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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
“The world hangs in the balance, dependent upon whether I can convince a seven-year-old clone to spare us from nuclear annihilation.” Quality science fiction consists of three vital elements necessary to engage and entangle the truest fan: an intelligent, credible proposition to fuel imaginative speculation; rational but creative plot development to properly explore the ramifications of the initial proposition; and always a deeply human relevance to such ramifications, no matter the detached attitude of the initial proposition. And, of course, these elements need to be handled with skillful writing. Ganymede, by Jason Taylor, meets these expectations, and the result is a most fascinating, highly engaging science fiction story. In a rather post-apocalyptic, near-future world, where technology allows the matrix-like filtering of reality for each person’s individual perceptions, science achieves yet another major breakthrough: human cloning. Once thought impossible, even philosophically, human copies are now successful. Sort of.
It is this “sort of” – and the plot twisting (insert understatement warning here!) ramifications conjured up by Jason Taylor - that makes Ganymede a uniquely wonderful contribution to the literature of sci-fi. Mr. Taylor deftly weaves his human story by making the new clones, four pre-teenage girls, both highly sympathetic and fatally villainous. One wonders whom to root for: the girls or those they kill? That the reader feels sympathy and compassion almost equally for both, or at least can understand both on equal terms, makes this fast-moving novel cautionary and compelling. Does humanity go too far in playing God? What responsibility or accountability does it hold for its mistakes? Should humanity eradicate the error, or should it seek redemption through proper restitution? Jason Taylor explores these and other vital queries in a tale thrilling for any avid sci-fi fan. And then … he twists again!