Constance by: Matthew FitzSimmons
Published on: September 1, 2021
In Constance, Matthew FitzSimmons not only delivers a wonderful sci-fi thriller that includes thought-provoking and complicated characters, but also sheds a light on all the complexities that cloning and memory downloading would bring to society.
We’re first introduced to Constance ‘Con’ around Christmas as we watch her go throughout her day. We learn of a tragic accident that killed her fellow band members, but also left her love brain-dead and in a coma. Later, we get some insight into the falling out that Con’s family has with her aunt Abigail.
At the end of the day, Con goes into the spa-like facility to do her regular memory download. But instead of waking up hours later, Con finds herself waking up 18 months later in a clone’s body – meaning the original Con is dead. However, there’s a lot to be suspicious of when it turns out the download process didn’t follow proper protocol and now there’s more questions than answers, especially since 18 months worth of memories are missing. Now Con wants answers, but also needs to find a way to stay alive as well as get some of life basic’s necessities – like food and shelter.
The beauty of the story is that this fun thriller is set only a few years from now so that you don’t feel it is too out of reach. This near-future setting allows us to easily understand all the different reactions, beliefs, and politics surrounding cloning and memory downloading. From varying friends reactions, to different state laws and protections, to outside influences such as groups that would protest and campaign against cloning, there is a lot for Con to take in and understand. Things often look different when you’re on the other side of an issue. Does a clone have the same rights as the original? Do they get custody of children? Are they entitled to the same bank account as the original? How far is too far? What makes you ‘you’? Then, there are boardroom politics within the company that owns the cloning process.
The overall story was very well done and I enjoyed reading it. It’s always a little more fun when you don’t know who to trust and this story definitely has this. I also appreciate any science fiction story that is easy to understand and this did an outstanding job of doing that, especially given the subject matter. Definitely recommend.
Rating: 5 stars