Stories that still work: The Awakening (1942)

The Awakening is a story about suspended animation. It was written in 1942 by Arthur C. Clarke and collected in:

Clarke, Arthur Charles. 2002. The collected stories of Arthur C. Clarke. New York: Tom Doherty Associates. (Find in a library).

The Awakening, the story of a feared figure called The Master who was put into suspended animation pending cure of a heart issue holds up well but for one detail. His hibernation place was a “secret place above the snow line of Mount Everest” because there were “many millions in the world who would have sought out his body to destroy it.”

The top of Everest might have seemed like a secret spot in 1942, after seven failed efforts to climb the mountain. Today it is one of the heavier trafficked high mountains in the world. No place to put a cruel leader with so many enemies.

Aside from that, it was easy for this 20th Century reader to suspend disbelief as The Master was put under, how his place of refuge became lost and how he reacted to his very, very late resurrection. Along the way, we are treated to some accurate seeming descriptions of plate tectonics.



Timeline of Mount Everest Expeditions –

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