WE CAN BUILD YOU
From the back cover of the Daw editions
They began as manufacturers of electronic mood organs and player pianos. Then they started building exact simulacra of famous men. They thought that people would pay a good price to have anyone they wanted made to order-to talk with or to utilize. But they ran into trouble. For one thing an exactly programmed reconstruction of a noted personality is going to be as obstinate and character-complex as the real man was-and nobody's puppet. For another, they got involved with a project for settling the moon with their creations. And finally they got tangled up with their own personal identities. It's a Philip K. Dick masterpiece of future thinking, complex plotting, and typically "different" -as is to be expected from the Hugo-winning author of THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, and EYE IN THE SKY.
From the back cover of the 1994 Vintage edition
Louis Rosen and his partners used to sell spinets. Now they're selling people-or, to be more precise, ingeniously designed, historically authentic simulacra of such personages as Edwin M. Stanton and Abraham Lincoln. The problem is that the only prospective buyer is a rapacious billionaire whose plans for the simulacra could land Louis in jail. And then there's the added complication that someone-or something-like Abraham Lincoln may not wont to be sold.
Is an electronic Lincoln any less alive than his creators? Is a machine that cores and suffers inferior to the woman Louis loves - a borderline psychopath who does neither? With irresistible momentum, vast intelligence, and sly wit, Philip K. Dick creates on arresting techno-thriller that suggests a marriage of Btaderunner and Barbarians at the Gate.