Young adult novel from the late 70s
April 22, 2020 5:03 PM   Subscribe

Does anybody remember the title of a young adult novel from the late 70s or early 80s about a guy with an incurable disease who gets cryogenically frozen so he can wake up in the future at at a time when a cure has been found?

It may have been one of those scholastic reader books that were around back then. The distinguishing plot point that I remember is that he had to eat maraschino cherries as part of the freezing process because they contain the right amount of a certain preservative. That's about all I remember, other than the fact that I enjoyed it. This one is a long shot, but you folks have surprised me before.
posted by ambulocetus to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
 
"The Forever Formula by Frank Bonham? Searching the book for the word "cherry" on Google Books brings up this excerpt:

"Mom was right there to refill the glass for her.
"'Thank you. I've never tasted anything so good.'
"'It's the maraschino cherry flavor. Well, goodness, you wouldn't know about that, poor dear.'"

From Kirkus: "The year is 2164. Seventeen-year-old Evan Clark awakens after 180 frozen years into a society whose citizens commonly live well past one hundred years into uselessness and boredom. So scarce is living space in Los Angeles, now the U.S. capital, that young people, those under 60, are kept in kennels. Evan's own father, the legendary Dr. Clark, had in 1984 invented the formula that made longevity possible, though he was later killed in an accident; all that's in the history books. Dr. Clark also developed a refinement in the formula that promised not just longevity but continued youth, and he never disclosed it to anyone except Evan."
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:25 PM on April 22, 2020


Response by poster: That might be it, but there isn't any mention of an incurable disease in the review, and I thought the protagonist was older. But then again my memory isn't what it once was. Maybe there were two books with similar themes around the same time? Not sure.
posted by ambulocetus at 5:49 PM on April 22, 2020


I remember three short, short stories about cryogenics from school. The incurable disease man, who wakes to find all disease are cured. Except the common cold. He sneezes, and I think they kill him rather than risk the cold spreading. The man who leaves money in the bank thinking he'll wake rich. And then goes to the mall and sees that his riches won't even buy a shirt. And the criminal who fakes his identity and freezes himself to escape prison. But wakes to a world in a police state. These would have been from the eighties when I was in school. I can't help with the title, but if those other stories are familiar it was probably something like Scholastic reader.
posted by saffry at 6:14 PM on April 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


What you describe was roughly the plot of The Age of the Pussyfoot by Fred Pohl (but without the cherry on top!).
posted by jamjam at 6:24 PM on April 22, 2020


saffry, you might be thinking of Good Morning! This Is the Future (1962) by Henry Slesar. "I read a story in middle school about a man who had been kept cryogenically for years until his ailment could be cured. When awoken, he sneezed and the doctors with the cure for his disease asked him what he had done. He said he sneezed and must just have a cold. They ended up killing him because all diseases had been eradicated."

Also: "I am trying to remember and find a story about at least three people who are awakened from cryonic sleep/suspended animation, each at progressively futuristic dates, and the circumstances that befall them. I am not entirely sure of the order of the story. One man awakens and is informed that the interest on his savings makes him a millionaire; he thinks this is great, until he goes to spend some money and discovers that inflation has brought the cost of a regular piece of clothing to several thousand dollars. Another person is awakened, sneezes in the chill of the room, and is immediately killed by injection for fear of spreading his diseases. I do not remember the fate of the third sleeper. Does anyone know this story?"

"This is "Good Morning! This is the Future" by Henry Slesar.

"I read it in the anthology Microcosmic Tales.

I"t is published as one story, with three parts. The three parts of the story are just as described by the OP and @Damien."
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:43 PM on April 22, 2020


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