This is when immortality
is granted on a large scale: to an entire civilization, or a village. Species that are naturally immortal such as elves fall under this as well. This can sidestep some of the problems inherent to immortality
because when everyone is immortal then no one is alone and the general culture and mindset is that immortality is 'normal' and death is not. Thus, Living Forever Is Awesome
Their source of immortality may be a large or mass-produced Immortality Inducer
. If their immortality involves Immortality Immorality
it may overlap with Town with a Dark Secret
. There's also the question of what type of immortality
the civilization has; a society whose members can respawn quickly after death
will be different from one whose members never die period.
Regardless, Immortal Procreation Clause
is likely to be in effect and little attention will be paid to the traditional gender roles
Compare and contrast a Long Lived Race
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Anime and Manga
- Digimon never really die naturally, or at all for that matter (depending on the season of course).
- In Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi, no one in the entire world can truly die, which was caused by God's disappearance. When a person is killed, they turn into an undead and have to be given peace by a gravekeeper.
- Mnemosyne features a few glimpses into the immortals' secret society. However, by the time it becomes important, it is already considerably dwindled by the Big Bad's efforts. One of its characteristic traits is widespread lesbianism and bisexuality, presumably because only women can become immortals in the setting.
- The titular organisation in UQ Holder. All the members are immortal, though most of them achieve it in different ways. Protagonist Touta and Karin are stated to have the strongest immortality, to the point where even if all of humanity, including the rest of UQ Holder, were to be wiped out, they'd would still survive.
- The Eternals and most of Earth's mythological gods in Marvel Comics. Eternals have historically maintained their own secret cities but sometimes hang around with mortal humans for kicks. The various gods live in pocket dimensions that are homes to their respective pantheons.
- Elves in J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings stories.
- The people of The Culture can become genetically immortal if they so choose to, it is just not commonly done since becoming immortal is considered gauche. They can also be resurrected at will via brain uploading.
- In Altered Carbon everyone is implanted with a cortical stack at birth that records their brain activity so they can be "re-sleeved" in a new body when they die. Though most people only choose to be re-sleeved a couple times, except for some rich eccentrics.
- Before the Saudar enticed the Marra into the physical world and made them forget how to return home via The Fog of Ages in The Madness Season, the Marra had an eternal civilization somewhere in hyperspace.
- In Mikhail Akhmanov and Christopher Nicholas Gilmore's Captain French, or the Quest for Paradise, humanity has long ago figure out how to stop the ageing process using a one-time gene therapy called Cell Regeneration (or just CR), which most people do in their mid-20s. While this doesn't grant true immortality (i.e. you can still die a violent death or get sick), enormous advances in medicine also mean that most diseases are treatable (in fact, the titular protagonist had himself sterilized, so that he can have as much sex as he wants without the risk of having children, knowing perfectly well that it can be reversed). Of course, this would be a major problem on a single world. Luckily, humanity has also discovered interstellar travel (but not FTL travel) and has settled hundreds of worlds. Due to the incredible population growth, planets reaching a certain population density institute child licenses.
- It's mentioned that many planets punish capital offenders not with death but with something even worse - ageing, as CR is reversible. On the planet Murphy, however, which is currently controlled by a cult of religious fanatics following a comet strike, everybody gets CR without exception and no one is ever deprived, as CR is seen as God's gift to humanity.
- At the time of the events of the novel, the protagonist is well over 2000 years old. Subjective years, that is, as his constant near-light interstellar travels mean that he was born over 20,000 years ago (he was the first NASA astronaut to reach another star). When he meets his latest wife, she is in her 40s (but looks 24) and is still a virgin due to being raised in a convent.
- In Robert Reed's Great Ship universe, most of humanity is effectively immortal because of their genetic modifications and emergency genes. One character remarks at how young a hull repairman is - the repairman is a mere 50,000 years old.
- Robert A. Heinlein's "Future History" 'verse, starting with the novel Methuselah's Children and continuing with Time Enough for Love, postulates a society of extremely long-lived humans who achieved this goal via applied eugenics. Specifically, beginning in the 19th century, they paid people with long-lived ancestors to mate with one another, thus producing a breed of humans with unusually long lifespans. Jump forward a few dozen centuries and it is not abnormal for a "Howard" (named after the society's founder) to live for several hundred years naturally. Combine this with medical rejuvenation technology and you have an entire society of human beings who only die through mischance or when they wish to.
- In the Halo novel series The Forerunner Saga, the Forerunners are all shown to wear armor which give them lifespans that are millennia in length.
- On Riverworld, no one looks older than the beginning of adulthood and anyone who dies appears somewhere else in a new body.
- In Andrey Livadny's The History of the Galaxy series, the Logrians have invented extremely powerful but tiny computers called logrs. Each logr is a small crystal that can store a living being's personality. The Logrians, being wary of Immortality Immorality, have forbidden themselves from using logrs to copy their minds into new cloned bodies after death. Instead, they live inside the tiny computers in a virtual world and contemplate the nature of things. Naturally, not every being is content to eternity of contemplation. When the Logrians were enslaved by the Harammins, their ruling caste used the logrs to make themselves effectively immortal. Naming their caste the Immortal Quota, they continued to rule over the rest of their race, as well as the enslaved Logrians and Insects, for 3 million years until they started (and lost) a short war with humanity. Their Immortality Immorality brought about a status quo, resulting in zero technological progress (in fact, the progress was actually negative). So, when the relatively young humans showed up with Humongous Mecha, the Immortal Quota was wiped out. After this, humans began to use logrs to store personalities of the deceased, although their new Logrian allies frowned upon using the same method as the Harammins to extend life. Humans went around this by sending willing personalities to remote star systems in order to settle new worlds (logrs are actually capable of independent space flight). Thus, they are effectively starting new lives in younger bodies far from what they know.
- A Lost Colony called Doom is later found, whose inhabitants are human colonists whose bodies were mutated shortly after landing by nanites left over from an ancient Harammin project to create immortality. While the mutations were different, all had their ageing process stopped. The Immortal Procreation Clause applies as well, as very few children are born to the colonists. In fact, when the colony is re-discovered, there has not been a new birth in 200 years. Anyone under 500 years old is treated as a child. The protagonist of the novel decides to have the Confederate fleet blockade the colony, as the nanites in the atmosphere could spread havoc through the galaxy.
Live Action TV
- The Q Continuum from Star Trek has a bunch of immortal people, all (but one) pretty satisfied with it. Most of them can't have kids, but one of them did.
- The Land of Immortals in the second Spellbinder series.
- The immortality was an unintended side effect of a drug meant to cure a devastating plague. Unfortunately, it also kicked in the Immortal Procreation Clause. Among the survivors, no one can ever have children. Instead, they build clockwork robots to "play" and entertain them. When the protagonists (a man and a teenage girl) end up in that world, the scientist who created the drug kidnaps them and plans to mate them to create real-life children to sell as pets.
- Doctor Who: The Time Lords have near-immortality; if not killed, their natural lifespan, including regenerations, lasts thousands of years.
- In Torchwood: Miracle Day everyone on earth suddenly becomes incapable of dying (except Jack). Unfortunately they don't heal. The ramifications include many countries instituting concentration camps for people who become disabled beyond medicine's ability to repair them. They also continue aging normally.
- What happens in the after-life, according to some religions.
- Gnosticism: Aeons have the Pleroma.
- Hinduism & Buddhism style reincarnation could be seen as a zig-zag of this trope, with even "immortal" gods being just extremely long-lived; yet everyone is technically immortal, making just about any society one of [immortals].
- Spiritualism holds that human incarnation is like a temporary version of this trope.
- The Dungeons & Dragons campaign world of Mystara had the Immortals, who filled the role in that world that the gods filled in other campaign worlds. They were numerous enough, however, to qualify for this trope.
- The Rolemaster setting Shadow World had immortal elves, fauns, Lennai, titans and K'ta'viiri.
- In Eclipse Phase nearly all biomorphs are largely immune to aging, and anyone who can afford decent backup insurance is pretty much safe against accidents or murder too.
- As a species of hardy Humongous Mecha, Transformers never die of old age, are affected by only a couple very rare diseases, and usually require a lot of physical damage to die from injuries. Many of them are millions of years old, and some are outright Time Abysses.
- Every single character you meet in I Miss the Sunrise, including the Player Character, is The Ageless, thanks to a mass-produced Immortality Inducer. Furthermore, combat is extremely unlikely to be fatal, since craft will disengage long before the pilot is killed.
- Until the end of Warcraft III, the Night Elves were this.
- The Dalish elves of Dragon Age think their people were like this at one time, centuries ago. It's debatable if they ever were, however.
- Supposedly, being among humans resulted in them having short lifespans (by their standards).
- Only the nobility of the Elven Empire were immortal, while the lower/slave castes were mortal. Modern Elves are likely descendants of the slaves, meaning they were never immortal in the first place.
- For reasons that aren't entirely clear but have something to do with the place being 'downstream of Hell', inhabitants of Fallen London all have Resurrective Immortality. Disease and old age can still kill them, though, and apparently they can't come back if someone desecrates them really thoroughly, either. And dying a lot of times can result in coming back wrong and being shipped off to the Tomb-Colonies.
- Errant Story has a society of immortal elves. Also an extinct race of immortal (ageless) dwarves, never seen.
- Schlock Mercenary had the society that created the Amorphs exist as a very late stage of this - most of its members had died off and the remainder were content with living in a cave and observing their Amorph "children".
- Certain species of jellyfish potentially have Biological Immortality.
- As do all amoebae, who do not die from age but essentially stop existing as the same individual when they divide to reproduce.