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I read a teen/young-adult Sci-Fi novel and I hope maybe one of you will recognize the plot, which includes:

  • The main character is a teen boy whose father was a scientist working on suspended animation.
  • For some reason, the teen winds up being frozen in suspended animation for decades and when he finally is awoken, he finds that his family is dead but that his father is celebrated as a great scientist and inventor.
  • They have even turned his childhood home into a museum, which he visits.
  • Old men in power who have artificially prolonged their lives (and whom the main character refers to as "guppies" due to the physical changes their bodies have made through their efforts to stay alive) believe that this teen might have the secret to his father's suspended animation process locked away in his subconscious.
  • This process has been lost and they want to "pick his brain" to get it back to use on themselves and thus further cheat death.
  • The kid is quite a celebrity when he wakes up but feels very isolated and lonely since he knows no one and he cannot even go home because his home is a public museum.
  • He discovers the guppies' desire to pick through his memories and the rest of the book deals with him trying to escape their evil plans.

I read this book in the mid-80s when I was in Junior-High and I don't think it was a terribly old book at that time, probably no more than five or ten years old.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

It would be fun to track down a copy of this book because I remember enjoying it a lot. Thanks in advance for your help.

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"The Forever Formula" by Frank Bonham (1979). Seventeen-year-old Evan Clark gets brought forward in time via suspended animation to 2164. Eventually the "guppies" shave Evan bald and use a laser-based scanning technique to get a "more complete" rejuvenation formula that Evan overheard his father discussing. The new formula makes each individual cell of a person "self-sustaining", losing no nutrients. But the side effect is death, as the guppies find out as their bodies bloat, unable to deal with waste products from those changed cells.

What I remember the most is the ordinary nurse that brings Evan out of frozen suspended animation. She gets recruited by a resistance group trying to break the guppies' hold on politics and power, but she is found out and frozen herself. While civilization collapses around him, Evan rescues her suspended body and thaws her out in the final pages of the book.

A good read, if a little juvenile.

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