Re Newest Bujold, Big Spoilers

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Thu Aug 8 18:25:55 EDT 2002

On Thu, 01 Aug 2002 21:46:59 -0600, Robyn Starkey wrote:

>I really love Bujold as an author, and can't praise her enough, but that 
>damn uterine replicator really creeps me out. I just cannot believe her 
>totally unchallenged party line that there is no perceptible difference to 
>the developing baby; there is plenty of medical evidence which says babies 
>hear heartbeats and voices and then recognise them after birth, etc. 

That's always bugged me too.  It's all about the benefits to the mothers,
but (as you say) no one ever talks about what happens to the babies.  Except
for the one line in _Barrayar_ where Cordelia points out that *she* came out
of a uterine replicator and also says something about her brother's
co-parent having all of hers in vivo, and there's no difference.  But that's
it.  (Did you also notice that the social implications changed from _Shards
of Honor_, in which the U.R. is unique and used rarely on Beta Colony, to
_Barrayar_ where suddenly it's the hip thing to do and everyone's doing it,
and if only we had galactic technology on dear old Barrayar?  Somewhere in
those five years she changed her mind.  Hmmmmm.)

>no one appears to breast feed the babies, which is another thing which goes 
>unspoken and unchallenged.  And there is plenty of evidence that babies need 
>physical contact, which they don't get in the Bujold universe. It peeves me 
>that she doesn't even address the contradictions she sets up - there are 
>the parents, with their blastocyst photos, clearly developing emotional 
>relationships with the unborn babies, and that's important to them, but it 
>isn't important for the fetus to get any in utero stimulation. Baloney.

That's just it.  I'd like to see the conflict come up, but it's never
mentioned.  It's not a conflict, even.  Where's the reactionary "Mothers
With Wombs" group picketing Vorhartung Castle for their reproductive rights?
I'd be more willing to accept Bujold's view on this if I felt she'd
adequately addressed all sides of the issue.

I actually think having a uterine replicator would solve a number of
problems.  I would consider using one myself, but with the emphasis on
"consider."  Childbirth really isn't all about what the woman goes through.

>> >I want the Ivan book.
>>Me too.
>Me three.
>Or even better, Mark and Ivan have an adventure.

I just had a Very Bad Feeling about that....  :)

Melissa Proffitt

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