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)?


About Thomas Weaver

For several years, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom (editor). I'm physically disabled, and I currently live with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have eight cats. I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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8 Responses to C

  1. lindacovella says:

    I haven’t read any stories with clones in them. I don’t have a problem with that concept in real life. I think the idea scientists envision is to be able to clone an arm, etc., to replace prosthetics. At least that’s one aspect of cloning that I think would be great.


    • I didn’t go into partial cloning because that would have made the post WAAAAAY too long, but I agree with you: growing someone a new body part (that wouldn’t get rejected because the DNA would match) would be an excellent use of such science.


  2. Yeah, I certainly don’t think clones would be soulless, they’re basically just identical twins displaced in time. Lots of interesting stories that could be written about them and people’s expectations about them though. Thanks for sharing!


  3. melissajanda says:

    How about the cloning process of Bokanovskification as described in Brave New World? Humans mass produced in an assembly line and bottled in jars during gestation is pretty creepy.


  4. Hammlington says:

    One of my most favorite short stories ever is about a clone, but I won’t tell you which one it is because that would ruin the ending. [insert malicious cackle here] Actually, I’ve always wanted to write a story from the perspective of a clone, largely because of that whole struggling-with-personal-identity aspect of it. Are clones soulless? How would you know?


  5. Alex Hurst says:

    Clones don’t creep me out. I find them fascinating, though I think the best use humorously to date were the clones in “The Venture Bros.” on Cartoon Network. I haven’t read many books where they appear, but it may be because I don’t read much scifi (bad me).

    Alex Hurst, fantasy author in Japan, participating in Blogging A-Z April Challenge.


    • Hammlington says:

      When I first read your comment, my brain went dyslexic on me and I thought you’d seen a show about dating clones on Cartoon Network. I was actually kind of disappointed when I found out the truth. (Maybe now I’ll have to write a story about dating clones…)


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