There is a story I recall reading where a person is being tortured for information and just before he would die, they transfer his consciousness to a new body retaining all the memory of the torture and continuing the interrogation. When they are done (If I recall) they transfer him back to his original body with no memory of what they did. It is not Pierce Anthony's uses of torture.

  • Hi, welcome to the site. In roughly which year did you read this and when do you think it might've been published? Also, did you read it in an anthology, a magazine, or online? Feb 7 at 23:28
  • 2
    Possibly Richard Morgan's "Altered Carbon"?
    – Moriarty
    Feb 7 at 23:44

1 Answer 1


If you've misremembered it slightly this could be A Thousand Deaths by Orson Scott Card. It was published in 1978 and I read it in his anthology Maps in a Mirror.

The protagonist is Jerry Crove and he is being prosecuted for his (alleged) role in the assassination of Peter Anderson. The verdict is:

The judge slammed down his gavel. “The court sentences Gerald Nathan Crove to be put to death by every available method until such time as he convincingly apologizes for his action to the American people. Court stands adjourned. Lord in heaven, do I have a headache.”

And this is exactly what happens. Crove is killed in a variety of increasing agonising ways and each time his mind is downloaded into a new clone so he can be killed again. However Crove gets so used to being tortured to death that he eventually starts finding it amusing and the torturers give up in despair and exile him instead.

One of the deaths that stuck in my mind (and you may wish to look away at this point) is:

This time Jerry screamed right from the beginning. He made no attempt at all to bear it well. They hung him by the armpits over a long cylinder filled with boiling oil. They slowly lowered him. Death came when the oil was up to his chest—by then his legs had been completely cooked and the meat was falling off the bones in large chunks.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

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