Please help with identifying the following short story.

The story plot goes as follows: scientists discover a way to transfer sick people who are on their deathbed to the future and cure them of their illness. They look for somebody who is important enough to be worth bringing to the future and yet young enough to be interesting after being brought in and healed. They choose specifically the italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (in real world, died at 26 form tuberculosis). After they bring him in, he proceeds to quickly become a successful rockstar.

Unfortunately, do not know the author or the time when it was published.

  • Given such a technology, why wouldn't they go straight for Mozart?
    – Martha
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 18:12
  • @Martha maybe they didn't know if they could cure him (the exact cause of death for Mozart is still a mystery) while tuberculosis is a curable disease now.
    – StasM
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 22:10

1 Answer 1


That's "Gianni" by Robert Silverberg.

Giovanni Pergolesi is one of the lesser-known geniuses of music. He wrote prolifically in his short life, then died in 1736 at the age of 25. Some high-minded scientists in 2008 use a machine to pluck the composer from just before his death into the future so they can allow his talents to develop as if he had lived longer. Then Gianni discovers pop music... After all, in his day, opera was pop music.


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