Monday, March 4, 2013

Robert Silverberg's "To Be Continued" (short story, immortality, free): Slow life is frustrating!

One of the illustrations by Emsh accompanying the publication in Astounding Science Fiction, British edition, April 1957, of short story To Be Continued by Robert Silverberg. Image shows the 2000 year old hero with 2 personas of his 300 year old lady love.
Immortality here is of a curious kind - your growth slows down. Like you'll develop physically & psychologically by a year when actual time lapsed in say 100 years! Author didn't elaborate how the hero survived infancy since parents aren't normally immortals & the immortals exist without society knowing about them; that's a weak point of the story.

The only immortals we meet in the story also have a curious super ability - they can morph into a different individual, in all observable ways. So, e.g., you can simultaneously romance two girls using your different personas, & no trouble even if one of them spots you with another.

This is the story of a 2000 year old man, Gaius Titus Menenius, who's now finally reached puberty! Story is mostly his search for a mate, with a funny ending.

See also.

  1. Mohsen H Darabi's "Loyalty beyond seasons" (download): Another kind of biological impediment to romance...
  2. Eric Frank Russell's "The Waitabits" (download as part of a larger package): When a fast life encounters a much slower one...

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding, May 1956.
Download full text as part of the scans of Astounding (British ed), April 1957.
Rating: A.
Among the stories from Astounding/Analog issues edited by John Campbell.
Related: Stories of Robert Silverberg.