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I Will Fear No Evil is a novel by Robert A. Heinlein, originally published in 1970.
Johann Smith was obscenely old and extremely rich. In a gambit to cheat death, he forms a plan to have his brain transplanted into a new, young body. Against all odds, a successful transplant is performed and Johann now begins a new life... as Joan. Learning how the other half lives is a tough order, and Joan may or may not be hearing the soul of her deceased donor inside her head.
Provides Examples Of:
- AB Negative: Johann has a rare blood type, so the search for a compatible donor is tough.
- Birth-Death Juxtaposition: Joan's final act on this earth is to give birth.
- Body Paint: Eunice's husband was an artist. He would very often paint her body.
- She wore an entertaining paint job to work one day that was intended to confuse her boss as to whether it was skintight clothing or paint.
- Different for Girls
- Everyone Is Bisexual: As is common for Heinlein works, but it is most interesting in the case of Johann/Joan. With the body of a woman and the brain of a man, is his attraction towards women or men the gay one?
- First Law of Gender Bending: Seeing as how his surviving the first transplant was a miracle, his situation is pretty permanent.
- Gone Horribly Right: Johann eventually admits that his idea for a brain transplant into a new, young body was really just a legal way for him to die. He never expected it to work and figured he would die on the table and not have to linger as a shell of an old man on life support. When he awoke to find that it had worked he had the added horror of knowing his donor and had to grieve for the young woman from inside her own body.
- Grand Theft Me
- Immortality Seeker: Johann's experiment is a way to cheat death and gain at least one extra lifetime.
- Literary Allusion Title: Psalm 23:4
- May-December Romance: As the protagonist has the brain of a 90-year-old man and the body of a 20-year-old woman, most of his/her relationships are arguably May December Romances in both directions.
- Posthumous Character: After Eunice Branca is killed and Johann's brain is transplanted into her body, he finds her mind still present. It is left ambiguous whether she is actually still there or whether Johann is hallucinating her continued existence.
- Symbiotic Possession: Between Joan and Eunice Branca, the former owner of the body. It gets more complicated late in the book.
- Twenty Minutes in The Future: Johann's transplant takes place in 2015.
- Xanatos Gambit: Johann admits he had no intention of surviving the transplant. The entire idea was a legal way to die. He figured if it worked, he would be in a young, mobile body so life would be worth living again (or he would at least be physically capable of ending it himself).