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Swans & Klons Paperback – May 14, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (May 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602828741
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602828742
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,146,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nora Olsen was born and raised in New York City. She received a B.A. from Brown University. Although her mother, a prize-winning author, warned her not to become a writer, Nora didn't listen. Nora’s debut novel The End: Five Queer Kids Save The World was published in 2010. Swans and Klons is her second YA novel. Her short fiction has appeared in Collective Fallout and the anthology Heiresses of Russ 2011: The Year's Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction. Nora’s goal is to write thrilling stories and novels that LGBTQ teens can see themselves reflected in.

Nora lives in New York's Hudson Valley with her girlfriend, writer Áine Ní Cheallaigh, and their two adorable cats. When not writing, Nora works as a babysitter. She also enjoys volunteering for Room to Write, an organization of publishing professionals and writers who visit NYC classrooms to teach creative writing. The highlight of Nora’s year is volunteering at Camp Jabberwocky, a summer camp for children and adults with disabilities.

More About the Author

Nora Olsen was born and raised in New York City. She received a B.A. from Brown University. Nora's debut novel The End: Five Queer Kids Save The World was published in 2010. Swans & Klons is her second YA novel and Frenemy of the People is her third, both published by Bold Strokes Books' Soliloquy imprint. Nora's next novel, Maxine Wore Black, is forthcoming in October 2014. Her short fiction has appeared in Collective Fallout and the anthology Heiresses of Russ 2011: The Year's Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction. Nora's goal is to write thrilling stories and novels that LGBTQ teens can see themselves reflected in.

Nora lives in New York's Hudson Valley with her girlfriend, writer Áine Ní Cheallaigh, and their two adorable cats. The highlight of Nora's year is volunteering at Camp Jabberwocky, a summer camp for children and adults with disabilities. To learn more about Nora Olsen, read reviews, and enter book giveaways, visit http://noraolsen.com

Customer Reviews

There was not enough buildup to justify her actions.
Cornelia F. Rivers
At day's end, "Swans and Klons" is a fast, imaginative journey through a unique fantasy world teens will love.
Tom Sanchez
Rubric seemed very selfish and self-centered and none of the other characters were very well developed.
David's Wife

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tom Sanchez on May 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
(nb: I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley)

Rubric and Salmon Jo have a seemingly idyllic life. They are students at a top academy. They are ready to begin working with their mentors, and they have each other.

Rubric begins training with a noted artist, while Salmon Jo starts work in The Hatchery, the place where new babies are decanted.

Yes, decanted. Not "born." Babies in this world are poured out of a tank when gestation is complete.

I should probably mention, there are no men in Society, only Pannas (socially proper women) and Klons, specially engineered quasi-human servant women. The idea of a woman allowing a baby to gestate in her womb is abhorrent in Society, thus the Hatchery. Legends tell that in The Land of The Barbarous Ones, the primitives still engage in such disgusting practices as pregnancy.

One night, Rubric and Salmon Jo stumble upon a disturbing piece of information about how Klons are engineered. This knowledge makes it impossible to return to their previous, comfortable life, and leads them on a dangerous journey that could see them both killed.

There is a lot to like in "Swans and Klons." In Salmon Jo and Rubric's native land, "Society," author Nora Olsen has created a future without poverty or war, yet nobody seems to have any spiritual fulfillment or real happiness either. The Klons, in essence, do all the work. They raise the young Pannas, cook, clean, do factory labor, whatever tasks the Pannas deem beneath them. The Pannas live as goddesses, sans the Divinity. It's fitting that this realm is ruled over by doctors. (A nurse friend used to half-joke that M.D. stood for "minor deity," her commentary on the godlike egos many doctors have.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mother/Gamer/Writer on July 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/Writer
Rating: 3 out of 5 Controllers
Reviewer: Ariel

First of all, I love Dystopian literature, so I was really excited to read Swans & Klons by Nora Olsen. The story follows Rubric and her girlfriend, Salmon Jo, through a futuristic society (called Society) where men are extinct and there are 300 genetic types of women, 300 "Jeepie Types". Young girls are raised in dormitories and when the humans are 16, they get partnered with an adult of their Jeepie Type, their Jeepie Similar, who mentors the young girls on how to be an adult in Society. Women don't give birth, instead, babies are hatched in tanks at the Hatchery. In addition to the humans, there are Klons, who are also hatched in hatcheries and go to their own dormitories where they are taught to do different labor tasks, because humans do no labor for themselves.

The premise for this novel was really good, and it sounded like an interesting story. Rubric and Salmon Jo discover something about Society that changes their views on life forever, but no one believes them. This sets up an amazing theme for the novel of growing up and questioning what society tells you is acceptable, and forces you to start making your own decisions about things.

Rubric is an ambitious young woman who is extremely artistic and creative. She dreams of building airships and doing great things with her art, so she's ecstatic when her Jeepie Similar is one of her idols, Stencil Pavlina. However, she is quickly disillusioned when Stencil Pavlina is not exactly who she imagined she would be. To make things worse, Salmon Jo, who was not thrilled with her Jeepie Similar assignment at first, ended up loving her Jeepie Similar assignment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jill on June 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I have to say, I'm quite impressed by this book. It falls in two of my favorite book genres- dystopian and LGBT. Though this book isn't without faults, I would definitely recommend it.

+ I love the combination of blending the two aforementioned themes. I am a huge fan of dystopian fiction, and this is the first book I have ever encountered with such a strong queer theme. It gave the novel a very unique plot line, and will make it stand out in my mind.

+Because of the lesbian motif of Swans and Klons, I found it more relatable than most other books of the same genre. I was able to more vividly experience Rubric's emotions- from love to separation and grief- since they were emotions directed at a female. I often thought of my own girlfriend and myself in their place. Like Salmon Jo and Rubric, one of us is very practical and no nonsense, and the other is artistic and almost too imaginative.... I won't divulge which of us is which!

+As with other dystopian novels, I like this book because it was disturbing. Books with futures that are almost utopias scare me more than horror books ever could, and this one was no exception. The unique twist of genetically identical people being created only to be slaves is creepy, at the very least, though I mean it in the best way possible.

-My faults with the book were few, but still hindered my reading experience. The first was the lack of romance and affection between Salmon Jo and Rubric. Often times they seemed blatantly cold and plastic towards one another. I wish there would have been more sweetness, so that I could dive deeper emotionally into the plot.

-The only other problem that I had with this book was a few word redundancies that got old really quick.
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