I remember reading this story, maybe in the 1990s, where condemned prisoners were not killed, but their minds erased and their bodies put to work. Miners (or whoever needed) could rent such bodies to help them with their hard work.

This miner has three (or two?) bodies (definitely one male and one female) and uses a kind of remote control to command them. He wants to find a huge, legendary gemstone. But someone else, a rival, manages to interfere with the remote and turns the bodies against our miner. The interfering device was called an "override", as far as I can remember (I thought that was the title of the story; but couldn't find it...). Anyway, the miner manages to escape.

In the story it is explained that the bodies stank and were full of lice, because the owners found no use in commanding them to wash. I am not sure, but maybe their sentences were not for life, and after a while they were allowed to regain control of their bodies.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. This is a good start, but you should still check out the suggestions in case they help you remember some more details to edit into your question. Do you recall where you read this? – DavidW Jul 15 '19 at 22:01
  • Thank you for your suggestions. I edited my question and added some more detail. Unfortunately, I cant' remember where I read it... – Amenhotep Jul 15 '19 at 22:27

This is Override by George R.R. Martin

Science fiction short story about a corpse-handler who's double-crossed while collecting swirlstones in a beautiful off-world grotto. "Override" is the term for the box that his opponent uses to turn the corpses against him.

  • 1
    Arg, I'm sure that's it. I thought it was by Martin but I found Meathouse Man and that didn't match. Who knew it was a series? +1 – Organic Marble Jul 15 '19 at 23:32
  • 1
    @OrganicMarble - lol. OP actually said the name of the story. This wasn't the hardest to find ;-) – Valorum Jul 15 '19 at 23:37
  • 1
    @OrganicMarble Meathouse Man does feature the same concept of corpse-handlers because it's part of the same trilogy. Nobody leaves New Pittsburgh is the first, Override is the second and Meathouse Man is the third. – Theik Jul 16 '19 at 14:25
  • 2
    @Theik Yes, that's why in my comment I said "Who knew it was a series?" What I meant by that was that I didn't know it was a series, until I looked into it after the answer was posted. After that I knew it was a series, and I posted a comment which was meant to show that I knew it was a series. I had read the second two long ago, didn't know about the New Pittsburgh one, but didn't connect the dots. – Organic Marble Jul 16 '19 at 14:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.