Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Excerpt and Giveaway Clan by Realm Lovejoy

Published: November 12th, 2013


Clans are Unity.

No variation. No deviation.

On Clades, to be a Clan is to be an exact copy. 
A perfect society cloning themselves to survive, even as the zombielike Frags threaten to overrun them on an unforgiving planet. 

Clan 1672 (privately known as Twain) was never supposed to survive the Incubation Tank. 
But he did. Illegally. 
He is different from the other Clans. 

A secret that could destroy him.

Kirkus Reviews: "In this fast-paced novel, Lovejoy uses economical prose while developing the story’s characters and setting in detail. She also meets the challenge of creating memorable characters in a world of identical people..." (Read more here!)


Twain heard a muffled voice behind the closed door. “Don’t be alarmed. He’s had… some unfortunate events. But he is a Clan and Father Krume approved his attendance. Remember, we must be Unified.”

Twain took a breath. Are the Clans going to scream and run when they see me?

With a shiver, he pushed the square button on the door. It opened.

Around thirty Clans were standing. Each head whipped around—all nearly identical to his own. Twain froze. He quickly lowered his eyes.

A middle-aged Clan stood with his arms crossed in front of the room. He was a First-Batcher with the number three on his uniform. It must be Luge. 

“The new Clan,” Luge said. “Number…”

Twain caught the man’s eyes and straightened so that Luge could see the number on his shirt.

“1672,” Luge finished. Not looking at Twain further, Luge pointed toward the back of the room. “Take your shoes off and go stand.”

The floor was softly illuminated. Over an empty spot, two footprints lit up—the place where he was supposed to stand. Twain hurriedly took his shoes off and lined them up next to the other shoes against the wall. He strode over, watching his bare feet bloom with light around the edges from the floor. He was like a locust on white paper—easy to inspect. He instinctively bowed his head as he walked, his bangs hanging around his eyes like curtains. Nobody else had bangs; they all had Buzzer Cap hair, two inches long, a little longer toward the forehead, trimmed the first day of every month by the Buzzer Cap machine.

The Clans whispered.

“A cuz.”

“A mutant.”

“No wonder Twigg kept him locked up.”

“Someone must have taken a piss into his Incubation Tank—” 

“What if all of the 1670s were a rotten batch?”

Luge clapped. “Clans—you must be silent or I’ll come around to slap each of your mouths. You know what to do: assume the hexagonal.”

Excerpt #

The fetuses all faced the same way. The glass curved and magnified them until every trickle of vein was visible.

“Clans, do not tap on the glass, as you may disturb your fetus Brethren.” 

Luge continued forward in the dark tunnel toward the large monitor embedded in the wall. It was blue and various data splashed across it—numbers, graphs. 

Twain lagged behind the outermost edge of the group until he could barely see Luge. The bubbling blue fluid in the cases around him had a saltwater smell. Though most probably did not notice, Twain knew the scent too well. Whenever he had his nausea episode, he had to soak in a vat of Incubation Fluid—regenerative for cells, his sponsor had said. It was lukewarm and had a musty salt smell, like blood. Just remembering the fluid provoked nausea.

Twain rubbed his head and stared at the ground, blinking rapidly and chewing his lip. His vision dimmed as the bitter taste in his mouth brought him back to reality. Please don’t get sick… 

“I think he looked at us,” someone whispered with childlike wonder. 1249’s nose was almost touching the glass capsule. The light put a halo around his slightly rumpled hair. He wasn’t chewing his gum today, but he still had the sugary scent on him.

“His eyes are closed,” Twain said. “They just look open because his eyelids are transparent.”

1249’s eyes caught the blue light when he turned away from the fetus. “In which case, he sees through them…”

“Sure.” Twain looked back to the floor and took a large gulp of air. Nausea crawled through his stomach.

“Are you all right?”

Twain looked up. “What?”

“I asked if you were all right.”

Twain noted that 1249 said “I.” Only Father Krume and the First-Batchers were allowed to say that. Was he trying to act like the leaders of Clan? 

“Why would you ask something like that?”

“You look ill.”

Twain tried to rectify his posture as he turned his face away. 1249 is strange. 

“You have a bruise on your face,” 1249 continued.

Twain grimaced. “You can see it?”

“How can I not?”

“We thought… nobody noticed.” Twain’s eyes darted over to 1348 who was standing among the cluster of students up ahead.

“You afraid of him?” 1249 whispered.

“Afraid? I…” Twain started, but the word “I” hung in the sticky air. 

Slowly, 1249’s mouth curved into a smile.

Twain backed away. 

“My name is Buster,” 1249 said.

About the author:
Realm Lovejoy is a writer and an artist. She was raised in Washington State and the alps of Nagano, Japan. Her father is a Japanese ex-monk and her mother an English teacher from Rhode Island. Her art is influenced by both the East and the West.

Realm aspires to tell stories through her writing and art.

She is agented by Jessica Regel.

Her upcoming YA sci-fi novel is titled CLAN, due 2013.

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