Title: Beyond New Eden
Author: H.S. Stone
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic
Release Date: Mar 8, 2013
Length: 396 kb / 288 pages
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Eve 142 has lived her entire life in the domed city of New Eden, home to the only surviving humans after the War. Like all of the inhabitants of New Eden, Eve 142 is a clone. Together with the other clones, dubbed the Adams and the Eves, she leads a safe, predictable existence. However, Eve’s life changes when she causes a tragic accident to befall one of the Adams. As retribution, she and her counterpart, Adam 142, are banished from New Eden. At first, Eve 142 considers their punishment a death sentence because she grew up believing the world outside the dome was uninhabitable. She is wrong. Forced to live in the Wastelands, Eve and Adam discover many new truths about the outside world and, more importantly, the truths about themselves.
What made you pick a domed city as the starter backdrop for your novel? The clones who live in New Eden are survivors of The War, the biggest conflict mankind has ever known. It killed almost the entire human population and ravaged the surface of the planet. I had to come up with a sanctuary that was impenetrable enough to protect the clones not only from The War itself but also from its aftermath. Because of the deadly atmosphere, they couldn’t live in open cities like we do. It had to be a sealed, airtight enclosure, and hence, the domed city was conceived. The dome is a protective bubble for the clones in more than one way. Not only does it protect them physically from the harmful surroundings unleashed by The War, but it also shields them from knowledge of the outside. The clones live in ignorant bliss inside their domed city because they have no reason to venture outside to experience a life that’s any different from the one they’ve grown accustomed to.
“What are they doing?” I asked. Adam answered with a shake of his head, telling me to keep quiet.
The two clones sat next to each other at an angle so that their knees almost touched. They faced each other and hesitated, as if uncertain of what they were doing. The Adam slowly reached out his arm and placed his hand on the back of the Eve’s head. He leaned his head toward her as he pulled hers closer. She didn’t resist.
I thought they would stop before they got too close, but their faces continued inching toward each other. They each tilted their heads to the right slightly, and their lips made contact. They kissed!
This time, Adam 142 asked, “What are they doing?” And this time, I shushed him.
We both stared wide-eyed at the clones before us. I had never seen clones kissing like that before. I knew what kissing was because I had seen pictures and videos of pre-War couples doing it. I also knew that kissing arose from emotions that people had for each other but that no clone, to my knowledge, possessed.
Could these clones be the first to feel those emotions?
I remembered Eve 85’s Turnover Day speech. Was this what she was alluding to when she spoke of seeking new ways? Did she know about the couple in front of us? Or were the clones inspired by her speech? The symbolism might explain why they chose to perform their act in front of the government building. Was I witnessing the first of many changes to come?
After a few seconds, the clones broke their kiss and pulled apart. I heard the older Adam say, “What do you think?”
The Eve stood up and brushed her uniform. “It wasn’t what I expected. I thought it would be a more thrilling experience than it was. No offense.”
“None taken. Those were my thoughts too. I don’t know why kissing was such a big deal before the War.”
“Who knows? Well, we gave it a try. I guess Eve 85 was wrong, or just premature. We’re not ready for the changes she talked about.”
Her partner nodded and stood up as well. The two of them left, walking away in a direction that kept us hidden.
“What do you think that was about?” I asked when the other clones were out of hearing distance.
Adam shrugged. Then he smiled, the first time in over a week that I saw a genuine smile stretch across his face. “Aren’t you glad you took a walk with me?”
Even before he could read, H.S. Stone wanted to write a book. Fascinated by the stories that seemed to leap from his kindergarten teacher’s books, he went home and wrote his own book, with illustrations and bound by staples. Of course, since he didn’t know how to read or write yet, the book was full of gibberish.
Undaunted, H.S. eventually mastered the ABC’s and continued to write throughout his grade school years, adolescence, and into adulthood. Despite earning a degree and working in a field not related to writing, he continued to pursue his writing passion.
H.S. Stone’s publications include novels aimed at Young Adult and Middle Grade readers as well as several short stories. He currently lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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