Saturday, April 12, 2014

ORPHAN BLACK returns! A reading list for CLONIACS

Since discovering ORPHAN BLACK during a holiday TV-watching binge with my awesome 19yo, I have been breathlessly awaiting the second season and folks, we are ALMOST THERE. Why am I posting about it TODAY? Because, folks, today I am sharing my CLONE-THEMED reading list.

In addition to being masterfully acted by Tatiana Maslany, ORPHAN BLACK is a fascinating exploration of the nature of identity, personality, individuality and the boundaries of scientific intervention into the lives of homo sapiens. The show makes me FEEL & THINK and that's pretty much the whole deal.

Here are a few books to read alongside your journey with the many faces of Sarah/Alison/Cosima...

EXPIRATION DAY - This fantastic futuristic debut by William Campbell Powell takes readers on a journey with Tania Dealy who, like Sarah Manning, begins by thinking she is an ordinary human girl. More about technological cloning than genetic cloning, nonetheless this is a terrific read. (Tor Teen, April 2014)

THE HOUSE OF THE SCORPION - Nancy Farmer's award-winning 2002 novel is a modern-day classic. Here's the start of the Amazon description: "Matteo Alacrán was not born; he was harvested." Need I say more?

THE DIFFERENT GIRL by Gordon Dahlquist (Dutton, 2013) is a fascinating meditation on how human thoughts are born. The narrator is a robot who seems to have made a cognitive leap past her identical sisters.

ORIGIN by Jessica Khoury (Razorbill, 2012) is a techno-romance set in a lush Amazonian garden. Here's high praise from National Book Award-winner Judy Blundell: "Is this science fiction? It feels too scarily real. This spellbinding tale of the horrors of genetic engineering gone mad is both thriller and love story, breathlessly paced and beautifully told."

NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro (2005), which inspired a very good film by the same name starring Kiera Knightly, Carrie Mulligan and Andrew Garfield, is a haunting fictional memoir narrated by Kathy H., who accepts her lot as "carer" and ultimately "donor." As the reader discovers the true meaning of these words, the story grows in potency, complexity and tragedy.

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