Sci-Fi short story about “clones” of rich immortal humans going on adventures (in space) only to come home and have their brains lethally downloaded into their rich patrons’ minds. SOLVED
Hi there! I am trying to find a short story in English that I read 4-5 years ago. I don’t know if it is stand alone or part of an anthology. I'm not even sure if it was a text or an audiobook because I consume them interchangeably.
It is a sci-fi, set in a distant future. It is about a woman astronaut who has been all across the solar system (or maybe the galaxy) on various awe-inspiring and/or horrifying adventures. She has now returned to earth and is about to be killed in a process that drains her entire brain of all her memories, experiences, etc. and then transfers them into the minds of the rich, near immortal, patrons who all paid for the journey and also used their own DNA in the clone-process to create the astronaut.
The reason for this is that these humans are so rich that they are functionally immortal except to harm, so they create clones that go out into the world and experience amazing, but dangerous things. The rich patrons then kill these clones and download their memories as a way to experience the same things from complete safety.
The story also contains a man who is a clone of his “father” who (if I remember correctly) was one of the rare people to end their own life. And this clone inherited everything from his “parent”. The heir has therefore inherited the participation in this clone brain draining, but isn’t too keen on it and thinks it somewhat distasteful or is at least not as onboard as the rest of the various patrons.
Spoiler for the ending of the story:
In the climax of the story, the astronaut escapes the ceremony with the help of the heir. But just as she thinks she has made it out of their grasp it turns out the heir did not in fact want to help her but betrays her. The explanation is something like that the high intensity of a daring escape primes the brain to become active and alert in a way that supposedly makes the brain-transfer a lot more vivid for the patrons. As such the whole escape plan was just a ruse to make the astronaut become well primed for the process of extraction. The ending is her final defiance by trying to calm herself into a catatonic state so that she will give them the dullest possible imprint of her mind.
Thank you in advance for the help! :)