Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One is One and All Alone


Nicholas Fisk is the author of some 40 books, including many science-fiction titles for older children. His real name is David Higginbottom. He completed his first book at the age of nine and earned money from his typewriter whilst still at school. He dabbled in many fields of work such as acting, playing jazz and illustrating and editing but, as he says himself, "continued to write for anyone who would put me into print." He has many interests including machines, drawing, Victorian artists, growing things and playing the guitar. He enjoys writing for young people but disagrees with the sci-fi label. He says that his books are written from the point of view of IF... "Almost any IF, from self-willed domestic robots to fundamental natural changes in our condition, is a reasonable starting point." He enjoys writing for young people because they find it easier than adults to accept the unconventional.


"One is One and All Alone" by Nicholas Fisk is a science fiction story, set in 2045.  The main character is Trish, an 11-year old girl who is the only child on a spaceship to Trion. Her father is the Executive Officer of the spaceship and her mother is in Trion helping to set up a space station.  She will only meet her mother in mid January 2047.After three months, she feels lonely and bored as she does not have any real friends to talk to except her private, multi-functional diary: the Voice Printer (VP). VP is an intelligent computer which keeps Trish entertained with its ability to perform many functions. Through her dialogue sessions with VP, Trish learns about clones and the cloning process. The idea of cloning fascinates Trish and she soon decides to create a clone to keep her company in the spaceship Bio lab without her father's knowledge. She names her new identical twin "Clo" and initially it becomes her perfect friend and companion.  They have fun playing and sharing their time together. However, certain mannerism of Clo begins to irritate Trish as the clone behaves and thinks like her.  Soon they start to argue and disagree with each other over trivial matters. The last straw happens one night when Clo starts referring to Trish's mum as her mum and this upsets Trish as she feels her privacy is being invaded. The next day, Trish opens up her diary and confides in VP that she does not like to be "swamped, invaded and taken over."  At that instant, she decides to dispose off Clo forever through the "DISPOSAL" hatch near her cabin. The story ends with a twist when it is Trish who is disposed by Clo. Clo then assumes Trish's identity and Trish's dad is not aware of the change at all. Clo then enjoys being "one is one and all alone" and her new lease of life as Trish in the spaceship.


The story takes place on board of a space ship in outer space. It takes place in 2045.
The plot compromises of the following elements:
This part introduces the setting, characters and the conflict that is to happen. We are being introduced to the main character, Trish , who is on board a spaceship on a mission to planet Trion. We learn that the story takes place in 2045 and Trish is the only child on board the spaceship.
2.Inciting Incident
This refers to the initial event which triggers the story. This happens when Trish talks to VoicePrinter and learns about cloning and decides to clone herself.
3. Rising Action
Here we discover a series of events that leads to the climax of the story. It refers to Clo's behaving exactly the same manner as Trish such as wearing the same clothes as Trish, repeating the same words Trish uses and having the same thoughts.

4. Conflict
This refers to the main problem. Trish begins to feel uneasy about Clo. Trish  feels that Clo is invading her private thoughts about her mother. This prompts her to reconsider Clo's existence.

5. Climax
The climax is the most exciting part of the story. This is shown when Trish cannot tolerate Clo any longer and decides to dispose her.

6. Falling Action
These events occur after the climax. Trish plans on how to get rid of Clo. She will use one of the five hatches outside her cabin at night. She also plans to write a note to accompany Clo.

7. Resolution
This is the conclusion of the story. Clo is the one who gets rid of Trish. She now takes over as Trish and is happy and satisfied with her decision.


The main characters are Trish, Clo and VoicePrinter. The minor characters area Trish's father and mother and other members on board the spaceship.

Trish : She is independent and can take care of herself on the 2-year space voyage.However, she feels lonely as she is the only child aboard the spaceship. She is an active child, interacting with the Voice Printer which is also her tutor and  converses with it as if it is another human being. She is smart and can even clone herself with the help of VoicePrinter and the Space Lab. She is single-minded and does thing on her own without the help of an adult. That she did not consult her father or thought through the ethical issues involved in cloning may show some immaturity and irresponsibility. She is adventurous and sort of ' push the envelope' with the assistance and knowledge from the VoicePrinter. She thinks she is smart until she was outwitted by her clone.

The Father :A minor character in this short story. He is always busy as he is the executive officer of the spaceship. He is a multi-tasker, talking to Trish as well as perusing computer printouts at the same time. He is caring and looks in on Trish once in a while.

Voice Printer : An informative  machine, she provides all the information that Trish requires. In fact it is her reference source and tutor as well. It is a versatile machine and can perform many functions. The Voice Printer is a loyal machine and stays by the side of Trish at all times.

Clo : Clo has the same character traits as Trish as she is her clone. The name, Clo is a short form of Clone.  She  outwits Trish the original genetic material that she is cloned from.

The Mother : She is at somewhere in Planet Trion building up a space station. It takes 2 years to reach Trion from Earth.


1.      We must be thankful with what we have.

2.      Friends are important in life.

3.      Any decisions made will have important consequences.

4.      We must make the best of a situation.

5.      We must think before we act.

6.      We should appreciate our own identity.

7.      Everyone is unique.


1.      Life in the space age.

2.      Living in a spaceship.

3.      Loneliness of children

4.      Busy lifestyles of adults.

5.      The uses of machine and loss of human touch.

6.      Clones for company.

7.      The need for companionship.

8.      The need for privacy and private space.


The story is from the first person point of view "I" and this allows the readers to be close to the character's point of view. It is mainly about the actions, thoughts, feelings and views of the main charcter, Trish.


Technique used by the writer:

1.      Scientifis terms
Printouts, clones, tissues, reproduction, duplicate, Biolab
2.      Contrast
"Now that might sound exciting, but it's not."
3.      Word collocation
spilt second. Wide open, face to face, train the thought
4.      Short sentences
Goodbye Clo, Yours never, Trish, over and done with.
5.      Sound words
Whoopee! Yaroop! Yum-yum!
6.      Alliteration
Finished and forgotten, Finally free!
7.      Simile
…bright as button…
8.      Dialogue
Dear Diary, the conversation between Trish and VoicePrinter
9.      Repetition
When Clo has nothing to do, it's always pick, pick, pick, I mean my mum is my mum, nothing to do with Clo. My mum, mine only.
10.  Exaggeration
There a thousand things on his mind.
11.  Irony
Stop picking yourself,   goodbye Clo, Yours never, Trish.
12.  Strong Language
It's like being swamped,   invaded, taken over, I can't stand Clo's corny jokes and dismal sulks