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Literature / The Fly

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"Do flies live very long?"
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"The Fly" is a short science fiction mystery story by George Langelaan, which was published in the Playboy magazine in 1957.

One night François Delambre gets a call from his sister-in-law Helene, who informs him that she has killed his brother (and her husband) André. Her claim is proven true as André's partially crushed body is found under a steam-hammer in Delambre family's factory. Thus starts the unraveling of the circumstances that lead to André's death.

In 1958, a largely-faithful film adaptation was released. An In Name Only version by David Cronenberg was released in 1986.


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This story has the examples of:

  • Driven to Suicide: André's fate, as aided by Helene. She follows suit with cyanide shortly after giving her written confession to François.
  • LEGO Body Parts: The Teleporter Accident left André with a fly leg in the place of his right hand, and cat-fly head in the place of his own.
  • Merging Mistake: The Teleporter Accident with André and the fly left them with their heads and arm/leg swapped around.
  • Screaming Woman: When Helene finally sees what exactly has happened to her husband, she starts screaming and is unable to stop it for a long time.
  • The Speechless: The accident left André unable to speak, and he communicates to Helene with knocks and written messages.
  • Teleporter Accident: Prior to André's own accident, another botched teleportation left his cat Dandelo stuck between the transportation points.
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  • Teleporters and Transporters: What André was working on, and what caused the Teleporter Accident.

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