Some astronaut is in space, and his spaceship is destroyed. For some reason, this dude is wearing a semi-sentient suit that keeps him alive indefinitely, and he's just floating through space for millennia.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. This is a bit thin on details; you should check out the suggestions for story-ID questions to see if they help you remember any detail you can edit into your question.
    – DavidW
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 20:03
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    So this character is inherently extremely long-lived? Does the suit put him in some kind of suspended animation? Does the suit talk to him? Is he just drifting, or is he travelling somewhere and merely ends up in the far future because of time dilation?
    – DavidW
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 20:06
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    @scruss, Story identifications are only closed as duplicates if they both have accepted answers, that is not true for either of these answers. We therefore can't be certain that these are the stories the OP is looking for and they are therefore not strictly dupes.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented May 18, 2022 at 14:59
  • fair enough, @Edlothiad. I'm new here and don't know the ropes
    – scruss
    Commented May 18, 2022 at 15:23

2 Answers 2


Not all details match, but possibly Iain M. Banks' "Descendant". From this review:

The protagonist is the sole survivor of a military attack on an orbiting base, unless you count the sentient environmental suit he wears and which manages to convey him to the surface of a nearby planet. Both man and machine are damaged, but they set out on an extended trek toward a ground base

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    Unaccepted answer to scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/45748/…
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 21:23
  • I think Banks had something like this in at least one full-length story too. Probably "Excession".
    – AJM
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 18:01
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    @AJM-Reinstate-Monica the female lead in "Surface Detail" spent some time in space in a sentient suit too. Obviously an IMB thing.
    – Moriarty
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 19:33
  • @AJM It was at the beginning of Consider Phlebas.
    – Spencer
    Commented May 18, 2022 at 21:46

Coffins by Robert Reed (1992), perhaps? Anthologized in The Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction A 45th Anniversary Anthology (1994, Ferman & Rusch, eds.), pp.153-164.


Fifty-nine years into the voyage — five weeks by his count — the starship suffers a glancing blow with an unmapped comet. No combination of armor and flux-fields can withstand such energies. The hull vaporizes; passengers spill out and oftentimes die. The waking passengers are torn apart by the shock. But cold-sleepers are rigid and mostly safe, provided they can clear the wreckage, approximating the ship’s vector. And all the while the lifesuit computers wait, weighing damage and other factors, judging when it would be best to wake up their people.

By the most gentle means.

“What am I seeing?” the man inquires.

“Stars, aren’t they?”

“But why?” Panic causes him to flinch, heavy limbs moving and nothing before him but blue shifted suns. “What’s happening?”

“You’re healthy, sir. I assure you.”

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