In college I read a ton of Dystopian, Utopian, and Science Fiction books. When I say a ton, I’m saying that I would read, on average, 2-3 books a week (with the exception being during finals where I’d downgrade my time to 1 book per week).
It was in early 2013 that I started to notice these books influencing my artwork. I was drawing cyborgs, tentacled humanoids, weird creature mashups, aliens. You name it, I was doodling it. Over time I noticed that I was forming a story of my own. Conversations around campus were focusing on the subject of equality for all and I started trying to find a solution. I am a big fan of history and knew that all actions, no matter how innocent the intentions, have resounding and unexpected consequences. So on top of a planning out a perfect and equal society without contention, I started imagining what the consequences of this environment would be.
Over weeks of drafting up ideas, I came up with the concept of The Governance System, though the name wouldn’t be established until late 2014. This system was created by well-intentioned people hoping to establish a true order of peace and equality. This peace was created by removing any and all differences in society. The inhabitants of this story were all clones, genetically formulated to be identical in appearance, mental, and physical capabilities. This, coupled with a lack of personal property, results in a calculated lack of envy, greed, and vanity. Strict rules, enforced by early education, and schedules would be kept by all citizens to keep citizens in peak condition to keep anyone from becoming a hindrance to society. The consequence of this society, I found, is that without differences life becomes stagnant. Without contention there is no true joy.
After a few months of world building, of figuring out how to regulate social status and jobs, of figuring out how the computer system would function and be maintained, I started to brainstorm about how to reveal this world in story form. I realized that I couldn’t just explain the rules of this society and call it a story. I took time and thought over this problem for another few weeks before the story started coming together with a closer look at how the rules are regulated in society.
A lot of the books I’ve read talk about removing a thought by removing its concept from the society. This includes removing the word and definition from society. This theory is used not only in fiction but also in effective but human error is always a factor to play with. Running into this concept is where my story started. I knew that I wanted to follow a clone experiencing an innocent discovery. This slight change in society causes it to become imbalanced and subsequently needs a swift resolution for it to return to stasis.
This is where everything took off. It had been months of work but finally it was time to put pencil to paper and start creating.