Altered Carbon is a 2002 cyberpunk Sci-Fi novel by Richard K.Morgan set some 500 years in the future. The future is one where many extrasolar planets have been settled by humans. In the novel, human personalities can be stored digitally via a cortical stack in their spinal column that stores memories, and this can be downloaded into new bodies as required. These new bodies are called sleeves.
Netflix has just announced a 10 episode TV series based on the book, and the trailer is stunning.
From the Altered Carbon book review:
In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”) making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.
Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats “existence” as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning. . . .
Can’t wait for the Netflix series? See: Altered Carbon on Amazon.