Flashback Fridays: Send in the Clones . . .

Just a quick look back tonight before I head to bed.

What if one day you saw a girl on television that looked exactly like you?  What if you found out everything about your life was a lie and that the truth might get you killed?  That’s the story from today’s flashback.

Do you remember

Anna to the Infinite Power by Mildred Ames (Scribner, 1981)

Twelve year old Anna is a math whiz who has a hard time relating to the people around her.  When she spies a girl on television that could be her double and begins having strange dreams that seem like memories, she realizes that her life is not what she thinks it is.  Through her persistence she uncovers  the truth: she is part of an experiment, one of several clones of a scientist.  But discovering the truth could put her and the other Anna’s in deadly danger–can they figure out how to survive?

This was the first book on the idea of cloning I’d ever encountered.  While the ideas expressed here are undoubtedly dated given our current technology and knowledge on cloning, it was an unusual story for middle graders when it was published.  Set in a slightly “futuristic” society (supposedly the 1990s)  the story and setting truly make this book something to read out of nostalgia than relevant science fiction today.

Reading the reviews, several have termed this book “a middle grade version of Cyteenby C. J. Cherryh”.  It’s a fairly accurate description, though the way Anna’s story ends is distinctly different.

Anna To the Infinite Power was also turned into a movie in 1983.  It was never released in theaters, but did air on pay-cable service HBO.  I swear it must have been on regular TV at some point, because I recall seeing a good portion of the movie.  The ending of the movie stuck in my head for years and got me fascinated with science fiction about cloning and clones.

Anna to the Infinite Power (which I still think is an awesome title) was one of the first cloning books for middle graders–but there are plenty more out there, some of the much more current and up to date with the technology.  All that considered, I still have a soft spot for Anna and this particular science fiction thriller.   I hope some other fans out there might know of her as well.

Have your read or seen Anna to the Infinite Power?

You can check out the movie here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp6IIBiDGsI


About Stephanie Whelan

I'm a children's librarian with a life-long love of all things science fiction and fantasy.

Posted on June 22, 2013, in Flashback Fridays, General Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. This was one of my favorite movies as a kid (taped off of tv). It definitely was mind-opening and the title … so awesome! I don’t know how I missed that it was a book though. I’ll have to look for it!

  2. This reminds me of the newish tv series, Orphan Black, which I liked quite a lot this year. It’s probably available via streaming.

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