The Clone Ranger
VERY MILD SPOILER ALERT
Amazon is making the first season/series of Orphan Black free to stream tomorrow. For details, see my post in my Measured Circle blog:
Shh…the series involves clones. 😉
That’s not much of a spoiler, because it’s probably in every mention you ever see about it…and the fans of the show call themselves the “Clone Club” (in addition to referring to characters on the show).
So, it’s sort of as much of a spoiler as saying that Star Wars takes place partially in space…
END VERY MILD SPOILER
It’s amazing what can be a popular topic in the Kindle store!
I was inspired recently to look to see what I would find by using the search word “clone”.
I got 1,036 results!
373 of those were available to read at no additional cost if you have a
Most of the books were listed as science fiction, but we have to remember that cloning isn’t science fiction…it’s been done in real life.
There are a lot of associations with cloning…some of them real, some not.
Clones occur in nature, for example, although many people have the connotation of them only being done by scientists.
A clone is produced without sex…bacteria clone themselves, for example.
In science fiction, though, we typically think of it as a scientist taking some small element of a person (they just need DNA…but the idea of cloning was around before DNA was defined) and “growing” an identical person.
Often, they have some highly accelerated way of growing them, so that a thirty year old person can meet their thirty year old clone. In reality, it would be much more likely that if you cloned someone at thirty, they could be sixty when their clone was thirty (give or take…some initial growth stages might be accelerated).
There is also a considerable amount of stories about cloning animals…including extinct animals if you can get the DNA. Jurassic Park is a particularly famous cloning novel.
There is real world talk right now of cloning mammoths…we could bring the species “back to life”, very much like Jurassic Park.
They would use an elephant in part as the incubator, or at least, that’s one suggestion.
Speaking of bringing things back to life, “reviving” specific people is also part of clone fiction: Adolf Hitler, for one, in Ira Levin’s The Boys from Brazil (and other books).
There are a lot of ethical questions involved here. A common theme is that the clones are seen as less than sexually produced humans…they may be used as “cannon fodder” (Star Wars does that), or to provide organs for transplant.
In many cases, the clones don’t know they are clones initially…that can make for some real drama!
Also, a clone need not be identical: it would be possible to manipulate the DNA to produce something different.
Here are five books which I think show some of the variety in clone tomes:
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro…who won the Booker Prize and wrote The Remains of the Day
- The Klone and I by Danielle Steele: probably not someone you think of as a science fiction writer
- The Third Twin by Ken Follett: again, probably doesn’t have a space reserved on your science fiction shelf
- Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm: Kate Wilhelm, on the other hand, does…a Hugo and Nebula Award winning author, and many consider this book a classic of the genre
- Clone: The Road to Dolly, and the Path Ahead by Gina Kolata…non-fiction
Do you have a favorite clone book? Feel free to tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.
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