As I’m reading Bubblegum, I am also reading Kitten Clone by Douglas Coupland.
It’s a non-fiction account of him visiting the Alcatel-Lucent plants in New Jersey, France and China.
Over 150 odd pages he makes observations about technology and how it will impact us in the future, etc. He also throws in some speculative fictional ideas.
It’s an enjoyable book, in part because he wrote it in 2014, so it’s kind of dated, but not as much as you might think.
Anyhow, at the end, he creates this future scenario
The year is 2245. Your name is Saager, and you’re just getting back to work after a snack break. … You visit your son, who works for the same company, except in the Kerguelen Islands in the middle of the Antarctic ocean. Well, technically he’s not your son–he’s your clone, and one of many, as you carry around a mutant gene that made you unreceptive to a strain of influenza K that swept through the world thirty years previously. The overlords decided to make your DNA go wide.
So you call your clone son. he says
“I just had my work break and it was great. Number seventeen and I re-chipped the canteen’s sucrose dispenser, and tricked it into cranking out zygotes. I made thirty-seven great-grandchildren, but then the bell rang and here I am, back to work.”
“What did you do with the zygotes?”
“I ate them.”
I’m not sure why he ate them, there’s no reason given. But I put that in here as prep for the end of the story.
The father says he found feline DNA from the archives. It’s maybe three hundred years old. The son sequences it and attempts to rebuild it (it takes 30 seconds).
The father watches the son remove a small fluffy kitten from the tank. It’s wet but healthy. The father asks him what it looks like.
“It’s very–what’s the word… cute. Yes. I think it’s what people used to call ‘cute.'”
You look at the kitten. It’s a… well, it’s a kitten. Just like in the Grand Archive images.
“What do I do with it now, Dad?”
“What do you mean, what do you do with it? … I don’t know. Make it a pet?”
“People haven’t had pets in over a hundred years.”
“Can you give it as a birthday present?”
“The Kerguelen Islands are a No Small Mammal Zone.”
“Holy crap! My boss is coming this way! What do I do with the kitten?”
“You better eat it. Hurry!”
You watch your son eat the kitten in four quick bites. A chip off the old block.
Not exactly the same idea I realize, but come on.
Wow, what a trip.
Gross and I don’t know which is worse. Neat coincidence though.