A bank manager gets up, uses his house replicator to make breakfast, then drives to work. he notices that things are wrong, such as damage to the statues on the facade of the bank building. Turns out, the bank is, like society, no longer working - a group of youths are in the bank, and only the janitor is willing to protect him, as long as he opens the vault. Turns out, civilization has collapsed because of replicators - no one works or trades anything except replicated replicators. The banker has a heart attack and dies before he opens the vault, so the janitor feeds his corpse into a replicator and gets a brand new manager, whom he drives home to start the day again. Two lovers among the youths hold each other and drop into a replicator so they can start their life over again, at exactly the same point as the morning since the new bodies are based on a template recorded that morning.

Author and name of story? I keep thinking Disch.


1 Answer 1


Your description is very good. The story is Now is Forever by Thomas M Disch.

Some relevant excerpts...

Nothing about breakfast, but Charles Archold is a bank manager.

... he observed peripherally that Commerce had been beheaded...

(Commerce is a statue on the facade)

..."Lester! Are you out there? Throw these juvenile delinquents out of my bank. This minute! Do you understand? Lester!"
"Didja hear the man, Lester? Why don't you answer the bank president?"
"He can open the vault doors. You can make him do it."...

They try to force him to open the vault but he collapses

"It was a heart attack, I guess. He's dead."

The two lovers...

"Jude helped her to sit down at the edge of the hopper, then took a seat beside her. The opening was barely big enough for their two bodies [...] Together, they slid into the machine."

and finally...

Lester shoved Archold's old body into the hopper of the Reprostat. [...] Lester opened the door of the materializer. [...] He laid the drugged body of the bank president on the bed [...] "See you tomorrow," he said to his old boss.


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