Where else have I encountered this plot line from The Invisibles?
May 24, 2009 6:47 AM   Subscribe

I've been re-reading The Invisibles and a very specific plot line came up that I know I've encountered elsewhere. Can you help me remember?

In volume three, one of the members of Division X (Flint) is deprogrammed and stripped of his current identity, because that identity is "scheduled to die from cardiac arrest" in a few days, and if he doesn't come out of the identity and assume either an earlier self or a new one he will actually die. I know I've encountered almost exactly this same concept in a novel or a film I read/saw in the last few years but I can't remember where. A Philip K. Dick book maybe?
posted by Lentrohamsanin to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is it from The Filth? I don't know for sure, but there's a lot of persona-swapping in there, and Morrison recycles a lot of ideas.
posted by mkultra at 7:06 AM on May 24, 2009

Response by poster: The Invisibles is the only Morrison I've read, so it wasn't The Filth or any of his other works.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:10 AM on May 24, 2009

That twigged with me too, though I don't know why. Morrison freely admits to lifting all sorts of ideas from old sci-fi and occult lit, though (that's sort of his thing, like some kind of cybermagick Bob Dylan) so if I had to find it, I'd look at 1970's British TV or something.
posted by rokusan at 8:17 AM on May 24, 2009

I seem to remember something from the Illumnatus! trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson that was similar - The plotline of the series is so disjointed that I'm having a hard time remembering where, exactly, it happens.
posted by Orb2069 at 8:27 AM on May 24, 2009

There are similar concepts with peoples' identities being overwritten and them dying after a certain amount of time in JC Hutchin's Seventh Son series.
posted by NoraReed at 8:29 AM on May 24, 2009

The closest I can think of is how the Replicants in Blade Runner are intentionally given 4 year "expiration dates", but I don't think that's what your looking for.

But I think that something else by/based on Philip K. Dick could be it.
posted by JauntyFedora at 9:05 AM on May 24, 2009

Sounds similar to "Repent, Harlequin! said the Tick-Tock Man."
posted by Nonce at 9:40 AM on May 24, 2009

I know you said you hadn't read any other Morrison, but that sounds an awful lot like the aforementioned Filth.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 11:17 AM on May 24, 2009

Response by poster: Something like this happening in Illuminatus! (which was definitely a Morrison influence) is ringing a bell, Orb2069. I'm also wondering if it might be from Clans of the Alphane Moon, which was the last thing I read by Dick and does have some cover story stuff if I remember correctly.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:11 PM on May 24, 2009

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