“The Man Who Returned,” Edmond Hamilton, 1935 — (Fantasy) A man wakes up in his coffin but is able to get free. He plans to return home, but finds his wife with his best friend. He decides not to inform his son, who would lose the insurance money he needs to start a business. He calls his former employer for help but finds that his years of service were actually years of being pitied and humored by a boss who thought he was an “inefficient” burden. With nowhere else to go to get out of the cold, he returns to his crypt and allows himself to fall asleep a last time. Only in death (with his presence removed) does he learn what others thought of him, is he worth anything.
Comments: Similar to Hamilton’s “He That Hath Wings,” 1938, the story of a man born with wings who must cut them off to be a part of society (a husband). Read in The Best of Hamilton.
Author: Wikipedia: “Edmond Moore Hamilton (October 21, 1904 – February 1, 1977) was an American author of science fiction stories and novels during the mid-twentieth.” “World-wrecker” Hamilton was an extremely prolific writer, particularly of space opera, and appeared frequently in Weird Tales. He was close friends with many prominent genre writers, including Jack Williamson, and was married to Leigh Brackett, a science fiction writer and a screen writer of several notable screenplays.