Ganymede


Fiction - Science Fiction
309 Pages
Reviewed on 02/23/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jason Taylor spends his life in the mountains and at sea. A native of Montana, coastal BC is his second home. No stranger to the pull of wilderness on the human psyche, his writing explores the themes of what makes us human and our place on this planet.

    Book Review

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!

Sherri Fulmer Moorer

Imagine a world where AI (Artificial Intelligence) is everywhere. The human genome has been perfected, and every human being is implanted with an interface that helps them perceive the world in a more favorable manner. That's the world you find in Ganymede, where the virtual and actual reality are merged into an entirely new existence. The Great Unrest has ruined the world, making this merger with AI the only way not only to survive, but to find any beauty in life. Jill, a brilliant and modest scientist, enjoys her work in this world, and has dedicated her life to furthering human accomplishments with cloning technology. It doesn't work until a co-worker is found dead in the lab where she works, leaving behind a recording that unlocks the last obstacle to cloning and allowing her to create the first human clones on Earth - with disastrous results.

Ganymede by Jason Taylor gives a fascinating glimpse of the future world that will leave you wondering what's real and what's another stretch of the imagination. I found Ganymede fascinating because it mixes science and technology so well. Most sci-fi novels focus on one or the other, and author Jason Taylor manages the task of mixing the two in a fascinating, complex plot that will keep you turning pages to the very end. Nothing is what it seems as Jill and the other characters keep unraveling more layers, not only to the problem with the clones, but their own minds as well. It seems that every character and even the environment is under some kind of otherworldly control, and surprises lurk at every turn. A wonderful and fascinating novel that I highly recommend.

Scott Cahan

Ganymede by Jason Taylor is a science fiction thriller about cloning. It’s also one of my new favorite books of all time. It’s the year 2081 and the human race has finally figured out how to successfully clone a human being. The first four test clones are brought into the world as babies to grow up with their parents while the world looks on in amazement. Everything is wonderful until the clones reach their seventh birthday. The clones begin to behave in strange ways and it’s up to a scientist named Jill and a government agent named Tros to resolve the problem as quietly as possible so as not to upset the public. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that they are in way over their heads as the situation gets out of control.

Ganymede takes the topic of cloning in a direction that I had never contemplated. Author Jason Taylor has skillfully crafted a tale that is not only thought-provoking, but it’s also smartly scientific, extremely exciting, and very unpredictable. He had me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. His characters are realistic and interesting. And he writes in a style that flows naturally and is always clear. Even when a character is explaining something technical, his comfortable style keeps the story simple enough to understand and moving at a good pace. I thoroughly enjoyed Ganymede and I applaud Jason Taylor for giving us a great science fiction story. In my opinion, Ganymede is a true original, not a copy (or clone) of any other sci-fi work of fiction.

Deepak Menon

That Ganymede by Jason Taylor is going to be a riveting look into a dystopian future is evident from the attractive cover which invites an immediate 'look inside' from the casual as well as serious reader of science fiction. The story starts in the year 2088, where a young mother named Mary is waiting for her 7-year-old daughter Elizabeth to come down for her birthday party, before the guests arrive. When the child does not appear, Mary goes up the stairs to her room and is faced with a quandary - Elizabeth does not recognize her mother or her surroundings! A bewildered Mary forcibly picks up the violently struggling child and carries her down the stairs, just as her own mother enters the house. Elizabeth somehow gets her hand on a metal chopstick with which Mary's stylish hairstyle is held in place. With one swift motion, she pulls it out and stabs Mary in the neck with it. Blood wells out and Mary falls down the stairs, but Elizabeth breaks free, pivots in the air, and lands cat-like at the bottom of the stairs, crouches by her mother and examines the chopstick sticking out of her neck with interest. I reacted with shock. Elizabeth was simply a little 7-year-old girl. But then I remembered that Elizabeth was a clone of her mother, the result of Mary volunteering in a human cloning project so that she could have a child. Is it possible that a clone could manifest inhuman traits?

And so the intricate tapestry in which this tale is woven starts unraveling. Flash back to 2080. Enter Jillian, the main protagonist who is a scientist, having uncovered the proverbial Rosetta Stone for programming human DNA. She is on the threshold of a breakthrough which will make it possible to finally create perfect human clones. The book takes off at this point, with tension rising to frequent crescendos like a series of explosions. The pace is fast and covers many scenarios ranging from psychologically designed scenes to highly technical descriptions of the quantum world governing all of us. Despite the numerous threads, they are skillfully woven together into a fine climax, leaving the reader craving for more after reading the last sentence!

There are many memorable protagonists - a human clone named June, an anarchist named Icarus, many people and creatures who are simply holographic programmed entities like people or cats. And the humans of 2088 too are modified by technology that the reader will gasp at and yet be unable to rule out as impossible. Jason Taylor has let his imagination investigate hitherto unexplored areas of the human body - including the brain, its psyche and its unharnessed potential - to write a story that opens many hazy windows into a future that may just happen, probably to end life as we know it now. This is a unique 5 star book of a possible dystopian future, and a recommended read.

K.C. Finn

Ganymede is a work of science fiction written for adults by author Jason Taylor. Set in the intriguing world of future tech, where artificial intelligence and human cloning have been perfected at last, our central hero Jill will discover that the glories of technological breakthrough are not all that they seem to be. When Jill’s incredible research leads her to the Ganymede Project, she finds herself delving deep into a dark web of secrets and lies, and facing the consequences of her own discoveries. The novel asks important questions about what it really means to be human, and what happens when we are threatened by the loss of that humanity.

Author Jason Taylor artfully avoids the temptation of science fiction to focus too hard on the former and not the latter. This is an excellent piece of fiction in itself: well crafted with a cogent plot, a strong central character, and an emotional story line that resonates within the tale and outward to its readers too. As a work of science, the novel is also excellent conceptually, inquiring about how far humanity can go in trying to replicate itself before it loses all that there is about being human. The projected ideas about artificial intelligence and the genome are kept cleverly and believably within the realms of what we know about current science, which makes the story feel realistic, and it is all the more terrifying because of it. Overall, Ganymede is an intelligent and well paced work that all readers can enjoy.