reason that Admiral Naismith commands a mercenary fleet while appearing to be in his early twenties. In truth, there is no such treatment, and Admiral Naismith really is in his early twenties.
- The Jacksonians have a highly unethical treatment in which the brain of a wealthy client is transferred into the body of a younger clone. Mark Vorkosigan has made it his life's work to eliminate that practice, and as of the chronologically latest book was about to begin testing of a treatment that could potentially revert someone from 'old' to 'middle aged'.
- In Stephen Baxter's Xeelee Sequence novels, humanity invents Anti-Senescence technology which repairs genetic damage due to age via nanobots. The treatment has a 99% success rate, though treatment failures typically end with a terminal illness. Lifespan with AS treatments theoretically has no upper limit, though in practice the treatments begin to break down at 400-500 years; in the novella Mayflower II, after 40,000 years of flight the captain of a Generation Ship is little more than a Brain in a Jar, with his desiccated body permanently wired into a life support chair.
- In This Immortal, there is the so-called S-S treatment that's never specified but is said to be able to prolong a human's lifespan to 150 years and above.
- The setting of The Princes of the Air has a longevity treatment which is only available to the rich and powerful. When we first meet the protagonist he's running a con where the bait is illicit access to the longevity treatment.
- In Neogicia, this is one of the applications of the Empire's Bio-Augmentation technology. The ruling family keeps it mostly for itself. A character suspects they do this because too many people with access to this treatment may cause the Immortal Procreation Clause to kick in and it may not make everyone happy.
- In David Drake's Ranks of Bronze the alien trade guild that purchases Crassus' legions as slave-warriors give them longevity treatments to keep them fighting for roughly two thousand years.
Live Action TV
- In The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "The Trade-Ins", an elderly couple go to a clinic that can give them new, younger bodies. But, they only have enough money for one of them.
- Stargate SG-1, several examples, all with severe side effects:
- The sarcophagus can extend the life of a human without a Goa'uld for 700 years or so, hosts for millennia. Unfortunately it makes the user megalomaniacal. Because reasons.
- A later episode eventually reveals that even a sarcophagus has its limits for a Goa'uld symbiote. Lord Yu is, apparently, one of the oldest symbiotes in existence. He spends most of his time in a sarcophagus, but still has fits of senility (such as ordering his fleet to a system half a galaxy away in order to fight a battle that was already fought years ago). His First Prime knows all this and covers it up, loyally following his master's orders even if they are the result of his senility.
- In the episode 2010 the Aschen give earth a life-extension drug that serves to explain why SG-1 hadn't aged at all in ten years. It also turned out to cause sterility, as part of an Aschen plot to depopulate earth so they could turn it into an agricultural colony. Necessitating Time Travel to prevent the earth-Aschen alliance.
- The sarcophagus can extend the life of a human without a Goa'uld for 700 years or so, hosts for millennia. Unfortunately it makes the user megalomaniacal. Because reasons.
- A less sci-fi example in Torchwood with Angelo Colasanto. After witnessing Jack's immortality in 1927, he starts researching ways of prolonging his life, which appear to be grounded in Real Life techniques (e.g. going vegetarian, slowing down one's metabolism), and manages to live until 2011.
- In Ars Magica, Hermetic Magi are able to create a longevity ritual that can drastically slow the aging process. The Mysteries sourcebook provides a significantly more powerful version in the form of an alchemical Elixir of Life.
- Anagathic drugs in Traveller, frequently banned or controlled. Require monthly doses or the character is forced to make an aging roll.
- A couple of nanosymbionts in GURPS Transhuman Space extend life expectancy by 10 years and expensive "rejuvenation" treatments can actually reverse the aging process.
- The space marines' biological enhancements in Warhammer 40,000 setting allow them to live a millennium or more. Unenhanced human nobles and dignitaries have "rejuvenat" or simply "juveant" treatments, enabling them to live several centuries longer than ordinary humans. Some sources imply that certain variants of these procedures use raw materials From Living Children.
- The CCG Illuminati has the "immortality serum" card that makes a personality indestructible and can also cause an opponent's personality to defect.
- Eclipse Phase mentions longevity treatments as part of the backstory. Though they're apparently obsolete now (outside the Junta) since longevity is included in most Basic Biomods and Brain Uploading is commonplace.
- Shadowrun features a number of age rejuvenation treatments. Leonization, the most expensive, restores physical age to approximately 21, a life span extension is a one-time procedure that adds 10 years to your life, while physical vigor simply counters the physical side effects of aging.
- Longevity treatments exist in the Mutant Chronicles setting, but between the astronomic expense, the invasive surgery and the extremely strict regimen of diet and exercise required for the treatment to be effective, very few people bother.
- In Hc Svnt Dracones the Mega Corps don't want immortal customers, even though they have the technology for it. Pulse and Progenitus do offer "graceful aging" treatments that keep a client healthy and active through their nineties, but include a "termination date" somewhere around age 100. Still, some very valuable employees manage to secure long-term contracts that include body replacement at the end of their natural lifespan.
- The Sims 2 features a carnivorous plant (the cowplant) that produces a substance that, when drunk, gives a Sim an extra day of life.
- The Sims 3 has a plant called life fruit, which expand at least one day of a sim's life. Said fruit is a critical ingredient in the Ambrosia recipe that resets a Sim to the start of their current life stage.
- In the Mass Effect series, humans commonly live to 150 or so due to gene therapies and drugs. This puts us in the mid-range for lifespans in that universe.
- Several forms appear in Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri:
- There is a secret project called 'The Longevity Vaccine' and another called 'Clinical Immortality'. The former is a simple injection, the latter involves removing the brain, spine, and eyes and placing them in a glass machine giving the user Clinical Immortality.
- It is mentioned that the player character goes through some sort of gene therapy on a regular basis to explain how he stays alive for the full five centuries of the game.
- One of the other characters is said to have kept a strict 'longevity regimen'.
- In Sword of the Stars II anagathics technologies extend the lifespans of your admirals.
- In the Fallout series, radiation under very specific conditions note can render a person effectively immortal, turning them into a 'ghoul'. Ghouls do not age and even heal from radiation, but lose most of their skin and hair as it flakes off in big chunks, suffer the long term effects of age leading to severe cataracts and arthritis, and becoming infertile. However, those exposed to too much radiation during ghoulification - but not enough to outright kill them - lose their mind and become 'feral', essentially mindless zombies. Ghouls who receive even more radiation can become Glowing Ones, ghouls that have a Sickly Green Glow and can erupt in a burst of radiation to harm and heal. While most Glowing One ghouls are feral, one Jason Bright is a Glowing One who hasn't become feral and leads a cult in a rocket facility in Henderson. In Fallout 4, Eddie Winters, a Pre-War crime lord, underwent an experimental radiation regime months before the Great War. He's still kicking 220 years later. Other people got ghoulified the hard way — gamma radiation from nuclear bombs.
- While the Super Mutants altered by the Forced Evolution Virus in Fallout are still around and at full fighting strength over a century later. Super Mutant bodies have increased healing, durability, and strength but are infertile due to said healing note and lack secondary sexual characteristics. Of course, becoming a Super Mutant isn't easy, painless, or safe. It involves being dipped in a massive vat of FEV or having direct injections to force the change and only humans from Vaults have the minimum damage to their DNA to allow themselves to keep their intelligence afterwards before long-term Stealth Boy usage rots their minds. The East Coast Mutants in the Capital and Boston Wastelands are the result of leftover FEV found in Vault 87 in the former and used by the Institute in the latter.
- Stellaris has a variety of technologies that add extra years to your Leaders' life expectancies, it's also possible to use gene tailoring to add the Enduring (+20 years) or Venerable (+80) traits to one or more of your species.
- There's also an event where you find a tree floating in space with sap that can extend your leaders' lifespans, or be distributed to the whole population for a boost in morale.
- A plot point in Schlock Mercenary is "Project Laz'r'us", which was intended to circumvent humanity's short lifespans in comparison to many other sophonts using hyper-advanced nanotechnology. The nannies are also capable of repairing a clinically dead host and even making internal backups of the brain. The species from whose computer equipment carbosilicate amorphs has evolved already made themselves immortal and ran into several layers of problems. Still, there's a few remaining individuals alive and sane after their twelve million Terran years, "give or take a little bit".
- In the future of S.S.D.D, the wealthy are able to afford implants that extend lifespans until an accident kills them. At least two of Maytec's board of directors are in their fifties and appear to be twenty.
- In Freefall, life extension drugs are apparently available over the counter. At one point, Florence (an uplifted red wolf) states that her projected lifespan of 160 years is slightly shorter than that of a human.
- In Escape from Terra, rejuvenation treatments are one of many examples of bio- and nanotechnology that are officially banned on Earth. Reggie King and Babbette the elder undergo the treatment on Mars, and the first man on Mars is a great-great-great-grandfather who looks no older than 30.
- In Quantum Vibe, rejuvenation treatments are even more readily available. One of the main characters is reportedly in his third century, but there's evidence that he's over 500 years old.
- The Dragon Doctors: The effects of a Fountain of Youth were reverse-engineered about a century earlier. The Fountain itself is a deadly lake that regresses everything to nothing within its radius, but learning its magic has allowed other characters to get regular rejuvenation treatments. In Mori's backstory it is shown that she helped discover it and was rather old before someone tried to kill her by dunking her head in the lake, she went from about 60 to 20, she also adopted the sole survivor of the previous team to the area who had been regressed to a baby.
- In Genocide Man the titular Genocide Men had a variety of procedures done that allowed them to continue operating well into their 90s or 100s, Jacob Doe is 98. Artificial glands to stabilize hormones, nanotube-laced skeletons to prevent broken bones, and telomerase to prevent cancer. The former two sets of augmentations have other bonuses as well.
- In Batman: The Animated Series Poison Ivy under the guise of Dr. Demeter offers this treatment to rich industrialists but in reality is turning them into trees as karmic justice for their enviromental destruction. She has no qualms about going after their friends or loved ones as well.
- In Gargoyles, the Illuminati provides life extending drugs to its senior members such as Mace Malone, who is in remarkably good health for a man in his nineties. When Matt Bluestone remarks on this, Mace wrly responds that Matt should see their dental plan, flashing a smile full of perfect white, even, natural teeth.
- While life extension systems which would prolong your life by decades do not exist (yet), certain measures can be taken to prolong your life at best, or avert major maladies at least with proper hygiene, nutrition, regular exercise and barring any serious illness or injury, you can expect to live to a ripe old age.