Vonnegut’s short work, “The Big Trip Up Yonder,” is a genre science fiction tale originally published in the magazine “Galaxy Science Fiction” in 1959 – “If it was good enough for your grandfather, forget it … it is much too good for anyone else!”
Gramps Ford, his chin resting on his hands, his hands on the crook of his cane, was staring irascibly at the five–foot television screen that dominated the room. On the screen, a news commentator was summarizing the day’s happenings. Every thirty seconds or so, Gramps would jab the floor with his cane–tip and shout, “Hell, we did that a hundred years ago!”
Emerald and Lou, coming in from the balcony, where they had been seeking that 2185 A.D. rarity—privacy—were obliged to take seats in the back row, behind Lou’s father and mother, brother and sister–in–law, son and daughter–in–law, grandson and wife, granddaughter and husband, great–grandson and wife, nephew and wife, grandnephew and wife, great–grandniece and husband, great–grandnephew and wife—and, of course, Gramps, who was in front of everybody. All save Gramps, who was somewhat withered and bent, seemed, by pre–anti–gerasone standards, to be about the same age—somewhere in their late twenties or early thirties. Gramps looked older because he had already reached 70 when anti–gerasone was invented. He had not aged in the 102 years since.
“Meanwhile,” the commentator was saying, “Council Bluffs, Iowa, was still threatened by stark tragedy. But 200 weary rescue workers have refused to give up hope, and continue to dig in an effort to save Elbert Haggedorn, 183, who has been wedged for two days in a…”
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