Re Newest Bujold, Big Spoilers

Jacob Proffitt Jacob at
Thu Aug 8 18:46:34 EDT 2002

---Original Message From: Melissa Proffitt
> 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.)

I've always assumed that to qualify as a Uterine *Replicator* it had to
include a component of sound and touch.  Certainly possible.  You could
use recording and voice simulation, or you could go further and have the
mother implanted with a sensor for sound and motion that is then
replicated (with filters for the extremes) within the U.R.  Since the
U.R. isn't ever described in exhaustive detail, I'm just as happy giving
it all the features I'd want for it.  It *does* make for an interesting
discussion of possible model differentiation--"Buy the U.R. Elite R20
for the *full* Uterine experience--mother implant optional."

Jacob Proffitt

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