Month: April 2015

‘Would YOU grow your child in an artificial womb OUTSIDE of a human body?’ and other headlines…

On 14 August 2014 the Daily Mail ran an article with the headline ‘Would YOU grow your child in an artificial womb OUTSIDE of a human body?’ in response to claims by futurist Zoltan Istvan that an artificial uterus would be available by 2034. Given that I was up to my elbows in rewriting a thriller about the possible consequences of this technology, I was delighted the issue was back in the news. Feminists are divided about the implications of ‘ectogenesis’, with some commentators claiming it will liberate women from biology, (almost as if the complex obligations and demands placed on women end when you get the baby home from hospital) with others suggesting women would be disempowered by this further shift of reproduction into the realm of medicine and technology. Andrea Dworkin argued that should an artificial uterus become a reality, men might be tempted to do away with women altogether,…

Ice climbing

It's three weeks now since I handed in the revised manuscript of Baby X (!), so in search of some creative distraction, I've been writing a fairy-tale about a Changeling, and looking over some old short stories I wrote a while back... Here's a tiny one.   Ice climbing   I’m at the park, perched on one of the old railway sleepers that forms the boundary of the sandpit.  My son, eleven months old, is upright in the sand, digging.  His back is straight, his knees bent around his bucket.  The long flap of his red sunhat falls over the back of his neck, down to his shoulder blades. I watch him dig, feel the sun on my back. Someone hunkers down beside me on the sleeper.  I’m friendly with some of the mothers who use this park; I’m here three or four times a week.  But before I even turn, I sense the newcomer is male. And…