Thursday, October 18, 2007

Escape Pod 127: Results

I'm running a bit behind on blog entries.

Last week's Escape Pod was the story "Results" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

It is a very interesting story of a kind I find is growing on my as a reader. I am all for fantastic scifi with technology that defies our current understanding of physical laws. However, I think it is really important to look at how current technology will evolve and effect our lives. Cyberpunk, as a genre, does this; eschewing space opera for an examination of the near future.

In results, the protagonist is nervously awaiting the results of a genetic compatibility analysis of her and her boyfriend. The results give percentage chances of the baby's hair color, creative ability and IQ. In a way, it is finding out the baby's sex taken to the extreme. The story creates a dichotomy between the "natural" or old way of having babies and the new test compatibility method, and between just having a baby and loving it no matter what and the idea that children are something to be proud of and invest our genetic material in. It's a very interesting situation and realistic in light of the growing powers of genetic research.

As a naturalist, this is an interesting question. If we are going to pass on our genes, don't we want to give that child the best chance? On the other hand, should we base our relationships and hinge our love on the chance of having a baby who isn't brilliant? Lots to think about here.
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