John Varley's "Steel Beach" and "Ophiuchi Hotline" books (and there was a novelette in the same universe) features humans populating the planets and moons..except for Earth, on which all technology was wiped out by aliens. At any rate, human medicine has advanced to perfection, including out-patient sex-changes and resurrection from backup. The short story is particularly interesting towards the resurrection end, because the protagonist keeps waking up in a new body, to learn that she has been again murdered by an unknown assailant. She's largely distressed not by being murdered, which she doesn't recall (it having happened after she backed-up), but of losing more and more time, the time lost between backup and death. They also discuss the issue of catching a murderer who can change his/her entire body in a matter of hours.
Also, though no main characters bother with it, therefore it's just world-building fodder, the perfect medicine of The Culture (Iain M. Banks novels and shorts) features resurrection from a stored "mind-state." There's some talk of why and when people decide to cease living in a technical culture in which they could be immortal but for accidents or war.
--LAN3 Thu Oct 23 15:22:48 2008
The first quote in this entry, no matter facetious it is, actually articulates the basis of my informal spirituality. I don't necessarily have such a self-centered view of the whole thing, but I like the circle of life idea, how the interaction of animal and plant (and possibly other XXXXXXX like bacteria, virus and amoeba) make an interdependent system that need each other for survival. I like to think that I was once dust, am dust and will become dust. . .and the same applies that parts of me were once plant, possibly animal, possibly petroleum and that my cells and material manifestation will decompose and compose into so many different forms. . .but yet may never reach the same unique consciousness from teaming up with the particular combination that makes me now. Certainly would be interesting if years down the road, I become "resurrected" by some of the cells keying up in a particular way, keying into the same consciousness. But yeah, cellular and/or genetic memory would be interesting, too.
--The_Lex Fri Oct 24 11:24:08 2008
the Dune series features, in later books, clones called Gholas, who are created by the Tleilaxu. They are clones of the dead, grown to full size. They discover something they'd thought might be possible, that a Ghola could recover the memories and identity of its original person, and this proves to be the case, following an event that provokes tremendous emotion. I thought at first that Herbert was suggesting that one's identity was preserved somehow in the universe, or that it was genetic memory, but the start of God Emperor of Dune suggests pretty firmly that cellular memory is what Herbert was going for, as we witness the death of one Ghola of Duncan Idaho, and the birth of a replacement, which has no memory of the death just passed.
--LAN3 Fri Oct 24 18:52:07 2008
I don't know how much further you read into the books, but the whole Duncan Idaho ghola goes much further eventually.
--The_Lex Fri Oct 24 21:29:14 2008
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