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"Science fiction operates a little bit like science itself, in principle. You've got thousands of people exploring ideas, putting forth their own hypotheses. Most of them are dead wrong; a few stand the test of time; everything looks kind of quaint in hind"
- Peter Watts

Imprint (A Ditto Blank)  
  Impress one's personality upon a 'ditto blank' android.  

I closed the collar of my trench coat, making sure the matching fedora fit low and snug. Clara had stitched my private eye outfit for me by hand, using high-tech fabrics she swiped from her Army Reserve unit. Great stuff. Yet the protective layers felt barely reassuring. Plenty of modern weapons can slice through textile armor. The sensible thing, as always, would be to send a copy. But my place is too far from the Teller building. My little home kiln couldn't thaw and imprint quickly enough to make Blaine's rendezvous.

It always makes me feel creepy and vulnerable to go perform a rescue or arrest in person. Risk isn't what realflesh is for. But this time, what choice was there?

Technovelgy from Kiln People, by David Brin.
Published by Tor in 2002
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'...the huge vessel had spun, with a sickening lurch, through a complete half-circle, the instant the power was reversed.'

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'...he realized that it was not quite a clear lens. Speckles of colored brightness swirled and gathered in it.'

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