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I vaguely remember this novel that I read when I was a teen, and would love if you can help me find it, for some reason I cannot stop thinking about it for the last couple of weeks.

The premise was based on some technology that allows to record everything on different sets of eyes that people use to record and then replay by inserting those eyes in their eye sockets. There was a somewhat far-fetched plot, where a woman lost her eyesight and was forced to use these sets of eyes and would have to decide which sets of eyes (based on their capacity) to use. Then the main hero of the story lost his eyesight as well. I remember that in the end it kind of stopped making sense, because why can't you just use normal (no delay) eyes that show you everything in real-time, was not really that well explained.

It was a novel, by some sci-fi author who was not that popular (at least I haven't heard of him before, though I may be mistaken), and the premise was vaguely noir-ish with the main protagonist a private detective or a policeman. It was written before 1993. The atmosphere was Philip K. Dick-ian in a way.

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    Presumably you'd pay to see things that you wouldn't normally see (e.g. the view from the top of a mountain)?
    – Valorum
    Dec 21, 2021 at 0:32
  • @ClaraDiazSanchez the only issue is that I definitely read it before 1993, it's likely that the book was written even before that
    – Vlad
    Dec 21, 2021 at 7:20

1 Answer 1

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The replaceable eyes, or rather replaceable sight (via a sort of contact lenses) is a plot element in Bob Shaw's "Other days, other eyes" (which seems to be an expanded version of his short story "Light of other days", which I have not read).

The novel is about the invention of "slow glass", a material that slows down the speed of light so that it effectively becomes a storage for images. Originally it was developed just as heat proof glass for plane cockpits, and the special properties are discovered when the plane crashes on its maiden flight, because the pilots view is out of sync with what is actually happening.

The protagonist develops a way to control the speed at which the light is released from the slow glass. His wife stumbles upon a prototype in his lab, and is blinded when several days worth of light (if that makes any sense) are released at once.

From then on, he has to collect images in special contact lenses made from slow glass, and his wife can then review them via some mechanism later in the day (which becomes an inconvenience because necessarily she always has his point of view, and he cannot oogle beautiful women without her noticing).

Bob Shaw was actually fairly popular, and the thing with the eyes was not the main plot, but it might be worth checking out.

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  • Also if that is the answer, it is a duplicate of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/5350/…. Dec 21, 2021 at 12:57
  • This might be it... I will read the plot and answer for sure. In the question you posted the description is much different from I remember though
    – Vlad
    Dec 21, 2021 at 16:08
  • Yes, that's the one! Thank you!! Actually, haven't heard about this author before yesterday, will check him out and try refreshing my memory by reading this novel.
    – Vlad
    Dec 22, 2021 at 19:00

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