A for Anything

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by Damon Knight

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More by Damon Knight

In Search of Wonder

CV

The Futurians

The Observers

A Reasonable World

The World and Thorinn

Creating Short Fiction

Hell's Pavement

Beyond the Barrier

Masters of Evolution

A for Anything

The Sun Saboteurs

The Rithian Terror

Mind Switch

The Man in the Tree

Why Do Birds

Humpty Dumpty: An Oval

Far Out

In Deep

Off Center

Turning On

Three Novels

World Without Children and The Earth Quarter

The Best of Damon Knight

Rule Golden and Other Stories

Better Than One

Late Knight Edition

God's Nose

One Side Laughing: Stories Unlike Other Stories

Turning Points: Essays on the Art of Science Fiction

What would happen if someone invented a machine that could create an exact duplicate of anything? That is the simple but remarkable premise of Damon Knight's classic 1959 novel, A for Anything. "The Gismo," as the machine is known, seems like it will end poverty and need forever. But of course, things are not that simple. Like any truly great work of science fiction, Knight's novel boldly pursues the ramifications of his premise. What will people do if there is no longer any need to work for anything? What happens if this device is spread carelessly throughout the world (it can even duplicate itself!). Finally, there is the supreme and most chilling of questions: what happens if you try to duplicate a human being?

A for Anything is a classic work of science fiction, but it considers questions that are as relevant and compelling today as they were fifty years ago, perhaps more so. Like most of us, Knight watches the mind-boggling technological advancements of our time with a mixture of awe and alarm, and wonders whether we are really in control of the things we are creating. Knight has put his finger on the pulse of our modern sensibility and, mixed with his truly remarkable imagination, created a novel that is gripping, thought-provoking and impossible to put down.

"A masterpiece" ... "a good case could be made for Damon Knight's being the most important literary figure to come out of science fiction to date."
—Barry Malzberg


About the Author

The Damon Knight Library
The authorized site for all of the SFWA Grandmaster's books

Damon Knight

Damon Knight was a science fiction author, editor, critic and fan. His forte was short stories and he is widely acknowledged as having been a master of the genre. He was a member of the Futurians, an early organization of the most prominent SF writers of the day. He founded the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA), the primary writers' organization for genre writers, as well as the Milford Writers workshop and co-founded the Clarion Writers Workshop. He edited the notable Orbit anthology series, and received the Hugo and SFWA Grand Master award. The award was later renamed in his honor. He was married to fellow writer Kate Wilhelm.

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