We hear a lot about cloning. My earlier novel, GLORY SEASON, portrays a future when women can conceive clone daughters, cutting men out of the loop. But despite all the clamour, cloning isn't really copying. Even identical twins are different. Any cloned child will have unique life experiences, profoundly different from her genetic original. No, clones are a false path toward the dream of being many at once.The dittos in Kil'n People are cheap duplicates that any person can make quickly on a 'personal copier' and dispatch to run errands, study, or handle business - or engage in pleasures that are too dangerous for living flesh. Or to solve crimes! (And there would be new types of crime.) Dittos dissolve after 24 hours, so they are highly motivated to make it home and download the day's memories. It's how they continue living, in the original organic brain.
Who would you like to collaborate with (being living or dead) and why? My heroes (tellingly) include Pericles, Ben Franklin, Mary Shelley, Shakespeare, Spielberg, Einstein… and what a kick it would have been sot share, creatively, with any of them! Or a thousand other brashly original thinkers.
There are no current trends in science-fiction. There is an explosion of different directions. This is how science-fiction should be. Now, do I get upset that some clichés aren't being broken often enough in science-fiction? Like always giving a new thing to some faceless corporation, some dark conspiracy, hidden aliens or a mad scientist…
When in fact, what is done in our civilization is that new things are peddled and sold to everyone. Show the new thing in the hands of everybody. It is much more interesting and it shows an interesting and different culture. Yet the cliché of some faceless dark conspiracy almost always dominates, since it is easy to put your hero in jeopardy if society is incompetent. Clichés like that frustrate me. But, are there wonderful things going on in today's science-fiction? Of course there are!
Many people want the subjective sensation of being left alone. They understand – and don't mind – that governments and corporations know all about them, as long as those forces are polite and don't rub it in. Other people are concerned about actually controlling what is known about them by others. This latter goal can be difficult, costly, and frustratingly impossible.
The third kind of privacy – the kind we may be able to achieve – comes from having an enforceable right to be left mostly alone. This can come only from protecting yourself by knowing more, rather than trying to prevent others from knowing.
A lot of art –– including storytelling –– is about making up stuff! In other words, lying. Beautiful lies, stirring lies. Magnificent lies. But lies nonetheless. Where, I wondered, was anyone trying to figure out what was true?
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