Science fiction is full of ’em: Mad scientists create them to be mindless minions. Governments fear them — who knows which key politicians have secretly been replaced with doubles? They ran amok in part of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. They’re everywhere… and they could look just like you.
C is for clones.
Clones are really just artificially produced identical twins (even if there’s more than two of them). A matched set of them will have no more in common than a naturally occurring set of twins. They do not come preprogrammed with the same memories or personalities as their original, because DNA doesn’t work that way. So if you want a story about clones who do have the same personalities as their originals, you need a plausible way for that to be done.
Author F. Paul Wilson, in one of his novels not about Repairman Jack (but part of the Adversary Cycle), had a character who was secretly a clone and was therefore born without a soul and was therefore inherently evil and therefore the perfect vessel for the spirit of the worse-than-antichrist character. Wilson is a doctor, damnit — he ought to know better than to spout nonsense like that! I read Reborn not long after my brother first started our inside joke about us being clones, so I kinda took offense at even a work of fiction saying that clones are soulless and evil.
And to end on a more light-and-humorous note, let us never forget the episode of South Park in which someone made an “evil genetic clone” (um… is there any kind of clone other than the genetic kind?) of Stan, who then went around town wreaking havoc, and when asked why he did it, responded with “Me Stan. B’chomp, b’chomp!” or something like that. He had a much larger head than the original Stan, too. Don’t know what was up with that.
There are no clones as such in my own fiction, and all joking aside, my brother and I were not actually created by mad scientists in a lab. On the other hand, he has a major character in his science fiction novel The Remnant who is almost a clone of the protagonist. (Started with the same DNA, then modified. It makes perfect sense in the story.)
What do you think, O Readers? Do stories about clones creep you out, or do you like them, even have a favorite short story or novel or movie featuring clones or cloning? What do you think about such things in real life (’cause it’s happening already, if only with animals)?