Any help to identify a book I read some of at a summer camp, late 1970's or early 1980's would be much appreciated.

Last man on Earth rewoken (by humanoid robots?), Earth's surface overrun by a threatening (alien?) plant IIRC. Again IIRC, the androids craft a female clone of him to keep him company. The two of them were making a break for the surface in a vehicle found in a vast vehicle compound in the underground facility where he had been kept when I had to give the book back.

  • Hi there! That's a nice start you have here; just maybe, could you please take a look at these guidelines on story-ID, see if they trigger any more memories you could edit in? For instance, any recollection of the cover?
    – Jenayah
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


This might be Second Ending by James White. The Wikipedia Entry doesn’t have a lot of detail about the story; there is more about it on Goodreads

This story is a long time favourite of mine. In it, a young man is awakened from suspended animation. He is in an underground hospital, the surface of the earth having been devastated by several atomic wars. He had been placed in suspension due to illness which has been cured during his suspension. He is the last man alive and has been awakened by robots who have used a painted bust of Beethoven to simulate a human being.

The man sets about exploring the world and looking for other survivors. The surface of the world is completely sterile. He gives his robots directions - to make themselves more intelligent and build their skill sets, to search for and nurture first any humans, then (when no humans are found) any life. Through all of this he is haunted by his memories of his girl friend Alice, now long dead.

When his food supply runs out he goes back into suspension and is awakened centuries later to find the world covered in grass, grown from some seeds found sticking to the clothes he was wearing when he came to the hospital. As the story progresses he starts to sleep longer and longer into the future while the earth, and later the sun, change. At his penultimate awakening the robots place him in a spaceship and send him off into space. Finally, he awakes when the spaceship lands on another planet orbiting another star where he finds a race of human like creatures who all look very similar to Alice. He realises that the robots have fulfilled his last request.

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