To Die a Thousand Deaths
Teleportation is a standard trope of science fiction, but not often are the ramifications of it been explored. What happens to a soul or spirit when you are teleported? If there is a machine at the end that builds you a new body, what is stopping you from building a second you? Or a dozen? How hard is it to program one to not include diseases or to reverse aging or to replace missing parts?
To Die A Thousand Deaths is a book that delves into these concepts quite deeply. Timothy Dark is a deeply troubled yet brilliant engineer. While working for a government research facility, he invented a machine supposed to be the ultimate in medical advances. It could take apart a whole body, then rebuild it perfectly, only without disease, tumors, injury, or defect. It was only later that they realized that they could do the same but over distances—and possibly do it multiple times. Dark tries the machine on himself and is so shaken by the experience that he demands the program be shut down and sabotages the machine to never run again.
Two years later, he is a near-broken man. Unable to keep his relationship together, he realizes that the machine took something from him. Then his old bosses call. Not only did they keep the program running, but they made a duplicate, and the duplicate has been stolen.
This book is a tightly-wound action thriller wrapped around an interesting philosophical question. And, while there are bad-guy terrorists and a couple of shootouts, the real meat of this story is the question of what impact this technology would have. This is a great summer read for someone who likes a side of action with their deep questions.
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