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"The SF approach: an awareness that things could have been different, that this is one of many possible worlds, that if you came to this world from some other planet, this would be a science fiction world."
- Neal Stephenson

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?

From Kiln People, by David Brin.
Published by Tor in 2002
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