I've been toying with the idea of scattering some excerpts from the journal of the wizard Xax throughout my fantasy novel, mainly because without them the novel is purely fantasy with the readers getting little idea of the sci-fi roots of the story. My feeling is that agents who read the story as it stands will keep rejecting it on the basis of it not seeming original enough. Would the journal excerpts make a difference?
I began typing out entries in the 'journal'. This one below was the first, but it doesn't feel authentic to me. After all, Xax already knows the history behind the journey to the new habitable planet, so why would he bother writing about it? He would write from his own perspective, even if that is less illuminating for my readers.
Excerpt from the Journal of Artyom Komarov
It was the first habitable planet found by the new Hubble/Yi VII telescope, or as close to habitable as 97.8% certainty can provide. And it was less than eighty light years from Earth. Who could resist? China began building the first generation ship, and a Mormon sect led by trillionaire Trev Johnson started the second, naturally called Mayflower II. They had no clue that they would be beaten to the punch by poor, corrupt Russia.
Even our own government was surprised by the turn of events. It had secretly funded our group, nine of the best Russian scientists along with an Icelandic geneticist, a biologist from Bosnia, and a Danish molecular engineer, for more than three decades for the purpose of perfecting new military clones. On the side we called ourselves the ‘Immortality Club’ and set about figuring out how to digitize a dump of all data from a living being’s mind and reinject that data back into the empty brain of the being’s cloned body. Thirty-three years it took us, along with enough chimpanzees to repopulate the Congo, but we succeeded. We proved there was no such thing as a soul.
Immortality was our primary aim. We were all getting on in years, with Kostya nearing eighty. It took twenty years to properly prepare a human clone, so all of us were impatient to set a few copies baking. We began taking new snapshots of our brain data each week, so we could always have nearly up-to-date versions of ourselves ready to go.
It was Volodya who gazed up at the two generation ships lighting up the nighttime sky and imagined another use for our new technology. We could automate the cloning and reconstitution process using super-advanced crèches on a small, fast ship and beat the Chinese and Americans, claiming the new world for ourselves. We didn’t even tell our bosses what we were up to, since we dared take no chances they would strip away our funding.
It’s an odd feeling to wake in a fresh young body more than three centuries later and know that another version of yourself may still be living back home on Earth.
Avery Cates: The Bey
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