“Squish” by Daniel M. Hoyt

The year is 2136. In this short story, the main character, Meyer, is an investigator hired to find the imposter among the many clones his boss, Benton Reege, has made of himself. These clones are stationed throughout the solar system and each is in charge of various research or industrial facilities. As Meyer makes the rounds, with his brain being “squished” into new biobods at each stop, he realizes that more is going on than he was told.

This is an quick tour of the solar system, with little bits about the different planets and asteroids. For example, in this fictional future the technological advances are astounding, but they still can’t make biobods that could actually live on the surface of Venus.

“That could be solved if we could grow Venusian bodies that don’t crush halfway to the surface — it’s 92 times Earth’s pressure.  We can lick the temperature problem.  It’s over 460 everywhere on the Venusian surface, like a planet-sized greenhouse, close enough to Mercury’s max, 420, to benefit from their high temp research.  But we’re still struggling with the pressure.”

Even though the story is really short, it did have me wondering what was going on. Meyer’s reception at the various stations was odd and I couldn’t figure out how the story was going to end. It’s an interesting little piece of science fiction.

If you’re interested in reading the story, it can be found at Diamonds in the Sky. The funding for the anthology was actually provided through a grant from The National Science Foundation.

John hosts Short Story Monday at The Book Mine Set. Head over there to see what he and others have been reading.