Thursday, April 26, 2007

"The Awakening" (short story): Man shall not inherit the earth!

Frankly, I am getting bored with Clarke's doomsday stories - there are just too many of them!

Story summary (spoiler).
Earth is so prosperous at this future date that boredom is the biggest problem. Too many men committing suicide because of lack of excitement in life.

Our hero, if you can call him that, decides to do something interesting. He gets a spaceship built, with an inner chamber that is essentially a machine controlled chamber for human hibernation.

He takes off into space, parks himself into a solar orbit beyond Pluto, & goes to sleep in the hibernation chamber. The machines controlling hibernation chamber have instructions to awaken him unfathomable eons hence; ship likewise has instructions to bring him back to earth after awakening.

At the time of awakening, something in the machines fails; he is not awakened really, but stays in hibernation.

Ship faithfully brings him back to earth. But earth has changed unrecognizably. Gone are its seas, Alps, & Himalayas. Also gone is the moon - it crashed into earth at some time in far away past (I was taught that moon is moving away from earth, a few centimeters a year!)!

Well - the ship lands at the best site it can find. Some members of the current master race of earth come, awaken him using their technology but only for a while. And he realizes it is not the man that inherits the earth, but ...

Fact sheet.
The Awakening, short story, review
Author: Arthur C Clarke
Genre: Fantasy
First Published: 1951
Rating: C

See also.

  1. "The Parasite" - another story of a prosperous future human society with bored individuals. But the two stories are developed very differently.
The story appears in the following collections.
  1. "Reach for tomorrow"
  2. "The Collected Stories of Arthur C Clarke"


versesane said...

dude did u end up duying all these ?

Ankur Gupta said...

buying ... hurry hurry has no blessings