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Literature / The Goodness Gene

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The Goodness Gene is a 2005 young-adult SF novel by Sonia Levitin.

Will, the son of the Compassionate Director of the Dominion of the Americas, Hayli, has always lived a simple life in the secure and sanitized Washolina district. But now that he is sixteen, he and his twin, Berk, are to join their father in ruling the Americas and that means that they must travel the world and analyze the colonies to come up with ideas to make the world a more 'ideal' place. One day, Will is hanging out with his friends, Alberz and Brodi, when he spots a young girl across the table from his named Leora, who has come from the Western district to attend a local academy. It is she who joins him on his trip to her colony, where he discovers horrifying truths about Hayli's reign... and himself.


Provides examples of:

  • Future Food Is Artificial: Hayli (& everyone in Washolina) eats only synthetic food because he's a germophobe with a peanut allergy and he strongly encourges the rest of the dominion to do likewise.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Will kills Hayli, causing the robots protecting Hayli to attack—and kill—Will.
  • Released to Elsewhere: The physically/mentally disabled are sent to a nice little camp where their deformities can be cured, right? Wrong. So very, very wrong...
  • No Sex Allowed: Babies are raised in Petri dishes so that their traits can be chosen for them; if the parents don't like a trait a baby has, the embryo is shredded. There is also the Symsex—simulation sex.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Will is the sensitive and idealistic pacifist while his twin, Berk, is violent and aggressive.
  • The Reveals: Will and Berk are clones of Hitler, Hayli and Mara had a child the normal way, which is a huge taboo in this book, and Leora and her sister were born the normal way as well.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Will's father rarely talks to him directly; it's usually a simulation designed to see how Will is acting/feeling.


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