Please tell me someone else has seen this
March 14, 2008 9:42 PM   Subscribe

Am I crazy, or is there a book about a man trying to voyage to the afterlife?

It could be a comic, or a movie, or a book: I don't remember. All I remember is this: a man aimed to travel into the afterlife (alive) by machine, which, as I remember it, was black and submarine-shaped. I don't remember if he did it or not. All I remember was the concept.

Here's what it is not:
Event Horizon
Dante's Inferno (or any of the many, many derivatives)

Please tell me I'm not crazy. However, if it turned out I dreamed this, I claim all rights so there.
posted by gc to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
They do that in Flatliners, but it doesn't sound right...
posted by ORthey at 11:08 PM on March 14, 2008

Sounds like Mark Twain's classic "Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven."
posted by Ironmouth at 11:12 PM on March 14, 2008

Response by poster: ORthey: Not Flatliners. I though Michael J. Fox had to die in that movie to cross over. At any rate, doesn't seem right.

It seems to match an episode of Invader Zim, the "Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom", but not entirely. I know I've seen this somewhere, I just can't place it.
posted by gc at 11:15 PM on March 14, 2008

What Dreams May Come?
posted by sharkfu at 11:17 PM on March 14, 2008

Altered States? Doesn't quite fit the description, but it's about exploring consciousness in isolation chambers etc.
posted by malevolent at 12:56 AM on March 15, 2008

Altered States was my first thought too.
posted by shucksitsjeremy at 1:32 AM on March 15, 2008

Could it have been a bus instead of a submarine? In "The Great Divorce" by CS Lewis a group of strangers make their way to heaven--though presumably from hell or purgatory instead of Earth.
posted by sambosambo at 2:01 AM on March 15, 2008

Your description reminded me of Passage by Connie Willis. But, the researcher is female.
posted by loosemouth at 3:18 AM on March 15, 2008

It's not strictly concerned with a journey to the underworld, but that does come up in Iain Banks's Walking On Glass, as I recall. (I'm slightly uncertain because the character who goes to the underworld also appears in his earlier novel The Bridge.)
posted by Coventry at 6:43 AM on March 15, 2008

That reminded me of Les Thanatonautes by Bernard werber, but I don't think there was any submarine-shaped machine involved.
posted by domi_p at 7:11 AM on March 15, 2008

Response by poster: These are all interesting suggestions, but they're not matching what I'm seeing in my head. I'm somewhat convinced I dreamt this, which, as far as my dreams go, has to be one of the coolest I've had. But I'm more convinced I've seen this somewhere before. I'm off to work, but I'll check in if I can.
posted by gc at 7:25 AM on March 15, 2008

Is it possible you saw a snippet of one of these shows and then you dreamt about it later? I do that all the time and it can get very confusing separating the dream from the actuality.
posted by aetg at 7:30 AM on March 15, 2008

Terry Bisson (the Made Out Of Meat guy) has a short story called "Necronauts" about scientists who travel into the afterlife. His version of the afterlife isn't much like heaven or hell, more like an elaboration on the things people report after near-death experiences. The main character is a painter who's recently gone blind; in the afterlife he can see.

Ring any bells?
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:14 AM on March 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

The story goes all the way back to the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice (Orpheus crossed Styx in a boat), and has been told many times since.
posted by adamrice at 8:44 AM on March 15, 2008

Response by poster: domi_p: That sounds very, very close to what I was seeing. I'm going to try to get my hands on a copy. In the mean time, thanks for you input.
posted by gc at 6:08 PM on March 15, 2008

Response by poster: aegt: Absolutely. I don't doubt I'm mashing things together. But I figure one part, the most significant, making a machine to travel to the afterlife, had to have been used somewhere. It's too cool an idea for me to come up with on my own.
posted by gc at 6:09 PM on March 15, 2008

Response by poster: nebularwindphone: Not sure. 'Necronauts' as central fixtures in the story sounds about right, but I don't remember details. I think aegt has it, that I'm cobbling a lot of things together.
posted by gc at 6:12 PM on March 15, 2008

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