A novella co-written by Sanderson and Kowal, and with every co-written book like this, especially when I know both authors’ work to a certain degree, I spend a lot of time thinking about who must have written what. It’s not like a lot of Brandon Sanderson works, but it’s not quite what I know from Kowal.
The novella is called “The Original” because we find ourselves in a future in which people can opt-in or out of certain technologies, including a cloning technology. Our narrator is a clone who is created entirely to solve the mystery of her “Original” husband’s death. The pressure put on her from the agency who clones her is that she knows enough from her original personality to have affection, a sense of justice, and other factor to compel her. It also keeps her alive. Also, and this is very messed up, she’s only meant to be alive for a few days in order to solve the mystery (or specifically to find her original) and then be decommissioned, so the overall idea is pretty upsetting in general.
To me this sounds more like a William Gibson/John Scalzi type things more than what I know from the writers. And in fact, it did remind me quite a bit of John Scalzi’s novellas “Travel by Bullet” “Murder by Other Means” and “The Dispatcher.”