J.C. Hutchins, journalist turned science fiction author, creates a conspiracy theorist’s nightmare in 7th Son: Descent. His story tells us about an ultra-secret government agency in charge of the 7th Son project, which conducts biological and psychological research. They have taken molecular cloning to the extreme and brought new meaning to the concept of identity theft. One of their former participants, John Michael Smith, has gone rogue, and orchestrated the President of the United States assassination by a four-year-old boy.
7th Son bred John Michael Smith from genetic lines that ensured him above average intelligence and physical traits. They created seven identical beta clones of John Michael Smith, a.k.a. John Alpha. The clones not only look like John Alpha, but they have equivalent mental and physical capabilities. 7th Son implanted the clones with John Alpha’s childhood memories. The clones were sent out into the world to develop individual character traits. They lived in ignorance of each other and their participation in the project. Upon the President’s assassination the government ripped the happy little beta clones from their self-centered existence, and formed them into a dysfunctional team to hunt their genetic benefactor.
Hutchins provides a suspense-driven story based on future science with a little bit of military special ops added to the mix. He explains the technology in rudimentary terms, but this is okay as long as the author can make the story believable. At a book signing, Hutchins talked about the influence of Stephen King on his work. He spoke of King’s book It, and how King’s readers are willing to believe. King can convince the reader of the reality of a spider disguised as a circus clown that lures kids into the sewer to eat them. Even though the science in 7th Son: Descent is far fetched, Hutchins makes the story believable.
Hutchins’ fiction publishing career took an innovative route. He wrote his story as a massive 1200-page creation. No one wanted to risk the publication of such a large body of work from a first time author, so Hutchins put his story on the Internet as a podcast. He broke the story up into free weekly segments. He supplied all of the voices. After Internet denizens fully embraced the podcasts, St. Martins offered him a contract. He published the first third of 7th Son: Descent in 2009. Hopefully, the second third of the story will be released in print form soon.