Friday, March 18, 2011

A Kidnapping - Greg Egan

Short Story

Number of words : 5800
Percent of complex words : 11.8
Average syllables per word : 1.5
Average words per sentence : 18.0


Fog : 11.9
Flesch : 58.2
Flesch-Kincaid : 9.6



A man whose wife refuses to be scanned so she can be uploaded on dying. Sells digital artworks.


His wife. An artist who likes physical media.

Detective Nicholson

Works in the Communications Crime Division that David contacts.


Spectral Density

An animated abstract Kreyszig piece in the office.



High-resolution imaging techniques used to generate a detailed map of a body down to the cellular level, including neurons in the brain. This can can them be uploaded on the physical body's death.

Coney Island

An environment for the scanned and resurrected. David's mother lives there.

Visual cortex taps

A body augmentation used for image copying and reproduction.



Nations in space.


David gets a phone call that his wife has been taken, and will be tortured if he doesn't pay up. However, he calls his wife who is at home and fine. They only have a computer simulation.

This works eventually on David after multiple attempts because his real wife refuses to have a scan done so she can live on after death, unlike his mother. So the only way David will be able to be with her after they die is via this illegal method. They agree to let him be with the simulation after he dies as long as he continues to cough up the big bucks over time.

4.5 out of 5

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