The Warrior Within: a tight science fiction novella about a warrior who contains multitudes


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We’ve featured Angus McIntyre’s short fiction here before (see 2015’s Someone to Watch Over Me), and now I’m delighted to recommend his debut between covers: a novella called The Warrior Within.


The ‘multiple personalities in one cranium’ idea has had some great stories: Vacuum Flowers by Michael Swanwick (great fun, would love to see a sequel, or of course more Schismatrix!) and wasn’t there a Roger Zalazny story with a similar premise? Lord of Light? Another set of books whose name eludes me but I recall the protagonist was a part-man-part-beast named Ripcat who had multiple personalities. The settings and mcguffin(s) may be different but it is an intriguing idea. Of course how do you fit several fully functioning versions of you on a single wetware platform?

In Consider Phlebas Kraiklyn has a ‘shift system in his head’ so he never really sleeps, always has one eye open.


The Netflix series Sense8 kind of did this too. It wasn’t so much multiple personalities as different people could take over the driver seat when needed. Some ninjas attack your gay soap opera actor? No problem, the Tae-Kwon-Do CEO can take over his body and kick their butts. Your midwestern cop finds himself at a unix prompt? No problem for your grunge lesbian hacker.


This reminds me a bit of both Ian McDonald’s work and Hannu Rajaniemi’s.

See, Desolation Road by McDonald …
(a magic-realism type of steampunk western sci-fi set on Mars in the style of One-Hundred Years of Solitude by Garcia-Marquez).

See also, The Causal Angel by Rajaniemi …
(a cyberpunk trans-humanist story set on Mars with walking cities and a multi-talented thief who isn’t sure of his own downloaded personality, in the style of Charteris’s “Simon Templar / Saint” character).


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