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An extremely deadly/hostile atmosphere on a planet/moon/asteroid is being exploited (mined?) by biological avatars controlled from orbiting ships. The protagonist begins to lose the distinction between his avatar "self" and "reality".

  • Hmm. This is very terse. And, do you actually know that it was a precursor to the premise of Avatar or are you supposing that? Can you remember anything else? Most such requests for identification are no good unless they at least mention a timespan for when it was first read or viewed. – can-ned_food Apr 1 '17 at 6:19
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    I was tempted to say "The Winds of Atlair" by Ben Bova, but reading the description of "Call Me Joe" it does seem to better match. – Chris Stratton Apr 1 '17 at 7:26
  • Christ Stratton - did you mean "The Winds of Atlair" in which Atlair would be some imaginary place, or "The Winds of Altair" which would be set on a planet orbiting the star Altair? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altair en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altair_in_fiction – M. A. Golding Apr 2 '17 at 17:54
  • M.A.Golding got it. – Sourdough Apr 10 '17 at 10:53
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    see OP confirmation comment above; duplicate target has unaccepted self-answer – Otis Jul 1 '17 at 20:54
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You question reminds me of the famous story "Call Me Joe" (Astounding Science Fiction April 1957) by Poul Anderson.

Humans in a space station orbiting Jupiter remotely control artificial lifeforms on the surface of Jupiter.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_Me_Joe1

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?556932

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    Clifford Simak's story "Desertion" (Astounding Science Fiction, November 1944; later part of "City") is similar, except there is a physical transformation instead of remote teleoperation. – ImaginaryEvents Apr 1 '17 at 14:28
  • Bingo!! The title has re-energized synapses long dormant. I am pretty sure i must have read "I am Joe" in a synopsis of Amazing at some point in the '60's while in high school. Thanks. (and Wickipedia has a comment that the concept is so close to "Avatar" that Poul Anderson should get credit for the story line. – Sourdough Apr 10 '17 at 10:51

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