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"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

She Looks So Much Like Sophie

Leila loves secrets and stories. She used to only write secret stories but recently started to share them and so this is one of her first publications. Find out more of her secrets at leilamurtonpoole.com.

Doesn't she?
I guide her tiny fingers to build the playdough fence, copying the real one daddy's building nearby. She giggles at our creation, her emerald eyes sparkling. Just like they always did.
My husband was against signing the cloning agreement at Sophie's birth; life insurance 2.0.
He picks her up now, spinning her around in the sprinkler. Funny how dark her hair looks when it's wet. Just like that night he was away.
Falling asleep in the bath can happen to anyone, with or without a baby.
She looks so much like Sophie. Doesn't she?
She must. He hasn't noticed.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, September 1st, 2022

Author Comments

Everyone has secrets, some bigger than others. I see this story as perhaps the ultimate family secret (SF edition). It's a take on what lies beneath the surface of a seemingly idyllic family scene. The concept of cloning as a life insurance policy raises a number of moral and ethical questions, but exploring the mother's state of mind was the most interesting way into this story for me. How her grief and guilt interact and manifest into the need to repeatedly seek reassurance that she cannot get from anyone other than the reader, who is now complicit in the secret too. The challenge of creating this story was in foreshadowing the right amount to not give away the gut-punch ending. Family dynamics and decisions in the age of commercial cloning could be very interesting....

- Leila Murton Poole
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