- fantastyka, fantasy, science fiction
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George Putnam was one of Job Judkins’s favorite students, and the old professor used to keep in touch with him. Putnam felt somewhat flattered by this, since he hadn’t been a prize science student, and when Judkins wired George to come and see him at once, he didn’t hesitate in replying. Judkins was engaged in some sort
of private research and wanted to demonstrate his findings to his former pupil.
Old Judkins was almost a crank on the subject of scientific progress which would take place within the coming century; it was plain that he bitterly regretted he would not live to see it. Putnam felt particularly sympathetic, since his present mood was the expansive one of a man who has just won the girl he loves and is about to be married.
“I’ve been making some experiments in vegetable and mineral odors,” Judkins said, “and I think I have produced an entirely new scent. Perhaps your fiancée would like it.” He brought forth a vial and invited the young man to take a sniff.
There was no odor. Putnam asked Judkins if he were kidding. But at that instant the professor pressed the button of the vial which caused a tiny hole to open in the stopper and George Putnam breathed something into his lungs which seemed to freeze him. He heard the professor murmur, “Fortunate man, fortunate man,” and then...
... And then he was lying in what seemed to be a cradle or a casket with glass sides. He had the sensation of having pins and needles stuck into all parts of his body. He lifted his head and found that he was naked, except for a loincloth of some curious substance, and he was lying on a hard metal surface.
There was no sign of Professor Judkins or the laboratory. The two men he now saw were strangers, apparently technicians, and they wore shorts and blouses. The air was warm. And the two regarded him in a very strange manner.
Shortly, George Putnam learned that he had been in suspended animation for a hundred years. He had been brought to this colony, which was named after him; and he was, in fact, the owner of the Putnam colony. His fiancée had long since died, an old woman. But there were many more surprises in store for him.
For this colony was a world under glass, a hothouse world, and its few thousand inhabitants were, so far as they knew, the only human beings left on Earth.
Here is a fascinating tale of a strange future, when the Earth encounters cosmic forces which make its surface uninhabitable, and of the decadent people living under the Dome—the rulers of whom want Putnam to relinquish his legal control to them, while the bulk of the populace look upon him as virtually a savior. What would you have done had you found yourself the most important person of all in The Hothouse World?
First magazine publication: Argosy, February 21, 1931-March 28, 1931
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