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December 30th, 2010, 03:22 PM
Hello, I'm trying to remember the name/author of a scifi short story I read about a decade ago in an old anthology.

The story starts with a scientist traveling back through time to the Roman empire and giving them the cure for all common diseases, which jump starts science and population growth, e.g. nuclear powered boats in the Mediterranean by the 300s, etc.. which results in the earth being massively overpopulated with billions upon billions of people...

The narrative then skips to the last bit of green space being gone, then goes ahead to far future where they're harnessing the Milky Way galaxy's energy resources to feed trillions of people on Earth, which by this time are living throughout the planet in huge tunnel complexes, eventually there's so many that they start to tunnel through each other's corpses until the earth is basically a huge ball of humans..

The government decides to fix the problem by building a time machine and sending (with great difficulty) one man back in time armed with one bullet to shoot the time traveling scientist upon arrival in Rome. The story ends with something like, "and the unborn trillions breathed relief"...

Anyone recognize the story? I really creeped me out when I was a kid and I'd like to read it again.

December 31st, 2010, 02:26 AM
Frederik Pohl's 'The Deadly Mission of Phineas Snodgrass'.