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I read this story when I was very young and can't remember the name but it made an impression. A young man finds out that his wife has a terminal illness, so convinces her to be put into some kind of suspended animation. He plans to do the same to himself but first tries to figure out a way to become an important enough person so that there is a higher likelihood of him and his wife being saved in the event of some future tragedy. He's a musician or composer but decides to spend the next few years interviewing and gathering information about important composers, artists, etc of his day--he hopes that by gathering the more subjective, human bits of information he can become valuable to future historians as a source of knowledge that isn't easily found anywhere else.

He ends up waking at certain intervals and describing the world he finds in a similar way. One thing that stood out was that in the far, far, future human's had specialized professionally to such a degree that each group spoke their own language: doctors spoke a language heavily influenced by medical ideas, physicists spoke one influenced by physics etc.

I may have gotten certain details of the story wrong, but to my 8 or 9 year old self, this story was awesome and I'd love any information anyone can provide. Thanks!

17

The story is Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Charles Sheffield. We read this in our book group and it is an incredible story.

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  • Wow, thanks for the responses--"Tomorrow and Tomorrow" is it! Really happy to finally have this one settled--thanks Donald. – Tomas May 31 '12 at 19:05
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    @Tomas If this is the correct answer please consider accepting it as such (click the little check mark to the left). – Xantec May 31 '12 at 19:35

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