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Asimov’s Science Fiction

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Sent off my short story, “Retire”, to Asimov’s Science Fiction. I had originally written it and submitted the piece to Underwords for their upcoming YA anthology, “Futuredaze.” My rejection letter stated it was well written, but not what they were looking for.

Which I could see that being the case. “Retire” has a pretty dark tone. But I thought the message was fairly interesting and wanted to get young minds thinking.

The premise was fun. I took the idea of a clone army from Star Wars and smashed it together with a particular character from Les Miserables. The short wanted to explore a simple question, “Is a clone a human being?”

One of my writing group members was very quick to say, “Well of course they are. A clone is identical down to a cellular level” (She will forgive me for paraphrasing her argument, I hope). And I can definitely see her point. Coming from a purely scientific point of view, a clone is as much a human as the next guy.

But metaphysically speaking, is a clone really a human? Especially when we’re talking about vast armies cloned off of one man, who have all been genetically altered as well. What makes a human, human? It’s fun to think about and explore through stories.

What I’m hoping is that the good folks at Asimov like the story.

We shall see.

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3 Comments

  1. Good rejection from the anthology, at least. Good luck with Asimov’s! Or break a leg. Our would that be a pencil in your case? 🙂

  2. Ehtisham says:

    In my humble opinion, it all comes down to one’s memories. Our memories determine our actions, and our actions determine the kind of humans we are. If identical clones of a person can be made, and if they have the same memories as that person, then we have a paradox (not time related but you know what I mean), but that clone will be as human as the next guy. However, if a clone is made for war only and his/her mind is blank, then his/her humanity is debatable.

    • Those are probably good benchmarks.

      But consider this: If that is your determining factor, do you cease to be human if I can erase your memory? Like you say, memories determine what kind of person we are. But newborns have, relatively, no memories to draw upon. By the above, they wouldn’t be human.

      Quite a quandary 🙂

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