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"We [science fiction writers] always wanted to believe in "private sector" space -- hucksters make better characters than a government does."
- Larry Niven

Provigil  
  A medication that makes the user 'untired' - not just more awake.  

Provigil is the name of a real drug (Modafinil) used to treat narcolepsy. It is sometimes referred to as a "wakefulness promoting agent" rather than a stimulant. It is marketed as improving 'alertness' and reducing 'excessive daytime sleepiness.

"What is this?" the specialist asked.
"Provigil," he answered, taking one himself. "It's getting late and it's been a long day and we're all tired, right?"
"Right," she said, taking the pill. "Not any more ... it makes you 'untired,' he said. "It's not an upper; it's sort of the reverse of a sleeping pill. You do tend to get stupid and you don't notice...
From When the Devil Dances, by John Ringo.
Published by Baen in 2002
Additional resources -

The idea of a pill or other means for doing without sleep recurs in science fiction. In his 1941 story Methuselah's Children, Robert Heinlein writes about a "sleep surrogate" that you could take in the morning after an inadequate night's sleep. Also, take a look at A-som, anti-somnolence drugs mentioned in Paul Di Filippo's 2006 story Shuteye for the Timebroker; this story examines what it would be like to eliminate sleep entirely.

Thanks to an anonymous reader for sending in this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from When the Devil Dances
  More Ideas and Technology by John Ringo
  Tech news articles related to When the Devil Dances
  Tech news articles related to works by John Ringo

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