I'm looking for a short story or novella I read years ago (and I do mean a long time ago, easily 2 decades) in an anthology of science fiction works.

The main character is male - at a certain point in time he and his lady are on a bike ride and due to broken (chain rings I think) he is sparked to invent a kind of nanotechnology that eventually gives rise to the ability to "resurrect" people into indestructible bodies.

He is possibly involved in the company that brings this to market, but due to his opposition to the way they are doing things, he is murdered. His lady brings him back to life, but he and she have to work as slave labor for the corporation.

At a certain point he and she are fighting a war of independence against the corporation (or the nation state it has become) and she is lost - her indestructible body destroyed in an explosion in space.

The rest of the story traces his (very long) life and close to the end, he meets with another version of himself that invites him to join together.

In the end, there's a similarity to Asimov's The Last Question and he 'merges' with other immortals and goes through the end of time to another beginning - searching until he finds the exact "thread" where he and his lady are on that bike ride.

Finding her again, he dives back into mortality, ensures that he never invents that technology, and finishes his life with her. The only thing he had not been able to have even though he'd lived essentially as a god, until the end of time.

To my mind it was a love story, under everything else.


1 Answer 1


I believe that's "The Days of Solomon Gursky" by Ian McDonald (the two anthologies it's been in that are over a decade old are The Year's Best Science Fiction: Sixteenth Annual Collection and The Furthest Horizon: SF Adventures to the Far Future, perhaps you read it in one of those). You can read the first couple pages on google books here, you can see it starts out with Solomon on a bike trip with his girlfriend Elena, and the summary of the story at the start says it "takes into the far future in a series of slow, gradual steps, but which ultimately takes us just about as far into the future as it's possible to go, to the very end of the universe and the End of Time itself—and beyond!"

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