Title - Clones: The Anthology
Author(s) - Nathan M. Beauchamp
R. D Brady
Michael Patrick Hicks
Susan Kaye Quinn
Daniel Arthur Smith
Editor(s) - Jessica West
Stars - Five
Takeaway - Highly recommend it. A can't miss for sci-fi fans!
Disclosure - **First, let me state that I received a free copy of this work in exchange for an honest review**
I have to admit that I was excited when approached to review Clones: The Anthology. The work resonates with some of my own stories which deal with genetic engineering, cloning, and synthetic humanoids (e.g. Awakening, Boon's Arrival). But at the same time, I was also a little nervous about what the content would be. A whole compilation of stories about clones? I almost expected some kind of Star Wars knock-off, or the same tired old stories of cloned dinosaurs, or wars. Thankfully, I couldn't have been more wrong.
Instead of delving into the cliché drudgery that floods the market of clone wars and cloned monsters, Clones: The Anthology takes a fresh look at the subject, addressing more sociological and esoteric issues such as the ethics of cloning, anti-clone racism, fanatical extremism, adapting to life with a cloned family member, and even the origins of sentient life in our universe. I found these stories inspiring, and invigorating, leaving me wanting more.
Each story comes with a unique perspective on the topic of cloning. From Black Site's Lovecraftian themes, to the moral and ethical issues of a clone's development and assimilation into human society, as portrayed in The Vandal, to the time-altering quantum paradoxes presented in Splinter, the stories engaged me and held my interest. Most of them pulled me in right away and wouldn't let me go. I have to say that I am not disappointed in any of the stories in this anthology (usually I find one or two bombshells). In fact, some of these stories could be built upon and expanded into whole new science-fiction worlds for the authors to explore, they are that well defined and developed. If the authors did, I would definitely want to buy the books.
As far as negatives go, I can't say that I really have any complaints. This book was well-edited, and each story well-written. I believe each author brought their strengths to bear in their works, and put their best foot forward. Usually with an Indie-pub anthology, or novel, there is always a typo or awkward something somewhere. I can say that I am pleased to report that I did not catch any in Clones: The Anthology. However, that may also be because I got so wrapped in the stories that I finished the whole anthology in about three days--it was that good!
The bottom line:
Would I recommend this anthology to others for purchase? Absolutely. This anthology is a can't miss if you like science fiction. I also want to watch each of the individual contributors to see what new they may have coming in the near future.