2430 A.D.

2430 AD is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. It was commissioned by IBM magazine to be based on a quotation by J B Priestley. The author assumed that the story should back the quotation, but it was rejected as IBM had actually wanted a story that refuted the quotation.

After Asimov wrote a second story that did refute the quotation, IBM took the first story after all and published it in the October 1970 issue of "IBM Magazine".

Plot introduction

Earth has established a totally balanced and ecologically stable underground society (similar to that portrayed in the novel The Caves of Steel). But one man, Cranwitz, regarded as eccentric because he keeps a few animals as pets, refuses to get rid of these animals, the last non-human inhabitants of the planet.

He is finally persuaded by his sector representatives to exterminate his pets, but also commits suicide. This leaves Earth in 'perfection', with its fifteen trillion inhabitants, twenty billion tons of human brain and the 'exquisite nothingness of uniformity'.

The quotation by Priestley runs:

:"Between midnight and dawn, when sleep will not come and all the old wounds begin to ache, I often have a nightmare vision of a future world in which there are billions of people, all numbered and registered, with not a gleam of genius anywhere, not an original mind, a rich personality, on the whole packed globe."


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