“Crucifixus Etiam,” Walter M. Miller, Jr., 1953

“Crucifixus Etiam,” Walter M. Miller, Jr., 1953– (Alternate title: “The Sower Does Not Reap”)  A Peruvian named Manue (Emmanuel?) Nanti decides to work on Mars for an extended period of time in order to secure his future on Earth.  In order to breathe, the workers have breathing machines implanted in their chests; however, it becomes clear that he will never have full lung capacity again and won’t be able to return home.  The company/government’s propaganda advises him to think of himself as a “sower” rather than a “reaper” and to take pride in his sacrifice.  His suffering will create a world for others.

Comments: Read in The Oxford Book of Science Fiction. Themes: sacrifice/martyrs/Christ, the body, migrant workers, cyborgs, the company town, colonization. Perhaps compare to “Scanners Live in Vain,” which also presents a worker’s chest as being removed and replaced by technology in the course of duty.  See a more detailed review of “Crucifixus Etiam” in Janet Abbate’s review of Human Machines. and in David N. Samuelson’s article, “The Lost Canticles of Walter M. Miller, Jr.,” which translates the title: “crucified still or again.”

Author: Wikipedia: “Walter Michael Miller, Jr. (January 23, 1923 – January 9, 1996) was an American science fiction author. Today he is primarily known for A Canticle for Leibowitz, the only novel he published in his lifetime. Prior to its publication he was a prolific writer of short stories.”

 

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About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1946-1959, class/labor/"work", cyborgs/posthumans, post/colonialism, religion/soul/spirituality, the body. Bookmark the permalink.

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