Lazarus Long is a fictional character featured in a number of science fiction novels by Robert A. Heinlein. Born in 1912 in the third generation of a selective breeding experiment run by the Ira Howard Foundation, Lazarus (birth name Woodrow Wilson Smith) becomes unusually long-lived, living well over two thousand years with the aid of occasional rejuvenation treatments.
His exact (natural) life span is never determined. In his introduction at the beginning of Methuselah's Children, he admits he is 213 years old. Approximately 75 years pass during the course of the novel; but because large amounts of this time are spent traveling interstellar distances at speeds approaching the speed of light, the 75-year measurement is an expression of the time elapsed in his absence rather than time seen from his perspective. At one point, he estimates his natural life span to be around 250 years; but this figure is not expressed with certainty. Heinlein acknowledged that such a long life span should not be expected as a result of a mere three generations of selective breeding, but offers no alternative explanation except by having a character declare, "A mutation, of course—which simply says that we don't know".
In Methuselah's Children, Long mentions visiting Hugo Pinero, the scientist appearing in Heinlein's first published story "Life-Line", who had invented a machine that precisely measured lifespan, but who refused to reveal the results of the machine in Lazarus's case and gave Lazarus his money back.
The promotional copy on the back of Time Enough for Love, the second book featuring Lazarus Long, states that Lazarus was "so in love with time that he became his own ancestor," but this never happens in any of the published books. In the book, Lazarus does travel back in time and is seduced by his mother; but this happens after his own birth. Heinlein did use a similar plot in the short story "—All You Zombies—", in which a character becomes both of his own parents.
A rugged individualist with a distrust of authority, Lazarus drifts from world to world, settling down periodically and leaving when the situation becomes too regimented for his taste—often just before an angry mob arrives to capture him.
The Lazarus Long set of books involve time travel, parallel dimensions, free love, incest, and a concept that Heinlein named World as Myth—the theory that universes are created by the act of imagining them, such that even fictional worlds are real.
Other articles related to "lazarus long, lazarus, longspan>":
... of their explorations, visit the world of Lazarus Long ... ship (which can teleport through space and time), Lazarus snatches his mother out of the time stream at the end of her life and replaces her with a dead clone ... Lazarus also appears as a minor character in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls and plays a role in Heinlein's last novel, To Sail Beyond the Sunset, which ...
... Fatima — A planet settled by muslims, where Lazarus Long lost his ship and livelihood and had to work his way back up from being a story-teller in the market square ... Lazarus Long lived here as landed gentry sometime in the early fourth millennium ... New Beginnings — A colony planet colonized by Lazarus Long under the pseudonym 'Ernest Gibbons' ...
... The Notebooks of Lazarus Long is a selection of catchphrases and pearls of wisdom from one of Robert A ... Heinlein's main characters (Lazarus Long) ... In the context of the novel, these quotes were selected from Long's much longer memoirs (which make up a significant portion of the novel) ...
Famous quotes containing the words long and/or lazarus:
“Think of admitting the details of a single case of the criminal court into our thoughts, to stalk profanely through their very sanctum sanctorum for an hour, ay, for many hours! to make a very barroom of the minds inmost apartment, as if for so long the dust of the street had occupied us,the very street itself, with all its travel, its bustle, and filth, had passed through our thoughts shrine! Would it not be an intellectual and moral suicide?”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Still on Israels head forlorn,
Every nation heaps its scorn.”
—Emma Lazarus (18491887)