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" fiction is sort of like a sociological genome. It's a huge range of possible futures, most of them useless; some vital. You never really know in advance."
- Peter Watts

  The aggregate of individual organisms descended by asexual reproduction from a single sexually produced individual.  

As far as I know, the first use of the word "clone" in science fiction.

And it was in the ducts that the Clone began to grow. Beneath every great city there flows streams of water rich in nutrients and minerals, and containing ample energy to supply the driving force for almost every conceivable chemical reaction. There are ground-up foods of all kinds, and soaps and detergents aplenty, and discarded medicines, spices, flavoring, colorings, inks, ointments, and cosmetics. The turbulent waters carry the astonishingly varied complex of chemical compounds that is the waste matter of any great city...

The Pool seethed with the stuff of life. The warm water approximated the “hot thin soup” that existed in the primordial oceans when the Earth was very young, but with some differences. The Pool waters contained materials already partially synthesized, and in greater concentration and variety. The chemical reactions started, and side by side, two microcosmic specks began to grow.

In the hours that followed, the two specks grew into chromosomic chains encased in protoplasmic sheathing. The moment came when a minute thermal current in the Pool pushed the tiny flecks together; they blended and fused to become one. In that instant the Clone came into being.

From The Clone, by Theodore L Thomas.
Published by Fantastic in 1959
Additional resources -

In this story, the word "clone" is applied to an individual cell, and not to a sophisticated organism. The first use in sf of the full, modern meaning occurs in an Ursula Leguin story Nine Lives in 1969.

They were all tall, with bronze skin, black hair, high-bridged noses, epicanthic fold, the same face. They all had the same face. The fourth was emerging from the hatch with a neat twist and jump. "Martin," said Pugh, "we've got a clone."

This story anticipates the developments in Blood Music, the 1984 award-winning novel by Greg Bear.

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  More Ideas and Technology from The Clone
  More Ideas and Technology by Theodore L Thomas
  Tech news articles related to The Clone
  Tech news articles related to works by Theodore L Thomas

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