Thursday, January 14, 2010

Henry Kuttner & C L Moore's "Time Enough" (as by Lewis Padgett) (short story, immortality, free): Sometimes the best argument is a demonstration

Quote from short story titled Time Enough by Henry Kuttner and C L Moore, writing under their joint pseudonym Lewis PadgettParts of it feel like Mary Shelley's "The Mortal Immortal" (download).

Story summary.

A nuclear catastrophe destroyed most human culture & artifacts. Among the human survivors were a few people with a mutation - they were practically immortal. Immortal, but aging in a natural way - so senility, bodily troubles, etc are norm among them.

Now, 500 years down, a new human civilization has arisen. With "Old 'Uns" isolated by the government to avoid envy among the normals.

But Sam Dyson, working with radiation in a lab, has figured out a way to achieve immortality. How do the powers-that-be convince him to give it up? Well - they do have an effective argument, but it doesn't involve speaking...

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding, December 1946.
Download full text.
Rating: B.
Listed among the stories from John Campbell's Astounding/Analog.
Related: Stories of Henry Kuttner, C L Moore (as by Lewis Padgett); Stories involving immortality; Mutants in fiction.