9

I read a book (I'm sure it was a book) ages ago.

It ends with a character floating aimlessly through space. They are alive (or still have power) and floats for millennia to the point where time becomes irrelevant and they witness the birth and death of stars and galaxies. etc...

All I remember is the ending like this and I've been looking for this book again for years.

5

It might be Sun's End by Richard A Lupoff. It's been a while since I read it but basically it's a story about an astronaut who get's injured and is unconscious for about 80 years, when he wakes up he discovers that he's been rebuild. At the end of it he goes off into space by himself on a sled, only to discover that someone else is also inside his mind.

  • That sounds very familiar (the story, not the author) I'll take a look. Thanks. – Fogmeister Nov 29 '12 at 9:16
5

Could have been The end of James Blish's Cities in Flight series. As I recall, there was some sort of cosmicky ending along the lines you decribe. It's been a long time though...

  • This would have been my answer too. – user8416 Dec 4 '12 at 16:29
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If there was a whole spaceship and not a single character, this could be a slightly jumbled recollection of Tau Zero by Poul Anderson. This is a classic, mostly remembered for its ending. The ship is experiencing time faster than observers on Earth due to time dilation: it is moving at relativistic speeds. Due to a malfunction, the ship becomes unable to slow down without also shutting down the mechanism that protects it from collisions with ambiant particles. The crew decides to accelerate even more in the hope of reaching a less dense region of space where they will be able to safely shut down the engine and repair it. They end up accelerating to exit the galaxy, then to exit the supercluster, and so on. After a few years have passed, the end of the universe catches up with them, but they survive a big crunch followed by a new big bang after which they are able to decelerate.

This is by no means the only book in which characters survive the end of the universe and into the next one. As Wayfaring Stranger suggests, the last volume of James Blish's Cities in Flight series (The Triumph of Time) also has this plot element. There, a whole planet survives, but not in a physical form: the minds of the “survivors” influence the shaping of the next universe.

  • Thanks, I will take a look. I imagine it is a fairly common theme among sic-fi novels. Thanks for the info :D – Fogmeister Nov 29 '12 at 22:52
4

This might be The Weapon Shops of Isher by A. E. van Vogt. It ends with one of the characters swinging back and forth through time/space. As he swings back and forth he gains more and more energy. At the end of the story, he decides to open his spacesuit, thus releasing the energy and ends up creating the universe.

0

Am pretty sure this is the book, I too read this as a kid and was amazed, but could never find it again - they changed the name!!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stars_My_Destination

0

Could this be The Last Question by Isaac Asimov? That story seems to come up in story identification questions often, and has appeared on this site as well. Near the end, a character certainly witnesses the death of galaxies, and later time does become irrelevant and meaningless for him.

“Floating aimlessly through space” isn't really right though, for there certainly is an aim, and he's more like in hyperspace.

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