I am trying to remember and find a story about at least three people who are awakened from cryonic sleep/suspended animation, each at progressively futuristic dates, and the circumstances that befall them. I am not entirely sure of the order of the story. One man awakens and is informed that the interest on his savings makes him a millionaire; he thinks this is great, until he goes to spend some money and discovers that inflation has brought the cost of a regular piece of clothing to several thousand dollars. Another person is awakened, sneezes in the chill of the room, and is immediately killed by injection for fear of spreading his diseases. I do not remember the fate of the third sleeper. Does anyone know this story?

NEW INFO: The short story was presented in an anthology of other sci-fi short stories. Each of the parts of the story (for each waking individual) was very short and might have even been presented as vignettes in-between other stories within the anthology. Definitely not a novel or part of a novel. Any ideas? Thanks!

  • 1
    I don't believe it is what you're looking for, but the first one bears a passing resemblance to Fred Pohl's The Age of Pussyfoot, which was re-printed in BiPohl with another novel. But there were only two distinct stories there and the other one was not on the waking-from-a-long-sleep theme. – dmckee Mar 17 '14 at 14:51
  • The first story is an old joke. In the version I heard in the fifties, the "resuscitee", on learning that he's a millionaire, excitedly asks for a telephone to call his broker, and hears the operator say, "that will be one million dollars for the first three minutes." – user14111 Mar 17 '14 at 21:26
  • futureandcosmos.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/… - This looks to be a complete ripoff of the first story you've mentioned – Valorum Mar 17 '14 at 22:23
  • Thanks to everyone who answered, but still a mystery. New info has been added to original question, which will hopefully help to narrow things down. Thanks! – TBS Reader Mar 25 '14 at 12:56

This is "Good Morning! This is the Future" by Henry Slesar.

I read it in the anthology Microcosmic Tales.

It is published as one story, with three parts. The three parts of the story are just as described by the OP and @Damien.


I can't recall the name of these three stories, sadly. I wish I could. But I remember them, and the third story you are looking for had a plot where an escaped convict has himself suspended in animation to escape the law under a false name.

When he's awoken he's informed that the law had discovered him frozen, but at the time nothing could be done about it. The man panics a bit, fearing he'll be taken back to prison, but the researchers smile and reassure him that no such thing will be done to him and the future is a much more benevolent and peaceful place where such barbaric things aren't done, and he's free to go.

Once he leaves outside though, he hears a loud ringing bell, and sees masses of people forming large lines. He asks passers by what is going on, and they inform him that the bell means it's lunch time, alluding to the entire world being one giant prison.

Edit/Note: In the second story, the irony of the situation is that the man had himself frozen because he had a lethal incurable disease. He's awakened in the future, and they put a machine on him that cures his disease in an instant, only to find out that the researchers are horrified when he sneezes because he brought along with him the common cold, a disease they have no idea how to deal with other than euthanizing the poor guy.

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