Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday Free Fiction: Carcinoma Angels

The Friday free fiction for this week is Carcinoma Angels by Norman Spinrad (published 1967 in Dangerous Visions). It's the tale of Harrison Wintergreen, a golden boy who has been successful at everything he has every tried - until, at the age of 40, he learns he has incurable cancer.
e knew that some terminal cancer patients had been cured. Therefore terminal cancer could be cured. Therefore the problem was removed from the realm of the impossible and was now merely the domain of the highly improbable.

And doing the highly improbable was Wintergreen's specialty.

With six months of estimated life left, Wintergreen set jubilantly to work. From his complete cancer library he culled every known case of spontaneous remission. He coded every one of them into the computer—data on the medical histories of the patients, on the treatments employed, on their ages, sexes, religions, races, creeds, colors, national origins, temperaments, marital status, Dun and Bradstreet ratings, neuroses, psychoses, and favorite beers. Complete profiles of every human being ever known to have survived terminal cancer were fed into Harrison Wintergreen's computer.
Is cancer a battle "the man who can do anything" can win? Read the story to find out.

You can purchase the reissue of Dangerous Visions from
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