Copies of Copies, a Science Fiction story | SparkaTale


Copies of Copies

By: Danny Power

Status: In Progress


(Formerly 'Unusable') Imagine being trapped, being told that the outside world was so hostile and uninhabitable that the only place for you was the layer of glass resting above your head. Now imagine that inside this home, you were the subject of stares and whispers because of who you were, day in and day out. Now, imagine that you escaped, only to find something far worse...

Created: April 11, 2016 | Updated: June 11, 2017

Genre : Science Fiction

Language : English

Reviews: 1 | Rating:

Comments: 21

Favorites: 3

Reads: 952

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Reviews (1)

  • Just Another Reader

    This is really good, I've only just finished reading what you posted now but it's a story I got seriously invested in! I know you got editing to do but I really like the characters, I loved 'One-One' and you can see 'Ian' change throughout the book! Please finish this!

    November 14, 2016 Flag

Comments / Critiques

  • Reply

    Well well. I must say I am very intrigued, Danny. I like this work very very much, and will definitely be looking out for updates! The only thing I will say is the use of the '&' symbol rather then 'and' is slightly off putting, but overall it is a very good read and I can't wait for more. 

    November 2, 2016 | Gracie Rose

  • Reply

    Well what can I say, thank you very much for your positive comment! While I'm finally becoming happy with the beginning of the novel, I'm finding that there's not enough real 'danger' in the middle, something I'm currently working on, but I'm glad you enjoyed it! And I fear the 'Ampersand Dilemma' will be the biggest reason why my book is remembered! I have 2 people who are for it and (now, thanks to you) 3 people against it, but I'll remove them once the novel is finished. Thanks again!

    November 8, 2016 | Danny Power

  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    I like the chapter, but what's happening in the beginning?

    September 18, 2016 | Just Another Reader

  • Reply

    Hey thanks for commenting! I assume you meant the beginning of the chapter itself? Well at the moment, it may not make much sense at all, but I promise that over the course of the story it will! What I can say, though, is that the writing in bold are encrypted messages written by the antagonist of the story, but you're not going to see them in quite some time... All will become clear as more of the plot unfolds. But I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

    September 18, 2016 | Danny Power

  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Hey, Danny! I'm here to fulfill my promise like I said I would. Right, let's get straight to the review.

    First thing that I want to say here is that I felt there was an overuse of the following: "-","...", and "&". I understand what you mean to convey when you use them, but seeing them repeatedly tended to draw me out of the experience as I was reading. Aside from that, I learned that it sounds much more professional if you spell things out than using symbols which takes the place of the words, so I do suggest you use "and" rather than the ampersand.

    Next, some sentences seemed awkwardly phrased to me. For example, if I recall correctly, when you used "what they were driving towards" you answered a process or fact rather than a concrete place they were driving to. Again, while I understand what you meant, I felt like there was a certain lack of consistency from time to time. In line with the comment on sentences, I feel like you could break some of them off so that they won't have be as long or held together by multiple ampersands.

    Technical things aside, I do find this an interesting beginning to your novel. It does give this feel where utopia doesn't seem as great as it appears. Right now, I feel like I can visualize some possible future events, which I'm not sure is a good or bad thing for you, but I appreciate how I can see the world. It does seem odd, however, that they may bite into the agreement right away.

    It is true that they've lost their son and want him back, but somehow, the description of Armando seemed almost... too indifferent for my taste. If I was the parent, I would have felt a little bit more cautious, especially when he said they used machines or machinery similar to those which replicated steel. Personally, I would've been much more inclined to continue following him if he stated they performed the test biologically. Seeing the clone may have helped, but not a lot. What evidence do I have to know that the clones "work" how they're supposed to work if it seems like he's the first one to volunteer himself? The guy's still being made in a tube! Reading further, however, I realized he did say there were previous experiments, which lead me to another question: why did he not show them these experiments too?

    I understand the need to make a sale of sorts so that the idea will launch, but if he is as sympathetic or empathetic as he makes himself out to be, I would have liked to be given all the details than simply finding things out for myself in a contract. I mean, if I didn't check, then I'd be surprised if one day, when my son is sick, they're at the doorstep ready to take him away due to his "defect."

    Also, it did seem strange to me at how quick the persona can shift from "I want him back" to "no, he's dead" back to "alright, we have to do this." You encapsulated her feelings and confusion well, it's just that it doesn't make much sense to me as a reader. I can't fully put myself in her position or feel her as she bounces from one end to the other. I feel like there may be a better way to built it all up near the end.

    Lastly, I think this works better as Chapter 1 than a prologue. From what I've heard, people usually tend to skip these and head to the "start" because these supposedly may be squeezed in somehow to the "main narrative".

    I like it, I just feel like there's more ways to improve how it's told. I feel like if you revise, the world becomes way more immersive than it currently is. Best of luck, Danny, and I promise to come back to read the succeeding chapters once I have the chance to do so!

    September 22, 2016 | Esca Skye

  • Reply

    Thank you for your constructive criticism! I'll try my best to go over my work again and make some changes. Unfortunately for me, all of my current chapters feature as many "-" and "&" so I'll try and change them in due course. Thank you once again!

    September 22, 2016 | Danny Power

  • Chapter: 2 Reply

    This was pretty good! 

    Yeah, I agree with the other person who commented, maybe take away some of the "...", but the actual story is great!

    October 4, 2016 | Just Another Reader

  • Chapter: 3 Reply

    Oh wow. You actually see somebody insulting Ian in a cafe? That's rough. This chapter was tough, especially with them losing one of their friends. It was really well-written, though. I like your writing style!

    October 30, 2016 | Just Another Reader

  • Reply

    Oh wow, thanks very much! 

    Yeah, I was a bit worried that people would have been introduced to Hayley - only for her to be taken away again, but we'll see more of her in the story. Well, when I say *her*'ll find out once you keep reading!

    October 30, 2016 | Danny Power

  • Chapter: 1 Reply

    Hey! I started reading this story a while back and really liked it, but I was too busy at the time to comment. Now school’s over for the year I thought I’d come back and give you some comments as well as read the rest of the story, since I only read around the first 5/6 chapters before. Anyway, I think this was a really good introduction to the story. You don’t force information down our throats, everything we need to know at this present moment of time is given in an organic (heh) way. Plus, there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding Fibrtech and everything else to make me really intrigued to read on. I also think you wrote the characters really well, too. Catherine’s desire to get her son back, her doubts about the process and especially the way she reacted to the contract referring to the clones as products, etc. was really moving. Not to mention, all the stuff about Fibrtech taking away malfunctioning products sounds very ominous… Needless to say, this was a really intriguing chapter and a great start to the story. There’s a lot of mystery and intrigue, the characters are good, and I’m intrigued to read on and see what happens next.

    One thing I noticed, is right in the first paragraph of the story, Catherine says she isn’t sure if she’s ready, but then just a couple of sentences later she says she is ready. At least, that’s what I took from it, and it might be just me, but I found the line a little confusing because of that. Still, aside from that, I didn’t find any other errors.

    As for the ampersands, which I see you’ve already gotten a lot of comments about, I wouldn’t say they bother me (I don’t really notice when I’m focused on reading) but I do find your use of them… Odd, I suppose, because I can’t think of any published books off the top of my head that use them instead of just writing 'and'. Is there a particular reason why you chose to use them?

    November 29, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton

  • Chapter: 2 Reply

    My favourite part of this chapter was probably the beginning, when Ian is explaining his “birth” – you did a really good job at describing that. I really like how you showed the contrast between Ian’s feelings and that of his parents. They see him as the same as the son they lost, but, although they have the same DNA, he’s not the same person. He doesn’t have the same memories, or the same way of acting about things, even though everyone expects him to. I really liked the scene where Ian admitted he was thinking of changing his name. It did a really good job of establishing Ian’s character and his way of seeing the world – in fact, the whole chapter was really good at that. You established the synthetic’s place in society well, and once again you didn’t force-feed us the information about this, it happened naturally so we can see the way they are treated ourselves rather than just being told about it.

    In addition to that, this chapter continues to provide a lot of intrigue – there’s so much about this world we (and the characters) don’t know. I’m really interested to read on and see what will happen in the future. So far you’ve established the setting well and it really has a great dystopian feel to it. Good job! :)

    One thing that confused me a little was the logistics of the number of people like Ian at the school. If they are cloned from students who’ve died, 100 out of 1000 seems a lot. Unless the school is in Sunnydale :P Sorry about my bad jokes… I don't even know if you've watched Buffy xD Anyway, I might just be missing something – maybe not all of them are clones of teenagers who’ve died, in which case, feel free to ignore me :P

    November 29, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton

  • Reply

    Thank you very much for your comment! 

    I'll reply to both of your comments here, in the name of efficiency, but I'm delighted that you, for the most part, enjoyed the opening chapters (especially considering your own body of work on SparkaTale). I know dystopia is a crowded genre right now but I'm glad the information wasn't forced, that you could get the sense of the dystopian landscape in the background. 

    1. In relation to what you said in regards to Ian's mother, you're absolutely right. I went back over it again & it does seem a bit contradictory. I'll add in a word or two, perhaps allowing her to say 'I'm ready now.' instead. I wouldn't have spotted that if you hadn't told me, so thank you!

    2. As for your second comment, which was also a valid point, I'll add more information to explain just why synthethics are created. Some of created to accomodate parents who lost their children, definitely, but they are also created for people who lost their uncle, aunt, grandparent, grandfather, parent etc (not restricted to just children/teenagers) or maybe even perhaps to clone a living sibling. That would set up an interesting dynamic where the cloned copy of an existing person would recieve much more abuse & distrust than their original counterpart, almost like twins where one is more highly valued than the other. Another thing I will definitely add into my work in due course. 

    I would also like to stress, of course, that sythethics weren't created originally to live among the general population...but you'll understand once you keep reading (if you plan on doing so ^^'

    I'm working on the final chapter now, which will leave things open for its inevitable sequel, then I will work on removing all the grammar mistakes (I wrote 'threw' instead of 'through', can you believe that?!) & tweaking the characters themselves. 

    But again, thank you very much for your comments & critiques!

    November 30, 2016 | Danny Power

  • Chapter: 3 Reply

    Sorry for taking so long to get back to this. When I started reading this story I meant to comment regularly, but somehow over the past 1 1/2 weeks things have just kept popping up -.- Anyway I really liked the scene in the café – in a sad way, of course, considering what happened :/ Poor Ian. You really described his emotions throughout that scene very well. It also did a really good job at further expanding on the way synthetics are seen in their society, like anyone who’s seen as “different”, they are shunted out :/ Oh, and I forgot to mention this in my previous comments, but your reply reminded me of this - I think you did a really good job with Ian’s emotions in the last chapter regarding his parents comparing him to the previous Ian. I can really relate to him about that, because I’m an identical twin myself. Although for me it’s not my parents who do that, but even so I think you captured his feelings about that very well.

    The ending of the chapter with Hayley was very well written too, and very ominous. I’m really curious to find out what happens in Fibrtech once they are taken there. Not to mention, Hayley’s illness seems very… Well, it seems like something strange is going on, for it to worsen so suddenly just before Aaron and Ian get there. You’ve done a really good job at building up the suspense and mystery of it all, and I’m really curious to see what happens to Hayley. I hope she’s ok :/

    One thing I thought was a little strange was Ian’s explanation of how the third world war occurred. I don’t know, maybe I’m looking too far into this at this point - after all, there’s no way of knowing that what Ian learns in school is actually correct – perhaps they don’t want people knowing the real reason why it happened. But assuming the textbook he’s learning from is correct, the explanation seems… Rather lacking, I suppose. I mean, the nations were bored? I think if a nuclear war happens it will be because of tensions between countries boiling over. The rest of that bit of exposition – when Ian says he doesn’t think they ever thought of the consequences of their actions – that was good, but the boredom comment seemed a bit lacking to me. Like I said, this might not be relevant if Ian simply doesn’t have the real info available, but if it is the story’s explanation for how the world ended up the way it did, it seems a little simplistic. Sorry for rambling on about this, by the way. I’m no good at explaining myself succinctly.

    Anyway, other than that, I really enjoyed this chapter. It was very well written and there’s a lot of suspense so I’m really curious to see what happens next. Hopefully I’ll be able to comment quicker next time.

    December 11, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton

  • Reply

    There's absolutely no problem with the time it takes to comment, don't stress yourself too much or feel like you're obliged to write something - the fact that you're commenting at all is more than enough!

    I'm actually delighted that so far, you're happy with the way the story is written. I'm sure that when you're writing Cursed you feel a little self-conscious about how others would look at your writing! 

    In regards to your comment about the Three World Wars, I think I should make it clearer that the 'boredom' aspect wasn't what was written in the History books, it was Ian's interpretation of it. He really doesn't want to study this topic because he thinks it's boring, so he decided to paraphrase what had happened in his mind. 

    If that makes sense? 

    At least that was my thought for that scene, but clearly if it doesn't register with readers perhaps I should change it? I didn't want to force-feed information either. 

    But your constructive criticism is always welcome! I really appreciate it and thanks for the comment!

    December 12, 2016 | Danny Power

  • Reply

    Hey, sorry for taking a while to reply. The boredom thing does make a lot more sense now you’ve explained it to me. I guess it might be good to make it a bit clearer that it’s Ian’s interpretation, but at the same time, it might just be me who didn’t get it :P So I guess maybe you could see if anyone else gets confused like I did and then change it if that happens? Either way, I think it’ll be fine :)

    December 14, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton

  • Chapter: 4 Reply

    Sorry again for taking such a long time between comments. One of these days I’ll get myself organised, I promise :P Anyway, this chapter was really good, probably my favourite so far. I’m really curious about what happened to those soldiers, especially if they don’t usually come back in such a state. I guess something must have changed, but it’s hard to form many theories when I don’t yet know what’s out there in the first place :P Anyway, you described the scene where they were moving through the city really well. I don’t know if you’ve seen/read Attack on Titan but I couldn’t help but think of the Survey Corps coming back from a mission all wounded when the soldiers were going to the city centre.

    Anyway, the part with the protester during the Mayor’s speech was really good too. It really shone a light on how their society is in general about people speaking out against the government, and the treatment of synthetics in general. During the protester’s arrest I could really feel Ian’s helplessness, the way he wants to speak up and say something about how they are really treated, but at the same time he knows exactly what will happen if he does so he has no choice but to stay quiet. You captured that feeling really well, particularly with the officer from earlier right there behind Ian.

    I thought you were a little repetitive in the Mayor’s speech, particularly this line: “tore our beautiful planet to shreds, breaking her into pieces” – you’re basically saying the same thing twice here, so I think you could drop the phrase after the comma and it would still make sense. There was another moment in his speech that had a similar problem – when the Mayor says “Now, escort him out of here, get him out of my sight”. Once again, you’re saying the same thing twice, I think it would flw better if you just wrote “Now escort him out of here” or “Now get him out of my sight”. It’s not a big issue - when I point out things like this it shows how I’m grasping at straws to provide some constructive criticism - but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

    ““How – How dare you?” he finally spoke”- Considering that just before that you said the mayor was not the least bit frightened by what happened, I thought it was a bit odd that he stammered with his speech. But like I said, I’m really grasping at straws here :P

    December 28, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton

  • Reply

    Thanks very much for your continued comments! I really appreciate them!

    Regarding this chapter, I really don't have an explanation for the flaws you mentioned, particularly regarding the Mayor's speech. I'll fix those immediately!

    January 4, 2017 | Danny Power

  • Chapter: 5 Reply

    This was another interesting chapter, and it ended on quite the cliffhanger too :P I can’t say I was expecting Ian to end up on the outside so soon – I did think it would happen eventually, but not right now so I was surprised. At least the environment (so far) seems to be less hostile than Ian thought. Still, I’m really interested to see what he finds out there. I’m nervous for him, too. After all, something made those soldiers come back in such a bad shape, and they had armour and weapons :/ I’m worried for him. Anyway, back-tracking a bit, I liked the whole build up to Ian being stranded on the outside too. You’ve really built up a lot of intrigue with martial law being instigated and some of the synthetics getting recalled. There’s so much happening we don’t understand and I’m really eager to find out more, so good job :)

    “My amigo added, his rifle never trained away from me” I think amigo is a rather strange word to use in this situation. I don’t know, maybe things are different for you but in my country amigo is more used as a friendly term. Plus it’s not a word usually used at all (in English-speaking countries, anyway) except in jest – although maybe that’s just Australia :P Still, it’s a word I more think of as referring to friends but in this situation it’s a soldier pointing a gun at Ian, so it seemed a bit odd. There was also a moment you slipped into present tense, with this line: “He still hasn’t opened up to me about what they did in there…” I think it would sound better if you wrote hadn’t instead of hasn’t. Anyway, despite these nitpicks, this was a very well-written chapter. Everything flowed smoothly and built up to that ending, making me really excited to see what happens next.

    December 29, 2016 | Genevieve Middleton

  • Reply

    I'm actually quite delighted that, for the most part, you enjoyed this chapter. I was worried that Ian was outside a little too soon into the story, and I'm still working on what happens out there (I might be adding a few chapters into the middle of the story to flesh it out a bit) but hopefully it will be cohesive in the end =)

    I hadn't noticed those flaws you mentioned in this chapter, either, so I'll rectify those mistakes as soon as I can.

    I can't even remember adding the word 'Amigo', but oh well =D

    January 4, 2017 | Danny Power

  • Chapter: 6 Reply

    I thought the beginning of the chapter – with Ian escaping from his trap and finding himself in this new, strange place that was nothing like he’d been told – was very well done. It was really interesting to read that whole section (actually, the whole chapter, really), and the way you wrote it was very intriguing – the descriptions were good, and you revealed bits of information gradually in a way that made it very interesting to read. Anyway, the fact the soldiers were out and about without any protective gear kind of proves (at least, until further information is available) that the world outside is certainly more inhabitable than they have been told inside. Like Ian, I’m also curious about this “Sector 7” business and the other sectors mentioned – like him, I assume it means more domes. I’m really curious of how the world came to be this way. If the outside is in fact inhabitable, why have they locked everyone away in these cities? It’s all very intriguing and I’m really looking forward to learning more :)

    Anyway, the second half of the chapter, with Ian being captured by Hayley (or her doppelganger, since she doesn’t appear to recognise him) was just as interesting as the first. I’m really curious to see what’s going to happen now he’s been captured by this group of, I assume, rebels of some description. I’m guessing they are clones of the same people Hayley and Co. were cloned from, hence why she looks and sounds like her (excepting her different injuries or disfigurement or whatever it is) and Ian mentioned he vaguely recognised some of the others, so it would make sense. Still, if I’m right, why were they made and how did they escape? I’m definitely keen to find out.

    “and of course his amigo assured him he wasn’t” – once again, I found the use of the word amigo rather strange in this context :P

    In the sentence beginning with “Once I was able to…” near the beginning, you repeated the phrase I was able twice. The repetition sounds a little awkward to read.

    And in regards to your reply to my last comment, I really like that you’ve made Ian leave the dome so quickly, so I don’t think him going outside so early on in the story is anything for you to worry about :) It surprised me, sure, but it was a good surprise, and it means the story is moving forward rather than dragging out, as it might have done if you’d delayed his leaving. Anyway, overall this was another great chapter, definitely my favourite so far. Good work! :)

    January 8, 2017 | Genevieve Middleton

  • Reply

    (First of all, I want to say thanks for continuing to read my story, and being pretty helpful while doing it!) ^^ 

    I seem to have a habit of using the word 'amigo' now don't I? I fixed both of the errors you pointed out. I wouldn't have even spotted the fact that 'I was able' was being repeated if you hadn't mentioned it to me! I'm just happy that the story is moving along well so far. 

    The middle of the story onwards will probably become confusing because I'm currently editing it. The final few chapters will feature extended scenes, and the ending will probably change entirely. (That's the joy of thinking of new sub-plots *after* the novel is finished...oh well!) but for the most part I'm happy with this thus far. Thanks again!

    January 8, 2017 | Danny Power