M. Christian is known as a writer of erotica, with stories in several spicy anthologies such as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica and Best Lesbian Erotica. This time he´s playing in the sci fi genre with the psychological thriller, Me2. Fear not, however, as Christian has not forgotten to pen some sizzling scenes involving the gay hero.
At first glance, I was sure that this was going to be yet another cheesy addition to the growing number of sci-fi books and films about cloning. What comes to mind is the Sixth Day, a film in which Arnie Schwarzenegger´s character is secretly cloned and battles the people behind his cloning. Similarly, in Me2, the main character discovers that there is someone who is exactly like him, quite possibly a clone, taking over each part of his life. Christian is masterful in describing the Starbucks employee´s transition from bland but satisfied, to a blundering paranoid individual who questions his every move.
These kinds of sci-fi psychological thrillers aren't usually my cup of tea, but Me2 is suited to a much broader audience. I say this because the underlying tale lies not in the main character´s possible cloning by some secret government agency, but goes deep into theories of identity and identity theft. It questions how our identities are formed, especially queer identity. Christian seems to suggest that our identities come down to what we choose to buy, as we collect material possessions to mould our identities based on how we want other people to see us.
Christian also raises the question of the possibility of the Genetic Mirror Theory, which states that each person has a genetic twin. This idea that there could be more than one of us out there raises some hairs along the way, or at least gives you some food for thought!
Me2 is a chilling and gripping novel. At first I really did think it was a bit of overdone genre about cloning, but it turned into something much more philosophical and interesting. Worth a read.