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The Book of Adam: Autobiography of the First Human Clone - Science Fiction - Amazon.com
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The Book of Adam
Autobiography of the First Human Clone 

Book One of The Books of Adam 

A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother.
– Mark Twain


Nine months after I died, my daughter gave birth to me.

It was more than fifty years after my birth when I first saw the recording of our umbilical cord being severed.

“May I hold him?”

I caught my breath. I hadn’t heard my mother’s voice in so many years. Her gentle intonations conjured forgotten memories of an old form of happiness, before shadows of loss and sadness began to dampen even the best times.

I walked toward my mom’s holographic image, my fingertips trying to touch the laser plasma that comprised her face. She looked so much younger than the images in my mind. Her blond hair untouched by gray, her smooth cheeks and chin unblemished by worry, her blue-gray eyes still looking like those of a child delighting in an unexpected present.

Her name was Sarah. She was the daughter of the man I was cloned from. And she had just become the mother of her father’s clone with my birth. Or “Adam’s Rebirth,” as the home video was labeled. A video discovered in one of my Grandma Lily’s storage boxes.

Lily is in the holotape as well, hovering nearby as the nurse begins wiping off my small body. “Is Adam okay?”

I tense when I hear my great-grandfather’s voice from behind. Lyle Gardener, the man who recorded the event. The man who made human cloning possible. I turn to see the doctor and Lyle reviewing the medical scans. “Everything’s in order,” Lyle says. “Fingers, toes, organs, and brain.”

“But is it really Adam? I mean, his soul?” Lily asks. “Does he remember me?”

The nurse finishes my initial cleaning. Lily opens her arms to receive me, but frowns as the nurse instead walks to Sarah’s side. She eases my newborn body into my mother’s arms. My tiny head wobbles so that my face looks up at hers. Naturally, on that night of March 11, 2034, I did not yet realize that my mother within whose womb I’d spent the previous nine months was the newborn daughter I had once cradled in my own arms.

“You have a beautiful soul,” my mom says, smiling before kissing me on my forehead and nose. “I love you, Michael,” she whispers, calling me by my middle name as she cradles me to her, not bothering to wipe away her tears, breathing in the scent of her newborn who had moments before been a part of her own body.

I notice my own tears as my fingertips again attempt to somehow touch the 52-year-old images around me. Did I have a soul? If so, part of it must have come from my mother. Sarah’s hologram closes her eyes as she gently rocks me back and forth, humming a familiar lullaby. She seems to have become oblivious to everything else. Oblivious to her mother and grandfather, to the doctor and nurses. Even to the throngs of people who had gathered outside the hospital in spite of a thunderstorm, the din of which I can just hear in the background.

A couple of the bystanders were awed; awed at me, awed at science, awed at the uncertain future my birth represented. The other thousand-plus were protesting “The Blasphemous Birth,” the baby created not by God, but by humans who believed they were gods. They saw the thunderstorm as a sign from an angry deity proclaiming the end of the world. As did Gabrielle Burns, the drenched woman standing quietly to the side, her calm face upturned to the hospital room window – the woman who would eventually murder my mother.

Even if I had known all this, my reaction would have been the same: the newborn image of me began to cry. A sure “sign” that the first human clone was a healthy baby boy, soul or not. 


 A half-century later, and the end of the world has yet to arrive. What did come to an end was my early fame. The widespread furor over my existence occurred while I was still the only clone, too young to realize what was going on, or to comfort my mother who bore the brunt of it. Cloned births became commonplace while I was a young child, removing me from the spotlight and affording me a mostly private life, if still not a peaceful one.

So why call renewed attention to myself by writing an autobiography? In part, I’d like to honor the memories of those who have touched me. I’d also like to set straight, or in many cases confirm, the rumors attached to my life. But it’s much more than that. Since my earliest memories, I’ve been told that I would be seen as the primary example of human cloning, and that humanity’s acceptance or rejection of human cloning might depend on how I was perceived. By writing this autobiography I hope to give others some insight as to what it was like to be the first human clone. I hope to help fellow clones deal with similar issues, and help convince non-clones that we are all human beings. Whether we are conceived naturally by a mother and father or, as in my case, manufactured in a laboratory from the cells of dead ancestors, we are neither more nor less perfect than others.

Most importantly, I hope to convince myself of this. 

My dead ancestor’s name was Adam Silva Elwell, after my birth referred to as Adam Elwell-1, and he was my grandpa. Or, as far as some people are concerned, he was I. Which is why, unlike most autobiographies, the story of my life begins some sixty years before I was born.