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Literature / Immortality, Inc.

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The cover of the first edition
Immortality Inc. is a Science Fiction novel by Robert Sheckley. It was serialized in 1958-9 in the Science Fiction Magazine Galaxy Science Fiction under the name "Time Killer",and released as a standalone novel as its current title later in 1959.

It follows the adventures of Thomas Blaine, a man from 1958 brought to the year 2110 at the moment of his death. He struggles to live in a world where life after death is accepted by everyone, and as a result, life has lost inherent value. As he seeks to find a place in this new time, in a new body, he is forced to cope with a world completely different from his 1958 home.

It won a Hugo award for best novel in 1959. The movie Freejack is (very loosely) based on the novel.


Immortality, Inc. Contains Examples of:

  • A Good Way to Die: Thomas Blaine, who dies to give the boy he murdered a second chance at life. He even thinks about how complete his life in 2100 was already.
  • Poltergeist: Mr. Reilly becomes one following his failed body transfer. He haunts Blaine, blaming him for the failure.
  • Suicide Is Painless: Thomas Blaine commits suicide willingly in order to allow the teenager he murdered 150 years ago to use his body to live life. Blaine notes he feels no pain in his death.


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