Thought-provoking story. Some spoilers follow in comments.This story does an effective job of painting a mostly unsympathetic protagonist, and his subtle transition into a place of having scruples, ethics, and working towards a higher purpose than just his own self-interest. This is put into stark relief when the (cloned) character has to interact with his original, who is still a mean-spirited murderous low-life. The interactions the clone has had, and his reactions which awaken him to a sense of conscience, are so delicately interwoven that it is impossible to pin down the moment when this shift in character happens. This metamorphosis is very delicately handled by the authors, who use interactions with aliens and the colonization of a new world to explore the issues of how one lives one's experience and what one gets out of it. It also does a great job of evoking truly alien cultures and thought processes. There are many layers of meaning tucked away in this story - I find it mildly haunting, in the way a good book is that provokes one to think long after you've put the book down. Highly recommended.
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