As I remember it, the protagonist is looking inside his window late at night at himself inside his house/apartment. Only over the course of the story does he realize that he is a clone created to kill some animal (possibly alien).

The plot of this short story likely served for the inspiration for 'The Sixth Day' with Arnold Schwarzeneggar.

1 Answer 1


This sounds like an Outer Limits episode called "The Duplicate Man", first aired in 1964. (Clone created to kill an alien animal, doesn't know he's a clone at first, I think I even remember the window part).

It was based on "Good Night, Mister James", a novelette by Clifford Simak, published in 1951, available at the Internet Archive.

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    Agree about "Mr. James". Great ending. May 15, 2019 at 0:11
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    Yes, that was going to be my answer. However, seeing as the OP wrote "short story", not "television show", it seems likely that he was thinking of the original short story, not the adaptation.. "Good Night, Mr. James" was also the (unaccepted) answer to this old question. The story is available at the Internet Archive.
    – user14111
    May 15, 2019 at 0:18
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    This was definitely the story I was thinking of, I had no idea it was also an Outer Limits episode, I will check that out!
    – John R
    May 15, 2019 at 0:20
  • @user14111 - thanks for the link, but as a long time NON-reader of pulp sci-fi back in the day - Spoiler alert! - exactly what was the editor of Galaxy thinking when he used this as the tagline under the title: "Surprise endings in science fiction are not easy to attain successfully. This story has four internal plot surprises!" Give away much? Isn't the reader going to start focusing on counting the "internal plot surprises" instead of focusing on the story? Or was this Galaxy's standard style?
    – davidbak
    Sep 2, 2021 at 22:54

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