When I was wee I would read books by pile and a specific story came to mind and I wish to identify it. I have lots of the premise in mind but weak google-fu.

Details include:

  • A man awakens from cryogenic sleep in a world where each individual has a very limited living area.
  • Over population is a major problem in this future society and there are even games were individual go through deadly obstacle courses in order to gain more living space.
  • In this world there is a wall that separates the planet itself.
    • About half the world belongs some other faction and it is unknown to this society what is behind that wall.
  • Here it's a bit fuzzy but there is some kind of ministerial department who's job is to put great minds at work in order to bring down said wall so that they can continue building on.
  • I also remember a detail about a simple common dog being worthy of a place in a zoo.
  • No other animal life left in this society.

I don't remember much else but I remember enjoying it. No clue of origin or author or era it was written, surely post war.

Anyone know of this?

  • I know I've read this. it is at least referred to in the short story version. I hope this helps. amazon.com/Science-Fiction-Origins-William-Nolan/dp/0445046260 Feb 14, 2015 at 14:26
  • This book is a collection of short stories and novellas that inspired seven of the more famous works of SF. The original stories behind "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury, "Childhood's End" by Arthur C. Clarke, "The Dream Master" by Roger Zelazny, "The Time Hoppers" by Robert Silverberg, "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch" by Philip K. Dick, "Tomorrow's World" by Evan Hunter, and "Space For Hire" by William F. Nolan. Which one do you think is the inspiration for the story in the question?
    – Valorum
    Feb 14, 2015 at 14:30
  • Looking at the description of Time Hoppers here I'd guess that's the one Morgon Grogg is referring to since it deals with extreme overpopulation, though I don't see anything about a mystery wall, and the plot involves time travel which isn't mentioned in luxulterior's description.
    – Hypnosifl
    Feb 14, 2015 at 16:00
  • It's actually called Hopper I think. Time Hoppers is a novel, perhaps related. isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?63468 Mar 16, 2015 at 16:06
  • This sounds very much like something I read in an anthology recently, and it's going to drive me nuts until I remember the title. Dec 14, 2015 at 3:11

2 Answers 2


This sounds like it could be a combination of Robert Sheckley stories, particularly The People Trap which is about an over-populated Earth in which people compete in Land Race Day for plots of land.

Also, check out this list: https://sciencefictionruminations.wordpress.com/science-fiction-book-reviews-by-author/sci-fi-novels-about-overpopulation/


Might it have been the Harry Harrison story called "Make Room, Make Room" which was later made into the film 'Soylent Green" starring Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson?

  • 2
    Welcome to SFFSE! Could you add a bit of a description for your suggestion so the OP can make a determination as to whether this is what they are looking for? Thanks! Oct 15, 2015 at 0:50
  • Doubt it is this one. I do not remember cryonics in the original story.
    – Vicpylon
    Jan 13, 2016 at 4:27

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