Sell body, inherit unhealthy one but make it fit

scifi333

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This was a either a novel or short story, from the 1970s or 80s I think. In my mind I can see it on the bookshelf in my bedroom from when I was a teenager, but though I can practically smell the pine of the shelf I cannot see the name on the spine of the book! :eek:

The hero needs money so has sold his body; no not in that sense, but actually sold: he goes into some machine with the customer and their consciousnesses are swapped. He gets a horribly unhealthy one. The rich guy goes off to parties with his new good looks. Our hero starts exercising and eating healthily to turn his new body around.
There is a scene where they meet after six months and the bodies look like they did at the start of the story. I don't remember more so I suspect it was a short story and that was the conclusion.

The "your body is what you make it, not what you inherited" idea appeals to me so if anyone recognizes it and can let me know the author or title, I will love you forever. (Platonically :p)
I'd also be interested to hear recommendations of other sci-fi/fantasy novels that have a similar theme.

Thanks! :)
 

Vertigo

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Definitely not the book you are talking about but since you asked about similar books :eek:the Takeshi Kovacs novels by Richard K Morgan do touch on similar themes. In his universe people travel long interstellar distances by "needlecast" this is a transmission of just your mind (and consciousness) which is then downloaded into a "sleeve"; another body. This other body could be a synthetic one (cheapest option) or it could be the body of a criminal or someone in debt who has had their mind stored or it could be a "blank" body grown and stored for particular purposes, for example military sleeves with particular enhancements of rmilitary use.

In the first book - Altered Carbon - there is a recurring theme throughout where the body that the hero is downloaded into had a nicotine habit and throughout the book he is trying to quit!

The shakiness associated with downloading was beginning to assert itself, and in addition there was an unwelcome scratchiness in my feet and fingers which I assumed was nicotine dependency. Apart from the odd cigarette bummed from Sarah, I’d been quit for the last two sleeves and I didn’t want to have to break the habit all over again.
 

williamjm

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The "your body is what you make it, not what you inherited" idea appeals to me so if anyone recognizes it and can let me know the author or title, I will love you forever. (Platonically :p)
I'd also be interested to hear recommendations of other sci-fi/fantasy novels that have a similar theme.
It definitely isn't the book you're looking for (since the body swapping is unwilling and caused by a supernatural being rather than the science fiction plot you're describing), but there's a similar subplot in Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates, I think you might find it interesting.
 

clovis-man

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I'm sure this isn't it, but I'm reminded of the "Johnny Mayhem" stories by Milton Lesser from the 1950s. Our hero, Mssr. Mayhem, was continually being reincarnated in a different body, usually not of his choosing.
 

HareBrain

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It definitely isn't the book you're looking for (since the body swapping is unwilling and caused by a supernatural being rather than the science fiction plot you're describing), but there's a similar subplot in Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates, I think you might find it interesting.
I also forms a major part of the plot in his Last Call.
 

Winter Lord

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It sounds like a short story from a science fiction anthology with stories about being overweight.
 

scifi333

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Thanks for all the ideas. It doesn't sound like anyone remembers it, but some interesting books I've added to my to-watch-out-for list. :)

(All the suggestions were more recent than when I had this book, and as the book was either secondhand or from the library, ... well, basically, you're making me feel old :eek: )
 

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