Six-year-old Jason doesn't want to be cloned, even if his parents think it's a good financial investment. Concerned that his second self may not be happy, he secretly plans to violate the rules of his society...with unexpected results.
This story is included in the collection Dead Men Don't Cry: 11 Stories by Nancy Fulda.
Would you listen to Blue Ink: A Short Story again? Why?
Yes. It is a very interesting story with a bit of a twist. I would listen again to catch hints that I may have missed in the first read through.
What other book might you compare Blue Ink: A Short Story to and why?
It definitely has a great bit of drama to it, not sure I can think of any other short story to compare it to. It has elements of Sci-Fi and Dystopian genres.
What does J. R. Mangels bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
He has a great pace and a very soothing tone. It is all from the little boy's POV but it never comes across as childish in his read. He brings the character to life in a way that makes him feel wise beyond his years. Terrific pace in the read really keeps the story moving along.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
It is definitely a one sitting listen because of the length and the content. I really wanted to know what was happening. I would love to see it expanded and turn into a novella. There are a lot of places the author could still take the story.
Any additional comments?
Loved the twist at the end. It really sold the whole story and made me hungry to know what comes next!
Blue Ink: A short story by Nancy Fulda narrated by J.R Mangels
A short story with heart.
This short story on audible was a surprise. I did not know how well a short story would do on audible so when I started with this 20 min listen I was surprised at how well the short story is fitted to audible.
The story, of a boy who wants to make sure his clone is happy is far deeper than I expected from such a short short. It's implication on our world view etc is quite something and the author and the narrator made every offer to make the story come to life.
Any additional comments?
Blue ink refers to the tattoos that all clones get in this futuristic world. Their serial numbers are tattooed in blue ink on their foreheads. Except for the menial jobs that clones do, I am not quite sure of their purpose in this world. Jason's father refers to the fact that if all goes well with his clone(s), Jason will never have to work when he becomes an adult. I can only assume that this means that the clones' “owners” are paid for their servitude in society.
This makes for a very sad life for clones. And Jason is very worried that his clone will not be happy. He has been discouraged for any interaction with clones but have secretly spoken with a few and feel sorry for the lives they have to lead. He wants to make sure that his
clone has a good life but his parents refuses to give him the opportunity to meet his first clone.
As soon as clones are “born” they are herded off to special institutions where they are taught all they need to know. Clones are definitely second class citizens in this world.
Short stories are either a hit or miss for me, there is just no in-between in this genre. Luckily the author got it right in Blue Ink. I think sci-fi fantasies lend themselves perfectly to this genre. If only we could have gotten to know more about Jason, his clone and their reality. I usually love these open endings which leaves you thinking . . . “oh no!” but with Blue Ink I found myself wanting more.
I think Blue Ink would make a wonderful novel and I hope that the author is considering it. I would love to learn more about this “sad” world.
I really enjoyed the narration too. JR Malgens made the transition from actor to narrator easily and had a very easy-to-listen-to voice. I think we will be hearing lots more from him in future.