The cow says ... clonnnnnnne. by J.C. Hutchins

7th Son listeners should get a kick out of this: After years of development, companies specializing in animal cloning -- cow cloning, specifically -- have received FDA approval to call their cloned critters "safe to eat," the AP reported recently. This proclamation comes after a six-year federal study. The agency has requested a temporary moratorium on the selling of cloned animals for food. The cloning, announcement and moratorium don't surprise me. What I find interesting are the regulatory loopholes detailed in the article. While some major food companies (such as dairy powerhouse Dean Foods Inc.) have wisely vowed to not sell products produced from cloned animals -- and at $20,000 per cloned cow, why would they? -- the FDA will permit the following:

  • The offspring of the cloned cattle can be bred, slaughtered and consumed for food
  • Cloning companies such as Viagen Inc. and Trans Ova Genetics intend to begin selling offspring of cloned cattle immediately
  • Food companies are not required to label products that hail from cloned animals, or their conventionally-bred offspring

Companies like Viagen Inc. have been pursuing cattle cloning for breeding purposes, the AP story says, "to produce a steady supply of cattle that are particularly tender, for instance, or for prize dairy cows."

As the article reports, it is well-known that current technologies create fatal birth defects in many cloned animals, and those that survive -- such as Dolly the sheep -- often have shorter life spans and health problems. According to the story, the FDA concluded that "cloned animals that are born healthy are no different than their non-cloned counterparts during their prime food-producing years," and also produce healthy offspring.

The agency conceded, however, that "it is not possible to draw any conclusions regarding the longevity of livestock clones or possible long-term health consequences" of those animals.

It should be noted that the FDA isn't alone in its findings; European regulators and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences have filed similar reports recently.

Where does this leave the consumer? In the dark, it appears. Putting aside the ethical concerns of cloning and animal experimentation in general, the AP story suggests that we will never know if the burger we're munching has meat from either cloned animals (should the FDA moratorium be lifted), or their offspring.

Should this matter? In a world where a person's DNA can be patented and become corporate "property" -- and where, as Eric Schlosser brilliantly reported in Fast Food Nation, a pound of supermarket or fast food ground beef is the product of dozens, perhaps more than 100, cows -- does it make a difference?

I am a cloning advocate, on nearly every front. But not knowing if I'm eating beef from a cloned cow (or its offspring) gives me the heebie-jeebies -- if only because of the illnesses and lower life expectancy cloned animals experience. Imported produce is labeled as such; it'd be awfully nice to have a similar standard for this kind of meat ... at least for the next decade, or when this concept becomes more "marketable" and "mainstream" for consumers.

Make no mistake: animal cloning will become mainstream. Human cloning is on the horizon. But when it comes to this issue, I'm reminded of what the Beta Clones in 7th Son realize during their adventure: the world is not quite ready for it.

I'm curious to know what you think. Chime on in in the comments. (And thanks to Mae Breakall for sending me the link to the story!)


UltraCreatives Interview #1: Patrick Lussier and Matt Venne by J.C. Hutchins


The new year brings a facelift to, a brand-new Community section for 7th Son fans, and the debut of the UltraCreative Interview Series. In this interview, J.C. chats with film director Patrick Lussier and writer Matt Venne about the release of White Noise 2, a taut supernatural thriller starring Nathan Fillion ("Firefly") and Katee Sackhoff ("Battlestar Galactica"). The film was released on DVD recently.

In the interview, Patrick and Matt tell J.C. how they came to the film industry, the collaborative nature of movie-making, working with Fillion and Sackhoff, and much more. These guys embody J.C.'s "UltraCreatives" concept to the core, and it was an honor to have them on the podcast.

How can you help spread the word about White Noise 2?

  • Podcasters: Toss the link to this interview in your podcast feed; J.C. will happily take the bandwidth hit. Direct link can be found here. (Standard MP3; interview duration: 1:36:23; file size: 88.3 MB -- 92596195 bytes)
  • Bloggers: Promote the interview on your site, and include a link to the audio interview. Link is here.
  • Listeners: Contact friends and family about the film, and include a link to this blog page, or a direct link to the audio interview. Interview link is here.

Other links mentioned in the interview:

PLEASE support the hard work of Patrick, Matt and the rest of the White Noise 2 cast and crew by spreading the word and purchasing a copy of the film. Thanks!


The J.C. Hutchins Fan Community is LIVE! by J.C. Hutchins

A message from J.C. Hutchins:

For two years, I've directly interacted with 7th Son fans via email, instant messages and more. But I've craved for a way for dialogue to transcend this limiting "two way" street. I've wanted 7S listeners to interact with each other. And now, the wait for me -- and you -- is over. Bebop over to the Community page to join the J.C. Hutchins fan community!

The site and sign-up is completely free; all you need to do is provide a valid email address and answer a few marketing-ish questions (so I can learn a little more about my listeners; your information is private and will never be sold to a third party), and you're off to the races! You'll be armed to the teeth with access to the Community, and are blessed with your own profile page, where you can customize your page theme, post blog entries, add music, photos, videos and more! You can even make it your new Web presence! Who needs MySpace? You've got HutchSpace now. :D

In addition to having your own personalized webspace, you can create Groups and Forums in this new Community space, upload your pics for the world to see, and get gobs of conversations flowing about 7th Son, me, other podcasts -- it's your community, so it's your call! Consider it your home away from home. Enjoy!

Visit the Community page >>

New Site Debut, New Features by J.C. Hutchins

Hey everybody -- J.C. Hutchins here. Welcome to the shiny new version of After two years of using the same look/feel for this site (not to mention an inflexible content management system to maintain it), I've taken the plunge and relaunched. The site now has a much "cleaner" appearance, is easier to navigate, and is compatible with more Web browsers. Podcast listeners may have the entire 7th Son podcast experience download to their podcatching programs. I apologize for this inconvenience; it was a necessary side-effect of the site relaunch.

All of the content from the old version of the site is here, including the Listener-Created Content Download Center, the 7th Son Facility Virtual Tour, the Beta Clone Army Gallery, and more. Feel free to explore the site and send me some feedback via blog comment or the spiffy new email form.

Today will also see the debut of a new feature at -- the "UltraCreatives" interview series. Throughout 2008, I'll chat with creative folks in the podcasting, publishing, technology and entertainment industries, and posting them in the podcast feed for you to enjoy. The first UltraCreatives interview will be with White Noise 2 director Patrick Lussier and writer Matt Venne. It's a helluva chat, and I hope you enjoy it.

2008 will also see more fiction and special content here at I'm looking forward to sharing it with you, and hope you'll stay subscribed to the feed!

Special thanks to Kreg Steppe, corwin, Jason Penney, Chris Miller and Steve Saylor for their 11th Hour contributions in helping me deploy this new version of the site. Find links to their work in the Trusted Allies section!

Incredible review of 7th Son by J.C. Hutchins

I was flattered beyond words at Lorthyne's amazing review of the 7th Son trilogy, which was recently posted on Gamegrene. Gamegrene is a brilliant site covering the RPG industry, featuring well-written reviews, news and more. Just dig this excerpt from the site's mission statement: "Gamegrene is not your typical gaming website. We're not here to give you lists of equipment or announcements about the next release of Magic: The Gathering. ... Gamegrene. For the gamer who's sick of the typical."

Check out Lorthyne's 7th Son review here, and be sure to leave him a comment of appreciation on the page!

MOP Audio Dispatch: Operation LOL7thSon by J.C. Hutchins


UPDATE: This MOP mission-content has concluded. Please visit the LOL7thSon gallery here to view the final LOL7thSon gallery. If you wish to create your own LOL7thSon image, send it to Natasha at the email address below.

Another ambitious mission awaits you! Natasha, voice of the 7th Son Ministry of Propaganda, commands you to participate in MOP mission #5, code-named "Operation LOL7thSon."

Complete this mission, and you'll land your name on the coveted Agents of the Ministry page. Plus, FIVE lucky winners will take home MOP capitalist swag.

Link to the mission page is here. Transmission ends.

7th Son Ministry Of Propaganda ~ Domination Through Replication ~

SPECIAL EPISODE: J.C. and David Moldawer by J.C. Hutchins

EPISODE INTRO BY: Leslie Michael Orchard, of DecafBad

In this episode, J.C. Hutchins chats with David Moldawer, an associate editor at St. Martin's Press. Moldawer will be editing the print edition of 7th Son: Descent, as well as J.C.'s currently-secret "Code Phantom" novel project. Both books will be released in 2009.

The duo discuss some details about the 7th Son print release, dish about Code Phantom (tantalizing morsels abound!) ... and opera. It's a must-listen!

Also must-listens are Moldawer's podcasts, mentioned in the episode: Moldawer in the Morning, The Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas and The New York Times Essential Knowledge podcast.

MOP Mission #6: Operation LOL7thSon by J.C. Hutchins

UPDATE: This MOP mission-content has concluded. Please visit the LOL7thSon gallery here to view the final LOL7thSon gallery. If you wish to create your own LOL7thSon image, send it to Natasha at the email address below. Comrades, the time has come to use your brilliance and humor to spread the 7th Son message to the unwashed, ignorant capitalist masses! Natasha, the Voice of the Ministry, conceived this Ministry of Propaganda mission herself. It demands cunning, creativity ... and a familiarity with the Internet meme LOL CATS!


You don’t know of LOL Cats? Natasha is appalled. Click here to see cuddly American kitties with charming 'Net speak cutlines. (Oh, teh CUTE!) Examine many examples on this site! Arm yourself with LOL language and whiskered wit! You will use similar techniques to evangelize the 7th Son cause, comrades. We shall woo the capitalist populace with teh funny, kthxbai.

Your mission: Operation LOL7thSon.

You shall create 7th Son-themed LOL pictures, post them to J.C. Hutchins’ special LOL7thSon gallery, and email your uneducated friends to promote 7th Son (and showcase your hard work).

The creators of the five funniest images will win 7th Son capitalistic swag. Prizes include an MOP coffee mug, a 7th Son T-shirt, and more! Natasha will personally judge these entries. As you know, comrades, our Russian taskmaster is not known for her sense of humor -- so make these LOL7thSon images extra funny, if you hope to win.

So what must you do to win such coveted prizes? (Not to mention your name on the Agents of the Ministry page?) Easy-peasy, comrade. Follow these simple instructions to create your artwork to post on the LOL7thSon gallery. This process takes less than five minutes; even the busiest soldiers in The People’s Army can participate!

Step 1: Find a photo that you'd like to transform into a funny LOL7thSon picture. Images of public figures, animals, pop culture icons and your own personal photographs work best for this. Get creative! Please avoid using photos of private individuals who haven't given their consent.

Keep it clean, comrades. If the photo is beyond a PG-rating, it'll get yanked from the site. (You will also incur the wrath of Natasha and J.C. This is not a good thing. Nyet.)

Step 2: Once you’ve picked your photo, head over to the awesome "LOL Generator" at the Big Huge Labs site. Click here to easily add 7th Son-themed LOL text to your photo!

Step 3: Click the LOL Generator's "Choose File" button to select the image you wish to LOL7thSon.

Step 4: Enter something super-clever in the screen's text fields ... and be sure to make it LOL-esque! Text can be placed at the top of your LOL7thSon picture, or the bottom, or both. Be sure to take advantage of the other features here, such as the "keep this part of my photo visible" setting, and the text alignment settings.

Again: keep it clean, Agents. PG rating here.

Step 5: Click the Create button!

Step 6: You'll be sent to a new page featuring your new LOL7thSon image! Feel free to tweak the pic if you need to. When you’re done, hit the "Save" button.

Step 7: IMPORTANT STEP, Agents: Be sure to properly name your image to receive credit in the LOL7thSon gallery. Please rename your picture with this naming convention: The word "By" and then your name or nickname. (Example: By JC Hutchins.jpg or By NatashaMOP.jpg)

Step 8: You're almost done! Visit the LOL7thSon gallery to upload your LOL pic! Click here to get there!

Step 9: Click on the "Upload" button in the page's options bar. Follow the directions to post your LOL7thSon picture to the gallery. And behold! Yur in J.C.'s website, pwning hiz gallry!!!11!one!

Step 10: Now click on the "Tell a Friend" button and follow the directions to email FIVE of your friends who you think would like the 7th Son trilogy. They can be family, favorite bloggers, whomever you like. Be sure to separate the email addresses with commas. ALSO: Include NATASHA'S email address in this field! ( You can't win a prize if she doesn't have your email address!

Include any personal message in the email to your comrades, but it must also include this message (or your personalized variation):

Hey! If you can, check out to see why I sent you this silliness. I’m a fan of 7th Son, this free audiobook novel. It’s a thriller about human cloning. Think James Bond-meets-“Multiplicity” ... or a mashup of Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy. Cool stuff.

Remember, Agents: you must include NATASHA's email address in your message for mission compliance. The creators of the FIVE funniest LOL7thSon images will be contacted by email, given priceless 7th Son swag, and announced in a future Bonus Episode of 7th Son!

Enter as many LOL7thSon images as you like -- but you must email five new friends (and Natasha) for each new entry you create. No cheating, comrades. Natasha watching you.

Deadline for this mission: December 31, 2007.

Transmission ends.

The 7th Son Ministry of Propaganda ~ Domination Through Replication ~

PDF Bonus: Matt Wallace's "Hath A Darkness" by J.C. Hutchins


Behold, a holiday gift from author Matt Wallace and Rick Stringer, producer of the Variant Frequencies podcast: The echapbook "Hath A Darkness," set in Wallace's Failed Cities universe.

For the first time since concluding his groundbreaking podcast fiction saga, Wallace returns to the warped twin worlds he created with an all-new Failed Cities story. Featuring the characters that drove the original audio epic, and told, as always, in their own voices, THE FAILED CITIES: HATH A DARKNESS brings this unique storytelling style to the page for the first time, enhanced with original illustrations by Rick Stringer.

Please download, print, enjoy, and pass along this unique piece of the Failed Cities universe as a thank you for your continued support and enthusiastic participation in our podcast. And don't forget to revisit THE FAILED CITIES MONOLOGUES, collected in its entirety on

BOOK THREE: J.C. and Shawn Bishop talk DESTRUCTION by J.C. Hutchins


EPISODE INTRO BY: Susan Z, purrfect co-host of Kulture Kast

In this first (of several!) 7th Son Trilogy wrap-up bonus episodes, J.C. chats with Book Three producer Shawn Bishop about the series, reading and editing Book Three, the Book One print deal and more. Also included is a must-listen "blooper reel" set to Celldweller music. Lots of fun and announcements -- and there's lots more coming in 2008!

Be sure to check out Shawn Bishop’s Internet radio station, The Dividing Line -- and send him an email of thanks for his hard work on Book Three: Destruction!

Fans create 7th Son soundtrack! by J.C. Hutchins

Just days before the groundbreaking 7th Son podcast novel trilogy concludes, J.C. Hutchins asked fans following him on Twitter to suggest "soundtrack songs" for the novels. Below is the list of 7th Son-esque songs they recommended. Visit the soundtrack iMix in the U.S. iTunes store, or browse and preview from your favorite online music seller! (Note: J.C. is not getting an affiliate kickback for this. Making money wasn't the goal; it was all about having fun with 7S fans.) The list goes: Title, Artist, Album. Enjoy!

  • "Toy Soldier" - I:Scintillia - Optics
  • "Ghost In Your Mind" - Black Lab - Passion Leaves a Trace
  • "New World Man" - Rush - Signals (Remastered)
  • "The Lies We Tell" - Munk - Severed
  • "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy)" - Information Society - Information Society
  • "Killer On the Loose" - Thin Lizzy - Chinatown
  • "Man On a Mission" - Chance - Chance: Eleven Through Fifteen
  • "Brothers In Arms" - Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms (Remastered)
  • "No World for Tomorrow" - Coheed & Cambria - No World for Tomorrow
  • "Digital Man" - Rush - Signals (Remastered)
  • "Strangers Like Me (Soundtrack Version)" - Phil Collins - Tarzan
  • "I Think I'm a Clone Now" - "Weird Al" Yankovic - Even Worse
  • "Independent" - Chance - Chance: Eleven Through Fifteen
  • "Sympathy for the Devil" - The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet
  • "Symphony of Destruction" - Megadeth - Countdown to Extinction
  • "It's the End of the World As We Know It" - R.E.M. - Document
  • "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" - Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
  • "Not Fade Away" - The Rolling Stones - England's Newest Hitmakers

Thanks to these fans for their suggestions -- I wish all of the songs you mentioned were available on the iTunes store: Tyrion, zard, Songjewel, akaMonty, GlennWebber, elizasea, pseudojoe, dickey, Corwin, aikidoka1977, lmorchard, bpende, chelpixie -- and a special thanks to MartynDarkly, who started this twittermeme in the first place!

BOOK THREE: Chapters 39 & 40 by J.C. Hutchins


EPISODE INTRO BY: Cindy Seiffert, a 7th Son fan from Rochester, NY

THE STORY SO FAR BY: John C. Snider, editor of Sci-Fi Dimensions and co-host of the American Freethought podcast

SYNOPSIS: Conspiracies within conspiracies. The Betas must make a choice.

ONE episode remains in the 7th Son trilogy!


Preview: "MOREVI: Remastered" by J.C. Hutchins


In 2005, Tee Morris debuted the free audiobook version of his epic fantasy novel, MOREVI: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana. It was the first podcast novel in history. MOREVI quickly became an icon in podiobooks, and is still revered as one of the best works of podfiction today.

The novel is breathtaking in scope, and Morris abridged the audio version of his story for its 2005 release. But now, the author is releasing the complete version of the story with new music and new character voices. Welcome to MOREVI: Remastered.

J.C. is proud to present 7th Son listeners with this exclusive sneak peek of the novel’s first chapter. MOREVI: Remastered launches tomorrow; if you like what you hear, be sure to visit to subscribe.

BOOK THREE: Chapters 36, 37 & 38 by J.C. Hutchins


EPISODE INTRO BY: Paul Campbell of Cossmass Productions

THE STORY SO FAR BY: Knitwitch of KnitWitch's Sci-Fi Fantasy Zone

SYNOPSIS: Kilroy experiences a brief reunion. The Beta Clones debrief. Goodbyes.

TWO episodes remain in the 7th Son trilogy!


BOOK THREE: Chapters 34 & 35 by J.C. Hutchins


EPISODE INTRO BY: MA in PA, of the Better Late Than Never podcast

THE STORY SO FAR BY: Matthew Ebel; pre-order his fourth solo album, "Goodbye Planet Earth" today!

SYNOPSIS: The Beta Clones return to civilian life ... or do they?

THREE episodes remain in the 7th Son trilogy!


7th Son scheduled for 2009 print release by J.C. Hutchins




J.C. Hutchins, author of the successful "7th Son" podcast novel trilogy, has accepted a book deal to publish "7th Son: Descent," the series' debut novel. The thriller is scheduled for a 2009 U.S. spring/summer release by St. Martin's Press.

"7th Son" is the story of seven strangers who have been brought together after the recent assassination of the U.S. president. The men discover that they are human clones, with identical childhood memories. These "John Michael Smiths" have been assembled to catch the man who murdered the president. Their target? Their progenitor, the original John Michael Smith, code-named "John Alpha."

Hutchins is widely-known as one of the vanguard authors in a growing genre of free online audiobooks -- also called "podcast novels " or "podiobooks." These novels are often read and recorded by the author, and are promoted online in podcasts and web blogs. "Podnovelists" like Hutchins leverage these new technologies -- and the ubiquity of iPods and other portable devices -- to find audiences for their work.

Hutchins, a South Florida resident, launched the audio version of "7th Son" in early 2006. Since then, "7th Son" has become the most successful podcast novel series in history. The trilogy has more than 30,000 listeners worldwide, and features cameos from sci-fi/horror icons Nathan Fillion, George Romero, Kevin J. Anderson, and others. In February 2007, the trilogy was featured in The New York Times.

"I'm thrilled to work with St. Martin's Press in bringing '7th Son' into the 'real world,' in real bookstores," Hutchins said. "For the past two years, I've released the online audio version of '7th Son' to an ever-growing, very enthusiastic fan base. I don't know who's going to be more excited to see it on bookshelves -- my amazing, supportive listeners, or me."

The online success of "7th Son" has brought Hutchins more than a worldwide audience. Hutchins is currently co-writing the debut novel in a new thriller series, which is slated for a 2009 release, also by St. Martin's Press. Opportunities for "7th Son" are emerging in other media, as well.

Hutchins, who is affectionately chastised by his listeners for his cliffhanger-style chapter endings, remains coy about the other projects.

"There's lots to talk about," Hutchins said, smiling. "But as in '7th Son,' timing and pacing is everything. I guess folks will have to keep listening to learn more."

# # #

BOOK THREE: Chapters 32 & 33 by J.C. Hutchins


EPISODE INTRO BY: Chris Miller of Unquiet Desperation and

THE STORY SO FAR BY: Michael Spence, 7th Son essayist, co-author of "Crosswort Puzzle," available in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorceress XXII

SYNOPSIS: The final battle.

FOUR episodes remain in the 7th Son trilogy!


Preview: "Buffy: Between the Lines" audio drama by J.C. Hutchins

Here's another ambitious, well-crafted and exciting new podfiction project J.C. wants to share with you. It's "Buffy: Between the Lines," a fan-created audio drama based in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe. If you love the television show and have an affinity for audio dramas -- and have always been curious to know what happened between the seasons of Joss Whedon's story, this is a must-listen.

The story's already underway, so if you like what you hear, be sure to visit to subscribe to the show!