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Paperback book, in English bought in USA in the 1970s.

Spaceman in suspended animation wakes up in underground city/bunker.

How he got like there...

I THINK he was a crewman on a spaceship, and was doing exterior repairs (maybe in a work-pod.) Something happens and the ship warps out and leaves him (or it was destroyed)

He then either lands on the planet and enters Suspended animation (locals are either primitive, or he is not allowed to interact) or enters suspended animation and the pod lands on a nearby planet. (He is awaiting the ship to return for him)

When he wakes up,

He discovers that his pod was found by a society living underground. The surface had been destroyed by either nuclear war or solar flares. All the remain survivors live in these underground bunkers/cities. They started as bunkers, but the survivors have been tunneling and expanding to grow and survive.

I think he figures out he has been hibernating for thousands of years. (maybe 5,000?) When his body was discovered, the inhabitants realized he was hibernating and so have been worshiping his body like a god waiting for him to wake up and save them.

The main thing I remember from the story, was that his body had been found so long ago, that it had been put in an out of the way area with someone keeping watch, kneeling and praying, 24/7. It had devolved to sort of a punishment assignment for young woman (i.e. nuns) to teach them to behave and follow the rules. And they did it in the nude. The young woman who has current shift (8 hours? - 12 hours?) has been doing it for many weeks and is extremely frustrated and tired of being on this assignment kneeling and praying for hours on end for the god to wake up and save them, that she shows her displeasure to the God's body.

When the spaceman wakes up and opens his eyes the first thing he sees is a beautiful naked young lady kneeling in front of him.. (.. flipping him off?, .. blowing a raspberry at him? .. sticking out her tongue at him? or some other sign of clear disrespect. I can't remember exactly what it was)

So in the middle of her act of disrespect, the God opens his eyes... And she freaks. But he is amused not angry but sort of uses it as blackmail to keep her from running out immediately and telling everyone he is awake, while he questions her to find out where he is and how he got there.

When he finally is revealed to the other inhabitants, there is a bit of a problem with the city leaders (priests?) Basically he wont follow the script they want him too. (They can decide what a sleeping God wants, an awake one can say "No I didn't want that.")

  • How is the awakened god able to converse with the nun? They both speak English, or what? – user14111 Mar 25 '18 at 19:30
  • He was not really a God, They just thought he was. As for the English. I am pretty sure this was brought up also in the story. (Him wondering why they could speak his language) But I don't recall what the answer was. (Pretty sure it was not something like a universal translator, maybe something as simple as they had watched and read the videos/recording in his lifepod/workpod when he was found and all the clergy learned the language of the gods to be able to pray to him or speak with him when he woke up. – NJohnny Mar 26 '18 at 13:40
  • Also I believe he was in Suspended Animation by chemical methods (a drug he took) as opposed to being in some sort of cryogenic chamber. Because his body was on display (on an alter?) when he woke up. – NJohnny Mar 26 '18 at 13:49
  • The cover of the book "might" have had a ship in 3 quarters profile moving away (ie engines visible in lower left cover as the ship headed to upper right) with a small figure of a man doing a space walk floating near it. – NJohnny Apr 11 '18 at 13:44

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