Back in 2003, I came across a short story in one of my books. It was set in an Earth where resources were limited. People had to stand in lines to get water and bread. Electricity was rationed. One guy had set up a bicycle to generate electricity in his apartment. People looked in the obituaries to find vacancies.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you have any recollection of the book's cover? Check out the other suggestions for story-id questions to see if they help you remember anything else you can edit into your question.
    – DavidW
    Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 3:05
  • possibly the same as scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/202354/…
    – Otis
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 2:07

1 Answer 1


Possibly 'Roommates', short story adaptation of 'Make Room! Make Room!' By Harry Harrison. Queues and using an exercise bike for electricity are in it. I'm not sure about the obituaries and don't have a copy to check.

Plot summary from Wikipedia (for the full novel):

Make Room! Make Room! is set in an overpopulated New York City in 1999 (35 years after the time of writing). 30-year-old Police Detective Andy Rusch lives in half a room, sharing it with Sol, a retired engineer who has adapted a bicycle to generate power for an old television set and a refrigerator.

When Andy lines up for their continually reducing water ration...

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    Make Room! Make Room! was the basis for the movie Soylent Green. Incidentally, the short story was written after the novel for an anthology edited by Thomas M. Disch. Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 8:06

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