Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley


Tell us what you thought about the May 2005 issue!

Moderator: Editors

Master Critic

Posts: 889

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post May 23, 2005, 12:27:08 PM

Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

<br>thank heaven for those degenerate gamblers and unapologetic hack writers, this was a pretty good story, one that shed light on an aspect of cloning yours truly hasn't really considered thus.<br>although marilyn was never one of my favorites, she does make for an obvious choice as spokesperson. i'd rather see someone else doing the role, but then...<br>anyway, something about the tale reminded me of the x men, the way so-called "undesirables" and the different live in a pleasant prison far away from humanity at large.<br>didn't appreciate the ending. too open and actually with no driving conflict or punchline: half wanted marilyn A to somehow sabotage NN's crusade, maybe whack her over the head with a banker's lamp or just call the authorities. something.<br><br>intriguing but lacking in impact.<br>Lee
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2379

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Post May 25, 2005, 11:41:22 AM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

Given the current 'religious-right' slant to American politics (and the near-universal political aversion to anything approaching human cloning), the situation in this story seems pretty plausible. Cloning of any human is pretty much illegal, but the wealthy and powerful have it done to get prestigious arm candy (even if they can only show 'it' off among like-minded peers). When their existence is found out, the clones are treated like objects rather than as human beings, and 'unclean' objects at that ...<br><br>Will human clones be the new blacks (pre-Emancipation), the new 'wetback domestic help', the new 'toy breed pets' -- expensive, publicly shunned but privately desired and exploited? (Viz. also the upcoming movie 'The Island', where clones are grown and sequestered ('The Truman Show'-style) until they are needed -- for spare parts).<br><br>Do we need fireworks and violence for a story to have 'impact'? (sez the guy whose stories usually have fight scenes and 'special-effects' magical spells)<br><br>Robert M.
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)

Senior Critic

Posts: 387

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Somewhere outside San Diego

Post May 25, 2005, 01:10:39 PM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

As an action junkie, I feel compelled to respond to the subversive Robert M. <br><br>(Note: I have not read this story yet [but it sounds like fun], so my comments have nothing to do with it)<br><br>Action as in gunplay and explicit violence does not by any means automatically equate to impact (what I would call resonance). But a story needs to have something happen for there to be a real chance of impact. The issue is what constitutes "something happening." Could be apocalypse, could be a smile, could be the onset of night, etc. Some kind of movement from point A to wherever the story ends.<br><br>Dan E.<br><br>

Senior Critic

Posts: 387

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Somewhere outside San Diego

Post May 27, 2005, 10:32:24 AM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

Liked the title and liked the story. I thought it had plenty of impact, but I agree with Lee that the ending was a bit flat; kinda attenuated the resonance that had been building in the story. Seems the issues raised merit something a bit more poignant (which is way easy to say).<br><br>Nevertheless, a good read.<br><br>Dan E. <br><br>

Senior Critic

Posts: 387

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Somewhere outside San Diego

Post May 27, 2005, 10:50:15 PM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

One thing that struck me as, well, maybe a bit incongruous, was how articulate Marilyn was. Does that ring true? I only know her from how Hollywood presented her... <br><br>And then, sadly, this essentially well-wrought story about cloning and rights and, more specifically, the idea of multiple Marilyns got me thinking. Which typically does not net much of value, as you will see: Is clone-on-clone sexuality autoeroticism or incest? <br><br>Anybody? Bueller? <br><br><br>

Commenter

Posts: 12

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post May 29, 2005, 08:41:31 PM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

One thing that struck me as, well, maybe a bit incongruous, was how articulate Marilyn was. Does that ring true? I only know her from how Hollywood presented her...

And then, sadly, this essentially well-wrought story about cloning and rights and, more specifically, the idea of multiple Marilyns got me thinking. Which typically does not net much of value, as you will see: Is clone-on-clone sexuality autoeroticism or incest?

Anybody? Bueller?


<br><br><br>I think most people have misconceptions about what cloning is and about what clones are. If you were cloned you would not be creating an identical version of you; you would be creating an identical version of your genes. Monozygotic or "identical" twins have matching genes but could differ in innumerable ways based on environmental factors. True, identical genes will handle the exact same stimuli identically but the world is not so homogeneous. It's absolutely not like that old Star Trek TNG storyline where the transporter creates two identical William Riker's who share the same memories and attitudes.<br><br>So if you were the leader of an emancipation movement more than likely you've developed the necessary diction.<br><br>And technically it would be homosexual incest, because you would be interacting with a being that was genetically related but organically independent of you.<br>

Senior Critic

Posts: 417

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: St. Augustine, FL

Post May 29, 2005, 08:42:39 PM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

I, too enjoyed the story and thought it had impact. Marilyn was not my all-time favorite, but she was definitely very, very high on my list. <br><br>I thought that the ending did too have impact--of a sort. The impact was a "reverse psychology" kind of thing. Like everyone else, I was looking for some kind of punch line at the end. That Marilyn (a) simply accepted the plans of Marilyn (nn), was in itself a surprise--a kind of punch line. Anyhoo, that's my perception.<br><br>Nice work for a borderline alcoholic hack writer!<br><br>Donald
A really good story can compensate for less-than-brilliant writing, but brilliant writing will not save a bad story.

Master Critic

Posts: 889

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post May 30, 2005, 12:31:09 PM

Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

<br>Thanks for seeing it my way, Dan. and for the tantalizing question regarding same-source cloned sex. food for though, all you Vivid Image execs.<br>an apocalypse would have been appreciated in this story. even a clone rebellion a la i robot could have made for an excellent touch.<br><br>Lee
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2379

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Post May 30, 2005, 01:06:35 PM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

Thanks for seeing it my way, Dan. and for the tantalizing question regarding same-source cloned sex. food for though, all you Vivid Image execs.
an apocalypse would have been appreciated in this story. even a clone rebellion a la i robot could have made for an excellent touch.

Lee
<br>Hey, he could do a movie -- no, a SERIES of movies. Planet of the Clones. Escape from the Planet of the Clones. Conquest of the Planet of the Clones. Watch as the all-volunteer army is brought to its knees by the attack of the Marilyn Monroe Brigade (They sort of wriggle along instead of marching. Doesn't cover a lot of ground, but who cares?) Then the Sean Connery Assassination Squad moves in to mop up, using only their right thumbs (the left thumbs would do too much damage).<br><br>So ... another vote for fireworks, violence, stuff blowing up real good. (Hey, Max Guevera blew up the Manticore labs to prevent the creation of any more transgenic supersoldiers (viz. Dark Angel) -- the Marilyns could stage an assault on the illegal cloning labs!)<br><br>Robert M.
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)

Senior Critic

Posts: 387

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Somewhere outside San Diego

Post May 30, 2005, 04:29:58 PM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

To Mr Sosa,<br>Thanks for the input. Quite true my knowledge of cloning is limited to an osmotic understanding gained from pop culture. Alas, much of my knowledge is...<br><br>(As for my other query, you sucked the life out of what might have been a rip-roaring debate among the partially informed).<br><br>Dan E.<br><br><br><br><br>
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2379

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Post May 30, 2005, 04:42:35 PM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

To Mr Sosa,
Thanks for the input. Quite true my knowledge of cloning is limited to an osmotic understanding gained from pop culture. Alas, much of my knowledge is...

(As for my other query, you sucked the life out of what might have been a rip-roaring debate among the partially informed).

Dan E.

<br>Yeah, but think about it.  "Getting" twins is a common male fantasy (or is it just horny sitcom characters that think that way?); with clones, you could "get" n-tuplets.  Or watch them with each other.<br><br>What's that?  Jerry Falwell is on the other line?  What do you mean, 'he wants in on it'?<br><br>(This is all Mark Stanley's fault for invoking images of the woman who was, after all, the very first Playboy model.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)<br><br>Robert M.
Last edited by Robert_Moriyama on May 30, 2005, 04:42:57 PM, edited 1 time in total.
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)

Commenter

Posts: 12

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post May 30, 2005, 06:53:36 PM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

To Mr Sosa,
Thanks for the input. Quite true my knowledge of cloning is limited to an osmotic understanding gained from pop culture. Alas, much of my knowledge is...

(As for my other query, you sucked the life out of what might have been a rip-roaring debate among the partially informed).

Dan E.




<br><br>Aren't partially-informed debates the most fun? Perhaps it would have been a great Aphelion tangent to be remembered for all time. Alas.<br><br>A question I've always wondered is whether any hermaphrodites can get themselves pregnant. Would that be masturbatory, or heterosexual incest--or bisexual incest? If you cloned this very special person and made a whole race of androgynious Homo sapiens (perhaps their OWN race?) what kind of sexual/family behavior would develop between men, women, and the wild-cards? <br><br>Why weren't you screenwriting Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Mr. Moriyama?<br>

Senior Critic

Posts: 387

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Somewhere outside San Diego

Post May 30, 2005, 10:10:17 PM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

The hormone-injected, norm-devoid fantasy of getting identical twins has never been part of my collection... But I like Mr. Sosa's thinking (Mr. Moriyama, however, is quite probably insane, so anything he says must be enjoyed in secret).<br><br>But I've been pondering this story's ending and I'm wondering if Marilyn (a) sort of acquiesces to (nn) cuz she knows that even if (nn)'s ploy fails, as it seems it probably will, it's at least a start given the fact that the clone game doesn't appear to be ending anytime soon. <br><br>I dunno, perhaps Mr. Stanley might comment on the ending.<br><br>Dan E.
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 3244

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin (USA)

Post May 30, 2005, 10:52:13 PM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

I'm going to avoid joining the Ménage à Marilyn discussion and focus on the story.<br><br><br>On cloning: As I understand it, at current technology levels the source cells used to make a clone have, in essence, a "time index." That is to say a clone is a clone of the cell at that point in it's life. I has no longer life expectancy than the original source, but it has to be born. This yields a duplicate that has to grow up, but will never live as long as the original, due to aging-induced flaws in the source cell. <br><br>This story seems to indicate that you can hatch out a celeb at whatever target age you want, without the mess of all those years of puberty & education. To do so, they would have to unlock the secrets of aging. How else could you dial back the clock to get a clone of a specific age?<br><br>If we can get people (or just parts) of any age... organ transplants are no longer a problem. Clone your own cells & make 'em younger. Going senile? Inject some 'new' brains in your noggin. Wrecked your liver? Just stick a new one in, etc. Such technology would make cloning both popular & also commonplace. I reject any argument that it could only be available to make whole clones for the super-rich. The rest of the world is simply too big a potential revenue stream to ignore; regular people would get parts.<br><br>Continuing the logic, if so many people would have cloned parts, why would whole clones be looked so down upon? What politician in his right mind would tell his partially cloned constituents that a whole person made the same way as their new eyes, or left arm (or whatever part they got) was less than human? Not a good way to be re-elected--or to get a doctor to give that Congressperson parts when he or she needs them later in life.<br><br><br>As such, I guess it would be safe to say that I didn't go for the premise of this tale. Still, looking at it as it was:<br><br>The setting didn't feel real to me. It simply wasn't drawn well enough for me to 'get it.' People go to a show in a gulag?? Is that right? Would that be some sort of non-traveling freak show, where the freaks are in prison? If they are so dangerous, why would someone go? If someone asked me to go to the Brown County Correctional Facility in Green Bay to see their rendition of The Pirates of Penzance, I'm telling them to stick it--no matter how great Ralph the Axe Murder is in his rendition of "Modern Major-General." I'm creeped out at the thought.<br><br>On character development, there wasn't much. Marilyn(a) was still the same outspoken she was at the beginning. The (nn) version wasn't really any different either. Perhaps a little more confident, but "basically the same" as she was. (It's hard not to turn these all into clone-based puns.) <br><br>On plot, Marilyn gives a speech & then talks in her dressing room. Not much else happens. If (a) could have given (nn) some secret, some thing that only she could have known, then the plot has more weight. Or if it followed (nn) for a longer time span, and put obstacles in her way... something for her to do, to overcome in getting in to see (a)... then this plot means more. This seemed to be just an opening movement, and did not seem to have a beginning, middle and end that a complete story needs.<br><br><br>Kudos for a world of clones that have to struggle for their rights. That's a very "human" plot and potentially a great way to illustrate "what is human." However, the lack of solid character development, rising action, and climax stole away any potential thunder this piece could have had.<br><br>Nate
Last edited by kailhofer on May 30, 2005, 10:58:49 PM, edited 1 time in total.
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
Image
A cooperative effort between 17 Aphelion authors. No part of any sales go to Aphelion.

Commenter

Posts: 12

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Post May 31, 2005, 12:18:10 AM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

I'm going to avoid joining the Ménage à Marilyn discussion and focus on the story.


On cloning: As I understand it, at current technology levels the source cells used to make a clone have, in essence, a "time index." That is to say a clone is a clone of the cell at that point in it's life. I has no longer life expectancy than the original source, but it has to be born. This yields a duplicate that has to grow up, but will never live as long as the original, due to aging-induced flaws in the source cell.

This story seems to indicate that you can hatch out a celeb at whatever target age you want, without the mess of all those years of puberty & education. To do so, they would have to unlock the secrets of aging. How else could you dial back the clock to get a clone of a specific age?
<br><br>I've read about the "running clock" theory about our DNA but I don't think any of it is yet conclusive. Telomeres are a chromosomal feature whose gradually shortened lengths are associated with cell mortality, although even human cells do produce an enzyme Telomerase which adds to the lost length during the creation of new cells. <br><br>At age one, Dolly's Telomeres were 20% shorter than normal after being extracted from a six year-old sheep (and deprived of Telemorase in a culture for two generations). Despite that, the lung infection that killed her was not attributed to her cloning:<br><br>"Sheep can live to 11 or 12 years of age, and lung infections are common in older sheep, particularly those housed indoors. There is no evidence that cloning was a factor in Dolly contracting the disease," said Dr. Harry Griffin of the Roslin Institute.<br><br>I think of Girl's Best Friend using less sophistication than you describe in cloning Marilyn Monroe. People have cloned organisms at this point in history but, as far as I'm aware of, nobody has successfully bred an entire, viable human organ, save for skin. Matching brain patterns just makes it more unfeasible. If you want organs you're going to have to get them the hard way.<br><br>Would people go to a show in a gulag? I think it's not entirely impossible especially with today's insidious reality TV and celebrity worship. It depends on who is profiting. But you're right in that the writer may not have painted a large enough picture of the culture at hand.<br><br>The structure of the piece was more of a chapter from a novella than a self-contained short story, but I don't wish to bash the writer over the head with what was already said. I think the body of the story worked on a certain level and the ideas held my interest all the way through.<br>

Senior Critic

Posts: 417

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: St. Augustine, FL

Post May 31, 2005, 01:07:34 AM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

All this fuss and technobabble about whatcha can and can't do in cloning is over my poor old gray head. But I would ask this:<br><br>If we sci-fi writers can make a bunch of dinosaurs come alive from a bit of tissue preserved in amber for sixty-five million years, then why can't we make a bunch of celebrities come alive who've been gone less than a hundred years?<br><br>I predict that cloning will soon be accepted by SFFWA in the same way that FTL and time travel are now accepted.<br><br>Judging Girl's Best Friend strictly on its merits as a story, it was a fun read that held my interest and kept my sense of wonder intact all the way through.<br><br>Donald
Last edited by dsullivan on May 31, 2005, 01:10:39 AM, edited 1 time in total.
A really good story can compensate for less-than-brilliant writing, but brilliant writing will not save a bad story.

Master Critic

Posts: 879

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Johnstown, Pa.

Post June 03, 2005, 10:05:41 PM

Re: Girl's Best Friend by Mark Stanley

Nice story but I think the ending could have been <br><br>better. <br><br><br>Cloning is a hot topic now, and I think we have<br><br>only skimmed the surface. Twenty, thirty years from<br><br>now, the techology we learn from cloning will help in <br><br>many areas of medicine. <br><br><br>Too bad the author didn't have a JFK clone with her!!
Tesla Lives!!!
User avatar

Commenter

Posts: 18

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Connecticut, USA

Post June 20, 2005, 07:57:06 PM

Goodbye Norma Jean

One thing that struck me as, well, maybe a bit incongruous, was how articulate Marilyn was. Does that ring true? I only know her from how Hollywood presented her...
<br><br>Reading this story reminded me of a quote by Marilyn Monroe. Sorry it took me so long to root it out.<br><br>"I am involved in a Freedom Ride protesting the loss of minority rights belonging to the few remaining Earthbound stars. After all, all we demanded was our right to twinkle." Marilyn Monroe, 1962.<br><br>Also - "I don't trust us." On the Francis Gary Powers U-2 flight over the USSR (CCCP).<br><br>Apparently she was deeper than her movie-blonde persona showed (imho).   <br>
Last edited by Cuchulain on June 21, 2005, 10:27:49 AM, edited 1 time in total.
'Beowulf's dragon, if one wishes really to criticize, is not to be blamed for being a dragon, but rather for not being dragon enough, plain pure fairy-tale dragon.'
J.R.R. Tolkien, 1936.

Return to May 2005

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.