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I am looking for the name/author of a short story about a man who is possibly a prisoner of sorts that is launched on what is supposed to be a one way trip about a spaceship. He overrides the computer and returns to Earth where, due to relativistic effects, eons have passed and much of Earth is a wasteland. He encounters an "evolved" human woman who controls/seduces/enslaves him, in part with pheromones.

Sorry if this is confusing, I remeber really enjoying this story when I read it as a teenager, sometime in the '80s. It might have been published in Omni magazine since that's where I read a lot of sci-fi short stories back then, but I can't be certain.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT1: I'm sorry if it's fuzzy, it was probably in the early 80's when I was in Jr./Sr. High and a lot has happened in the 30+ years since I read it. The more I think about it, the more certain I am that it was in Omni since, I almost never got rid of books that I liked.

I believe that the man was being punished for some heinous crime (murder?) and this was his punishment. He was put in some kind of suspended animation and his compliance in performing the tasks he was assigned was dependent on his will to survive (or at least thats how I recall the story explaining the logic of sending a prisoner into space alone in a very expensive spaceship)

marked as duplicate by Otis, Bellatrix, Blackwood, Politank-Z, Ward Oct 28 '17 at 4:36

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  • Can you provide any additional details? – Jeff Zeitlin Oct 24 '17 at 14:31
  • I honestly wish I could. If I recall anything more, I'll add it. – DLS3141 Oct 24 '17 at 14:33
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    I never read the short story, "Rammer", that it was based on, but this does sound like it matches some elements of A World Out of Time by Larry Niven. – Jeff Zeitlin Oct 24 '17 at 14:59
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    @DLS3141: Do you mean A World Out of Time is the answer? If so note that's a novel not a short story. I have the short story Rammer and it's just the first part of the novel - the protagonist heads out in the starship but the story ends there. – John Rennie Oct 24 '17 at 15:24
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    @JohnRennie I believe I read both, but I suppose that technically A World Out of Time would be more correct since I seem to have included in my memories the details of the novel in with those of Rammer. – DLS3141 Oct 24 '17 at 15:30
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At the querent's request, although I have never read the short story, "Rammer", that it was based on, the description given does match some elements of Larry Niven's novel A World Out of Time. The woman who seduces/controls him is Mirelly-Lyra Zeelash-something. AWOoT is the novel; portions of what became the novel were published in Galaxy magazine as "Rammer", "Children of the State", and "Down and Out".

(ISFDB link)

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    It is definitely that story. There was no real "crime" however. The person in question was rich and when he learned he had cancer(?) he put himself in cryonic suspension waiting for a cure. They eventually develop that cure, but also a serious overpopulation problem. They periodically wake the "corpsicles" because they found people who lived in the era with fewer people can handle life on their own, like in a starship. So they send them off to recon and colonize planets. – Maury Markowitz Oct 25 '17 at 18:19

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