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I read a book back in the 80's in which a fur covered race was just emerging from hiding underground into a very primitive world which still had buildings and vehicles from when the humans ruled the world. I think the new species was given an evolutionary push from the humans before they disappeared and while underground there was a hairless one (human) which slept for years and only awoke to instruct the newer species.

Can anyone identify this story?

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  • Are you sure it's a full novel? I seem to remember a short story with all the same ingredients. And the guy wants to go back into suspended animation, because he wants to awake in a more advanced world.
    – Mr Lister
    Sep 21, 2014 at 8:12

1 Answer 1

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Robert Silverberg's "At Winter's End".

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It's the saga of the "People", a species of intelligent, bipedal baboon-descended creatures who have spent thousands of years in underground cocoons hiding from meteroites that have destroyed the previous civilization. They believe themselves to be humans who are destined to inherit the earth, based on a prophecy in one of their ancient books. When massive burrowing creatures threaten to destroy their cocoon and the Dream-Dreamer (a human in suspended animation) wakes, they are forced to emerge into the vastly changed world, and their leader takes them to an ancient city, half-destroyed but still in surprisingly good shape, where the prophecy claims they will find the tools to rebuild civilization. They struggle with survival in the often harsh new environment, trying to figure out the mysterious machines left by the ancients, their tribes internal politics, and wondering what it means to be human and what it means for their destiny when it becomes clear they truly aren't.

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