Re: Replicant EThics and the Free Market

Damien Broderick (
Tue, 25 Feb 1997 14:49:06 +1000

At 02:40 PM 2/24/97 -0600, Ravn (I think) wrote:

>There's a good sci-fi story waiting to get out, about the clone waiting to
>get chopped-up, for the benefit of his old, wheezing, near-dead master.

Unless I'm mistaken, that's `The Eyeflash Miracles' by Gene Wolfe (1976).
Yawn. I've been grimly entertained by most media commentators (sorry Ravn)
making such remarks, including the scientist in the original news report who
told us he had this *great new sci fi idea* for cloning Jesus. When Peter
Goldsworthy did this in HONK IF YOU ARE JESUS a few years, I thought it was
an *example* of cloning. Sorry, team, it's all been done. Gilbert Gosseyn
(Go-Sane) in van Vogt's Null-A novels was a clone with replacements lurking
in the tank back in the 1940s. In 1973, Nancy Freedman cloned JFK in
classic clone novel, came out in 1976 (winning the Hugo award for year's
best sf novel) and canvassed most of the possibilities, as did Pam
Sargeant's CLONED LIVES the same year. Varley is crawling with these plots,
and Egan carries them further. Even a late-comer like Lois McMaster Bujold
has done it. Her recent Miles Vorkosigan novel (the titles of these
Ruritanian entertainments drift away) used a nasty world where rich
dictators had bodies grown and exercised for later transplant. The kids
were not decorticated (have you ever seen the kind of body that results from
microcephaly?), but trained with a kind of ideology/religion that made them
happily anticipate their merging with, for example, The Lady... My point?
Not just justice to my fellow sf laborers in the fields, but a pointer to a
vast ream of elaborate material where many of the worst and best scenarios
have long since been amusingly explored.

Damien Broderick