Al Morris is a private investigator. Actually, he's lots of private investigators. For he lives in a world in which every person, every day, can be in any number of places at the same time. It's the world of dittos. It is our world. Welcome to the future. In a business where information is the currency, Al's dittos are loaded. And with a number of cases on the go at once, it is crucial that Al keeps track of what's going on. What he doesn't know is that he is about to be drawn into a plot that could throw this delicately balanced world into chaos. It seems that the technology has been developed for dittos to replicate themselves. It seems that real people may no longer be necessary. And, suddenly, it seems that mankind's dream of immortality could turn into a nightmare. Look out for more information about this book and others at www.orbitbooks.co.uk… (more)
For Poul Anderson, who explored for all of us, making the future fun.... ...and Greg Bear, who takes on every shadow, with edge... ...and Gregory Benford, who delves stark beauty in the dark ocean of night... ...all of them shamans by the campfire. Indispensable.
It's hard to stay cordial while fighting for your life, even when your life doesn't amount to much. Even when you're just a lump of clay.
Even in the old days it was normal to wonder, now and then, if you were real. At least it was normal for zen masters and college sophomores. Now, the thought can strike you in the middle of a busy day. Running errands and doing business, you actually lose track of which table you got up from that morning. You can't help checking, lifting a hand to glance at the color, or giving the flesh a quick pinch.
Then I put my clay head down to begin life once again.