[LMB] Thoughts on cryo-tubes, low berths, and other such gadgets

Zan Lynx zlynx at acm.org
Tue Sep 29 01:35:11 BST 2015

On 09/28/2015 06:20 PM, Eric Oppen wrote:
> I was paging through my _GURPS Traveller_ game material, and it occurred to
> me that the way that "low berths" (basically, devices to keep people in
> suspended animation until they're at their destinations or safe) are drawn
> is probably not much like what they'd look like in real life.
> Just for starters, they'd almost certainly have to be bigger, not about the
> size of a coffin.  This is because when someone's unconscious for any
> length of time, it is a good idea to do "range of motion' exercises on that
> person's joints, to keep them from freezing up.

For "suspended animation" in science fiction I had always thought of it
as freezing at cryogenic temperatures.

There would be no need to move joints or worry about bed sores because
there would be almost no molecular motion happening at all. Certainly no
biological activity.

Now, if the "low berths" are more like the hibernation of a bear, then
yes the occupants would need a lot of handling.

Not really suspended animation but somewhat similar I believe was one of
Forward's Roche World stories where the crew of a long voyage ship (40
years?) were given slow metabolism drugs which extended their lifespan
but left them sluggish and very simple minded. In that case the
occupants were active and awake for the whole 40 year trip but they
didn't mind.

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