About A History of the New Ice Age:
This short story of 2300 words chronicles the cryogenics boom of the mid to late twenty-first century.
Cryogenics had been used on and off in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, but back then they were merely the province of cranks and weirdoes, dismissed and ridiculed by all serious scientists and physicians.
All that changed on June 28, 2042, when Dr. Helen Owomoyela and her team managed to successfully revive a mountain gorilla that had been cryogenically frozen in a last ditch effort to save that doomed species.
Of course, it was “only an ape”, as the sceptics never failed to remind everybody who would listen. But the revival of Melanie, as the gorilla female had been christened by Dr. Owomoyela’s team, and her mate Byron not just boosted the population of the by now extinct mountain gorilla, it also established cryogenics as a viable medical technology.
The first successful revival of a human being happened in 2047. The test subject was one Ryan Sitwell, a software developer who had succumbed to liver failure due to hepatitis in 1999 at the age of thirty-one. Sitwell was considered the ideal candidate, an otherwise young and healthy person who had died of what was now a curable disease.
His revival and recovery turned Ryan Sitwell into an international media star, at least for fifteen seconds until the world figured out that Ryan was something of a jerk, not to mention pretty damn annoying. For he kept using archaic language, talking about “mobiles” and “dotcom” and the “world wide web”. He also kept asking what had become of his stock options and refused to believe that the company he’d founded back in 1997, a company he kept calling a “dotcom start-up” had folded in 2001 and that he was not in fact, a billionaire.
The world soon forgot about Ryan Sitwell, relegating him to the occasional “Whatever happened to…” special. But the genie was out of the bottle now, the floodgates had been opened. More revivals were tried and the procedure was mostly successful except in a few cases where shoddy cryogenic equipment had been used.
Of course, few of the newly revived managed to adapt all that well to the strange new world in which they found themselves. And hardly any of them got even a fraction of the media attention that Ryan Sitwell had received.