The Organleggers

First appearance in Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1969 (as "The Organleggers"). Renamed to Death by Ecstasy when published in Inconstant Moon and that was used from that time on.

Asteroid miner Owen Jennison is found dead in an apartment on Earth, apparently of suicide: He was a Wirehead, directly stimulating the pleasure center of the brain, and starved.

Gil Hamilton, an operative of the United Nations Police (and friend of Owen's) must solve what appears to be a classic locked room mystery: he does not believe that Owen was the type to turn wirehead or commit suicide, so the death must have been planned by somebody else.

His investigations lead him to names associated with organlegging - the illicit handling and sale of spare body-parts. Eventually, he comes into contact with a West-Coast organlegging gang where his psychokinesis - in the form of a phantom "third arm" - becomes very useful.

Death by Ecstasy has been adapted as a graphic novel by Bill Spangler?, Terry Tidwell?, and Steve Stiles? in 1991.

Published in several collections: The Shape of Space (1969, coll), Inconstant Moon (1973, coll), The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton (1976 collection), Flatlander (1995, coll.)

Gil Hamilton-stories

The Organleggers (Death by Ecstasy), 1966
The Defenseless Dead,
ARM, 1976