Johnson knew he was annoying the younger man, who so obviously lived by the regulations in the Colonial Officer's Manual and lacked the imagination to understand why he was doing this.... Evelyn E. Smith is famous for her bitter-sweet stories of the worlds of Tomorrow.
had been theirs all along.
Dusk was falling. Tonight, for the first time in centuries, the street lamps would not go on. Undoubtedly when it grew dark he would see ghosts, but they would be the ghosts of the past and he had made his peace with the past long since; it was the present and the future with which he had not come to terms. And now there would be no present, no past, no future--but all merged into one and he was the only one.
At Forty-second Street pigeons fluttered thickly around the public library, fat as ever, their numbers greater, their appetites grosser. The ancient library, he knew, had changed little inside: stacks and shelves would still be packed thick with reading matter. Books are bulky, so only the rare editions had been taken beyond the stars; the rest had been microfilmed and their originals left to Johnson and decay. It was his library now, and he had all the time in the world to read all the books in the world--for there were more than he could possibly read in the ye
The last starship from Earth is leaving the planet, taking everyone remaining except Johnson, who chooses to stay behind and wander around New York.
It's a lastmanonearth story. Even if you accept that Tibetan monks, African warlords, and Montana survivalists would all agree to emigrate, there's still not much of a story here. It's just his thoughts and plans for the future, with no one or nothing to have a conflict with.
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