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Response to alfredo (Original post)

Sun Jul 7, 2013, 03:32 PM

20. Sort of OT but about Stanton and Lincoln

Philip K Dick wrote a novel, "We Can Build You", published in 1972 about a simulacra of Stanton and Lincoln. The book is back in print published by Vintage.

from wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Can_Build_You


"We Can Build You is set in the then-future year of 1982. It centers on Louis Rosen, a small businessman whose company produces spinets and electronic organs. Rosen's partner wants to begin production of simulacra, or androids, based on famous Civil War figures. The firm completes two prototypes, one of Edwin M. Stanton and one of Abraham Lincoln. Rosen then attempts to sell the robot patents to Sam K. Barrows, an influential businessman who is opening up lunar real estate for purchase and colonization. Unfortunately, while the Stanton simulacrum proves able to adapt to contemporary U.S. society, the Lincoln simulacrum proves unable to do so, possibly due to the fact that the original experienced schizophrenia. At the same time, Louis begins a relationship with Pris Frauenzimmer, the schizophrenic daughter of his business partner, who has designed both simulacra. This becomes an obsession and Louis himself begins to hallucinate about Pris."


My recollections of last read:

The Stanton (first product) and Lincoln androids are so real as to go out in public and have incongruent and independent minds of their own. Lincoln is depressive and unwilling to be on any message for an agenda. Stanton is aggressive and goes off the reservation to work with the "real" competitor.

From Vintage book jacket:

"Louis Rosen and his partners used to sell spinets. Now they are selling people -- or, to be more precise, ingeniously designed, historically authentic simulacra of Edwin M Stanton and Abraham Lincoln ......... And there's the added complication that someone -- or something -- like Abraham Lincoln may not want to be sold."

"Is an electronic Abraham Lincoln any less alive than his creators? Is a machine that cares and suffers inferior to the woman Louis love --a borderline psychopath that does neither?

My note: That the Stanton simulacra who bullies and is a traitor dominates the Lincoln simulacra before getting into the human emotion and Mars-Earth corporate colonization parts of the tale.

Not a shill, just a PKD reader since my teens in the 60s SF area. The book as aged well and is structured as relatively linear and finished story.

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