In a near future USA an obscure inventor creates the Gizmo—a device which can duplicate anything, including itself. The social and economic implications of this machine are explored in a brilliant and terrifying extrapolation. Damon Knight is an SFFWA Grandmaster.
What would happen if someone invented a machine that could duplicate anything? That is the simple but remarkable premise of Damon Knight’s classic 1959 novel, A for Anything. “The Gismo,” as the machine is known, seems like it will end poverty and need forever. But of course, things are not that simple. Like any truly great work of science fiction, Knight’s novel boldly pursues the ramifications of this premise. What will people do if there is no longer any need to work for anything? What happens if this device is spread carelessly throughout the world? Finally, there is the supreme and most chilling of question: what happens if you try to duplicate a human being?
A for Anything is a classic work of science fiction, but it considers questions that are as relevant and compelling today as they were fifty years ago, perhaps more so. Like most of us, Knight watches the mind-boggling technological advancements of our time with a mixture of awe and alarm, and wonders whether we are really in control of the things we are creating. Knight has put his finger on the pulse of our modern sensibility and, mixed with his truly remarkable imagination, created a novel that is gripping, thought-provoking and impossible to put down.
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