Title of Short Story about a soldier made up of prosthetics?
January 12, 2012 11:43 AM   Subscribe

I can't remember the name of a short story about a man who was made up almost entirely of artificial body parts.

It is a short story and the main points I can remember are:

1. It is set in Great Britain in the 19th? Century.

2. It is told from the point of view of a person who discovers the truth about the "fake man"

3. The fake man has a huge voice, barrel chest, beautiful hair, etc. and served in a war - a colonial type war in Africa I think? I don't remember.

4. The protagonist goes to the man's house one morning to talk to him and sees the man's servant helping the man put himself together. He lost his legs in the war and had a fake chest and a voice box to make his voice sound commanding. He is in fact a miserable little lump of a thing.

5. I think the title is something like "The Man Who Wasn't There", but not that exactly and it isn't something written recently.

Any ideas?
posted by Julnyes to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This sounds almost exactly like Felix Gotschalk's "Vestibular Man" which I read a long time ago in the Future on Fire anthology.

I couldn't find a synopsis of it but the protagonist is a guy in army boot camp who is antagonized by the drill sergeant who turns out to be 90% cybernetic, a fact he discovers by peeping through his window and seeing him before the drill sergeant is prepped for the day.

It's set in a non-specific future, though, not in the past. The language and other descriptions might be recalled as in the past -- they're kind of Victorian in style in some places.

It's a great story and even if it's not what you remember I recommend it.
posted by hukka at 12:05 PM on January 12, 2012

Poe, The Man Who Was Used Up.
posted by Jehan at 12:09 PM on January 12, 2012

hukka - that definitely isn't it, but it does sound interesting.

Jehan - THAT IS IT! Thank you, it was driving me crazy
posted by Julnyes at 12:11 PM on January 12, 2012

No probs. Sorry about getting the title wrong, but it was near enough.
posted by Jehan at 12:13 PM on January 12, 2012

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