Sheldon J. Pacotti
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The demiurge is a home appliance which can print anything, including food, living organisms, and—in its telepod configuration—people. Detective Paul Cramer is about to discover that the re-printed "copy" of a person can easily be baffled by the deeds of his original, even if he is world-renowned as a decoder of the criminal mind.
Like content on today's Internet, everything "wants to be free" in 2996. But if the world government were to allow such instant wealth, what would become of human aspiration? Cooperation? The social order? Unthinkable—yet Paul's original apparently tossed away his career and even his family in order to live this way—in a boundless dreamworld. But did the original simply give in to urges that are already present in Paul himself? How long can Paul defend a social order that outlaws the material reality in which its citizens live?