In the future a Man was involved in an accident and lost the lower half of his body. He gets a Prosthetic that replaces everything from his waist down. The prosthetic is also cybernetic, (an AI of sorts)

One specific scene I remember is the man was trying to get something from a storage tank/container. (I think it was a rail car) He is half way into the opening trying to reach inside when the hatch closes right on his hips crushing him. (I do not remember if this was the accident that caused him to get the prosthesis or if this accident destroyed his prosthesis. I THINK this destroyed his prosthesis, I vaguely remember his legs AI telling him this was a bad idea to reach in the container)


  • I think cryogenic storage is involved in the story. I think he had an accident or illness that caused him to lose his lower body, and was frozen until they could heal him. When he awakened, [ran out of money? Society no longer interested in storing frozen people?] they could not fix him and gave him the prosthesis instead.
  • He may have re-entered cryo hoping to find a way to replace his prosthesis, and when he awakened again he could still not be fix, I THINK this is when he was reaching into the storage tank and his prosthesis was crushed. I recall at this point, that either he could not afford a replacement or tech had devolved so that no one could make a replacement. And for a time he was dragging himself around by his hands.

I think he was a bit of a miscreant or minor troublemaker. (would not follow the rules, ie he did not need anything from the storage tank, he was doing it because he wanted to)

This would have been a book in English, Published in Paperback in the USA.


1 Answer 1


This is from "The Godwhale" by T.J.Bass - he was initially reaching into a hopper to get berries

The protagonist, Larry Dever, is gravely injured resulting in a radical surgical procedure, a hemicorporectomy, in which tissue below the waist is removed.

He is outfitted with a set of intelligent mechanical legs, a "manniquin", and is placed into suspended animation until the damaged tissue can be restored.

He wakes at a time when cloning technology can replace his legs, although for a price. Years before he was awakened, a clone, or "bud child", was created and is now a thriving young boy without language.

Horrified by the prospect of his child being sacrificed to provide him with a new lower body, Larry opts to return to suspended animation.

Larry awakens again in a nightmare future. Far from the highly advanced past, now an enormous human/Nebish population (possibly in the trillions) covers every inch of the planet. Technology and science have degraded, and all freely breeding species have been exterminated.

  • I think that's it. The quote your listed previously sounded VERY familiar. (reaching into a hopper to get berries) Thanks.
    – NJohnny
    Apr 20, 2018 at 6:27

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