“Unit,” J. T. McIntosh, 1957

“Unit,” J. T. McIntosh, 1957 — Edgar agrees to become a Unit Father for a group of social misfits who wish to have their identities erased, such that they might be retrained as a new entity with no memory of the past.  Now reconstituted as a superior “being” capable of solving nearly any problem, the former deviants and malcontents are now tasked with bringing peace to warring regions on a foreign planet.  One region identifies with the homeworld of Earth, the other seeks to develop the unique identity of the colony.  This task is a ruse, however.  They and other such units are involved in an inter-planetary sweep intent on rooting out a smuggling ring.  Their mission is complicated when one of their members is attacked and rendered comatose. However, being part of a unit has given her the ability to self-heal and she recovers, despite her physician’s well-meaning but counter-productive attempts to heal her using traditional medicine.  Reunited, the unit engages in intense analysis and determines that it has failed to find the smugglers because the smugglers have discovered how to create their own units.

Comments: Read in Five-Odd.  Themes of (non-unified) identity, memory, cooperation, intelligence, alienation.

Author: Wikipedia: “J. T. McIntosh (14 February 1925 – 2008) was a pseudonym used by Scottish writer and journalist James Murdoch MacGregor.”

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About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, communication, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, exiles/"home"/displacement, favorites, freaks/misfits, identity/authenticity, intelligence, love/family/children, margins/center, memory, multiplicity, nationalism, physicians/medicine, post/colonialism, the body, the Other. Bookmark the permalink.

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