A proliferation of clones, involving presidential campaign-trail dirty tricks, sadistic-sexual nasties, and mad geniuses, in an energetic, though familiar, stew. An illegal, supersecret organization kidnaps hot ""vidstar"" Mercedes Night. The apparent object: to clone her, then to sell the copies to rich, dirty old men as sexual slaves. Soon, though, some of the clones escape and make waves. Christie, Mercedes' best friend, is puzzled by the appearance of what seem to be two Mercedes. Christie's boyfriend, Lance Corbin, crows over his invention of Lancelot, a hand-held Artificial Intelligence that, to Christie's consternation, he intends to sell to the defense establishment. Andrew Willis, a cop who covets a Mercedes of his own, suspects that some sort of high-level coverup is going on. And Mercedes' boyfriend, left-ish presidential hopeful Warren Keyes, also discovers that there's more than one Mercedes on the loose. As the various strands of the plot come together, it turns out that the whole cloning operation is a conspiracy (ultimately successful) to destroy Warren and his campaign. Lurking in the background, meanwhile, is mysterious science-whiz Magus, who has plans of his own for humanity's future. At times the plot hops about in bewildering fashion, but otherwise this brisk, well turned-out debut succeeds modestly within fairly unambitious limits.