I read this story in OMNI when I was a kid sometime in the '80s. The generation ship has no living crew, but will create one person from DNA when it gets close to a candidate planet to determine if it's right for settling. If it is not good, the person has to live out his life and die on the way to the next planet. This has happened multiple times, and we see the latest version watch the logs of what his previous lives did during their turns.

Another couple details I remember. It's always the same guy and I'm fairly sure he has memories from before the ship launched. His wife is available to be cloned/created too, and on several previous occasions he revives her and they live their lives out together.

I don't recall the month/issue/cover of the magazine.

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    You will be able to accept your self-answer in about 42 hours by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons on the answer.
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    Jun 27 at 3:06
  • Your description reminds me of this video vimeo.com/468510820 Jun 27 at 9:50

1 Answer 1


I found a bunch of scans of OMNI magazines online and eventually found the one with the story I was looking for. If anyone wants to read it (it is as good as I remember), it's "Number 13" by Stephen Robinett in the November 1982 issue here: https://archive.org/details/OMNI197908/OMNI_1982_11

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    Thanks for this q&a! I like Robinett's work a great deal, and this came out after his only short story collection, so I was unaware of it. Jun 26 at 23:49
  • Thoroughly good little short-story this one! Thanks for providing the link to it. Jun 27 at 13:55

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