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Rich and Strange: "The New Mother" by Eugene Fischer

This week on Rich and Strange, I take a look at “The New Mother,” a novella by Eugene Fischer headlining the current issue of Asimov’s.

Tess Mendoza is a freelance journalist writing a high-profile piece on the social implications of Gamete Diploidy Syndrome, or GDS—a sexually transmitted medical condition that renders men sterile and causes fertile women, in the absence of hormonal birth control, to risk becoming pregnant with what are functionally clones of themselves every time they ovulate….It’s a fantastic concept, and the whole novella is structured around exploring its every possible facet: Tess interviews scientists, politicians, lobbyists, religious fanatics, while her representation of the furor over the future of “motherhood” is complicated by her own position as a pregnant woman in a same-sex relationship, and the possibility that she herself has been infected.

I literally cannot think of a single way to improve this story. I mention its thoroughness in the review; there’s just such a slow, methodical circling of the issues, ramping the tension up the while. I love Tess. I love Judy. I love her mother.

I’d love to know what you think about it.