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My grandpa told me of a science fiction short story he read about an astronaut who is put in a space capsule in suspended animation for many years (he said maybe 500 or 1000 years), and the system glitches, the suspended animation starts to fail, the spacecraft crash lands on earth and the people of earth try helping him live but he’s gonna die anyways, and at the very end he said something along the lines of “I finally know who won in the war of humans and insects”, then the story ends.

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This is likely The Awakening by Arthur C. Clarke.

The protagonist is the Master who is suffering from heart failure and given less than a year to live. The Master opts to be frozen artificially for a hundred years in a remote location, after which he expects to be revived and get an artificial heart implanted in his body. However, the secret of his resting place has been lost over time, and the Master is only revived a long time later than expected (on the order of millions of years). He opens his eyes, eager to visualise how the future Man looked like, and is in for a terrible shock. As he looks at the insects surrounding him, he realises that Man had lost the Man-Insect war. Unable to take this in, his feeble heart gives in and he dies.

The final line of the story reads

"For in the last moment of his life, as he saw what stood around him, he knew that the long war between Man and Insect was ended - and that Man was not the victor."

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  • Ha! It was a spaceship. I didn't think two ppl could both misremember the same thing
    – mcalex
    Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 5:51

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