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Book Information: Nine Lives

Nine Lives (1969) [Novelette]
by Ursula K. Le Guin Rating: Weighted - 7.4 / Average - 7.3 of 10 (3 votes) (Rate!)
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Summary (IBList user synopsis):

Early speculation on human cloning revealed many questions but few answers. For instance, what if a person were cloned in pairs, one male, and one female. Raised together, a self-contained unit, one providing the other's every need -- friendship, trust, love, sex, a fully functional human pair with absolutely no insecurities or complexes. What if one of the pair died?

Le Guin explores this scenario in "Nine Lives." Though we know much more about cloning than we did 30 years ago, there are still psychological questions about human cloning that remain unanswered, and perhaps always will.

On a Far Out mission to mine the resources of a distant planet, two friends and co-workers, Pugh and Martin, just average working men with faults, receive a worker contingent of brilliant, efficient look-alike clones, five men and five women. The clones are totally reliant upon themselves and one another. They inadvertently exclude the two miners, who begin to feel resentful. What follows is an interesting exposition on the strengths of such a group... and the weaknesses.

Originally published in Playboy, November 1969
Appears in:

  • World's Best Science Fiction: 1970, Donald A. Wollheim&Terry Carr, Ace
  • Nebula Award Stories 5, James Blish, Doubleday, 1970
  • Best SF: 1969, ed. Harry Harrison & Brian W. Aldiss, G.P. Putnam’s 1970
  • The Dead Astronaut, ed. Editors of Playboy, Playboy 1971
  • Those Who Can: A Science Fiction Reader, ed. Robin Scott Wilson, Mentor 1973
  • As Tomorrow Becomes Today, ed. Charles W. Sullivan, Prentice-Hall 1974
  • Introductory Psychology Through Science Fiction, ed. Harvey A. Katz, Patricia S. Warrick & Martin H. Greenberg, Rand, McNally 1974
  • Man Unwept: Visions from the Inner Eye, ed. Stephen V. Whaley & Stanley J. Cook, McGraw-Hill 1974
  • Modern Science Fiction, ed. Norman Spinrad, Anchor Press 1974
  • Strange Glory, ed. Gerry Goldberg, Toronto: McClelland & Stewart 1975
  • The Wind’s Twelve Quarters (1975)
  • In Dreams Awake, ed. Leslie A. Fiedler, Dell 1975
  • Bio-Futures, ed. Pamela Sargent, Vintage 1976
  • Beyond Tomorrow ed. Lee Harding, NEL 1977
  • Approaches to Science Fiction, ed. Donald L. Lawler, Houghton Mifflin 1978
  • Science Fiction: Contemporary Mythology, ed. Patricia S. Warrick, Martin H. Greenberg & Joseph D. Olander, Harper & Row 1978
  • Caught in the Organ Draft: Biology in Science Fiction, ed. Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg & Charles G. Waugh, Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1983
  • Science Fiction, ed. Patricia S. Warrick, Charles G. Waugh & Martin H. Greenberg, Harper & Row 1988
  • The World Treasury of Science Fiction (1989)
  • The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF (1994)
  • Clones! (1998)
  • Tales in Space, ed. Peter Crowther, White Wolf, 1998
  • The Playboy Book of Science Fiction ed. Alice K. Turner, HarperPrism, 1998

Original title: Nine Lives
Original languages: English


Genre: FictionScience FictionSpecies EvolutionBioengineering
FictionScience FictionSpecies EvolutionClones

This work is a subwork of the following works :
     World's Best Science Fiction: 1970 (1970) [Anthology]
      Authors: Ursula K. Le Guin , Harlan Ellison , Keith Roberts , Larry Niven , James Tiptree, Jr. , Fritz Leiber , Norman Spinrad , Robert Silverberg , Richard Wilson , Bruce McAllister , Michael Coney , Suzette Haden Elgin
     Nebula Award Stories 5 (1970) [Anthology]
      Authors: Ursula K. Le Guin , Harlan Ellison , Samuel R. Delany , Larry Niven , Robert Silverberg , Theodore Sturgeon , Alexei Panshin , Darko Suvin
     Wind's Twelve Quarters, the (1975) [Collection]
      Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
     World Treasury of Science Fiction, the (1989) [Anthology]
      Authors: Arthur C. Clarke , Ursula K. Le Guin , Kurt Vonnegut , Alfred Bester , Isaac Asimov , Ray Bradbury , Philip K. Dick , Robert A. Heinlein , John Updike , Stanislaw Lem , Brian W. Aldiss , Frederik Pohl , Samuel R. Delany , Thomas M. Disch , Walter M. Miller, Jr. , Anthony Burgess , Keith Roberts , Larry Niven , John Varley , Fritz Leiber , Henry Kuttner , Catherine Lucille (C.L.) Moore , Robert Bloch , Damon Knight , Cyril M. Kornbluth , Robert Sheckley , Theodore Sturgeon , Avram Davidson , Arkady Strugatsky , Boris Strugatsky , Boris Vian , J. G. Ballard , Gene Wolfe , Lewis Padgett , Italo Calvino , Jorge Luis Borges , Joanna Russ , John W. Campbell , Steve Allen , Josef Nesvadba , Karl-Michael Armer , Gérard Klein , Manuel van Loggem , Kirill Bulychev , Tor Åge Bringsvaerd , Nathalie-Charles Henneberg , Kono Tensei , John Berryman , Rene Rebetez-Cortes , Annemarie van Ewyck
     Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF, the (1994) [Anthology]
      Authors: Arthur C. Clarke , Edgar Allan Poe , Ursula K. Le Guin , David Brin , Rudyard Kipling , Alfred Bester , Isaac Asimov , Philip K. Dick , Nathaniel Hawthorne , Robert A. Heinlein , Anne McCaffrey , Jules Verne , H. G. Wells , William Gibson , Frederik Pohl , Cordwainer Smith , Greg Bear , Bruce Sterling , Gregory Benford , Poul Anderson , James Blish , Larry Niven , Vernor Vinge , James Tiptree, Jr. , Rudy Rucker , Michael F. Flynn , Clifford D. Simak , James P. Hogan , Henry Kuttner , Catherine Lucille (C.L.) Moore , Cyril M. Kornbluth , Bob Shaw , Theodore Sturgeon , J. G. Ballard , Gene Wolfe , Gordon R. Dickson , Robert L. Forward , Ed Bryant , Dean Ing , Ian Watson , John M. Ford , Kate Wilhelm , Hal Clement , Randall Garrett , Raymond F. Jones , Philip Latham , Miles J. Breuer , Tom Godwin , John Sladek , Raymond Z. Gallun , Hilbert Schenck , Richard Grant , Theodore L. Thomas , Donald M. Kingsbury , George Turner , Katherine MacLean , Don A. Stuart
     Clones (1998) [Anthology]
      Authors: Ursula K. Le Guin , Greg Egan , John Varley , Joe Haldeman , Damon Knight , Charles Sheffield , Kate Wilhelm , Pamela Sargent , Ian R. MacLeod


  • This story was the first writing by a woman to appear in Playboy magazine, though the byline 'U.K. Le Guin', concealed the author's sex.
  • Shortlisted for the Nebula Award for best novelette, 1969

Edition #1: Nine Lives

Nine Lives (1992)
Edition Details:

Language: English

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Manifested in:

Nine Lives (1992)

Format: Hardcover
Place of publication: Eugene, OR
Publisher: Pulphouse Press
ISBN: 9781561469307
Pages: 47
Notes: Pulphouse Press Short Story Hardback #30

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Nine Lives (1992)

Format: Paperback
Place of publication: Eugene, OR
Publisher: Pulphouse Press
ISBN: 9781561465507
Pages: 47
Notes: Pulphouse Press Short Story Paperback #50

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