I can't remember a lot of details other than a scene where the main character is dreaming about being a trilobite who has discovered that he can eat well if he stays close to a large predatory mollusk and collect food it misses. He gets too close, though, and the mollusk starts eating him.

He is aware that he is being eaten, but keeps eating himself (perhaps literally as the mollusk is a messy eater) as hunger is his only driving force.

These dreams occur while the main character is in cold sleep on a space ship. He is not supposed to be dreaming at all, but every time he goes under, he dreams that he has evolved to a newer life form.


1 Answer 1


This looks to be James White's "The Dream Millennium" as serialized in Galaxy magazine from October to December of 1973 (below excerpt from the December 1973 edition of Galazy magazine):

JOHN DEVLIN is awakened from cold sleep by ship’s computerized system and told he’s seventy-five years into mission: man’s first attempt to colonize a star system other than his own. He is computer-instructed to check ship’s systems, then his own voluntary /involuntary bodily functions, circulation, sensorium, speech organ and memory. His period of awakening is for one hour. During this time he is to speak, exercise and try to remember his cold-sleep dream. In his dream he was a primitive, ocean-dwelling life form, inordinately hungry -and was himself eaten by a carnivorous cephalopod while eating a trilobite.

His second awakening comes 282 years into mission. His instructions are as before, but in addition he’s told to go to the ship's control center to evaluate target system three. The ship’s computer had bypassed the first two target star systems as unsuitable for human colonization.

Number 3 is a perfect, Earth-type planet, unpolluted and verdant-but is entering Roche’s limit and will soon break up to become a ring system around its primary . DEVLIN rules no landing, obediently remembers last cold-sleep dream: in it he was an enormous brontosaurus and was killed by a small, carnivorous allosaurus.

Found with search terms of "cold sleep" trilobite on Google Books, and then searches on the text excerpts I found from there.


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