WORLD WITHOUT MEN [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Charles Eric Maine
eBook Category: Science Fiction/Gay Fiction
eBook Description: IN A WORLD OF ONE SEX, ANOTHER MEANS DISASTER! Aubretia was a solid citizen of five thousand years from now. She looked upon herself as happy, normal, with the proper emotional interests, and well-adjusted to her work--which was the control and broadcasting of news. Then came the day when she was called in to look at a strange body found in the arctic ice. That was the first time she had ever seen a man. At that instant, she realized several shocking truths... that she wasn't really happy, she wasn't really normal, her emotions were all unnatural, and her work wasn't free. It took a little while to discover the last, because she tried to broadcast the news--and ran headlong into a murderous censorship of whose very existence she had never dreamed. From that moment on, her life and that of every other inhabitant of the world--all female--headed for the greatest crisis in history. The nature of that crisis, how the world got that way, and what would result, make up one of the most brilliantly different novels ever written. In a world of only one sex--women, love was an unnatural affair, fostered by the inhuman hand of the unseen government. Babies were created by laboratory techniques based on mass-deception. There was one all-important project that supplied humanity's only motive for continued existence--the struggle to re-create the male sex. The basic concept was the search for the 47th chromosome. Yet the very act of realizing this dream was to set up a crisis the world of women had never anticipated--and could not control! Here is a truly unique novel which dares to discuss a scientific subject hitherto untouched by science-fiction. Slanted for the intelligent adult reader, it will be ranked with 1984 and Brave New World.
eBook Publisher: Gate Way Publishers
Fictionwise Release Date: January 2012
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2 Reader Ratings:
This is a story of science and the abuse of science. The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily held by the author. All characters, organizations and situations described in the book are obviously fictitious. The product named "Sterilin" is not intended to represent or relate in any way to any similar type of clinical product, if such there be, manufactured anywhere in the world at any time. All references to parthenogenesis are technical in intent, with no mystical implication whatever.
* * * *
At precisely nine o'clock the ultrasonic alarm sounded in-audibly in the bedroom. She awoke instantly and reached for the cup of hot coffee that had been delivered a few seconds earlier via the catering chute that connected her bedside table with the Central Provisioning Depot. She sipped the coffee, yawned a little, stretched languidly, then rose to face the routine of another day.
The bath was ready, with the water perfumed and preheated, and she immersed herself lazily, taking care not to splash her cropped black hair with its fresh coating of silicone varnish. In three minutes the detergents had cleaned the surface of her body, silently and invisibly, but she lingered on in the water until the advancing finger of the wall clock warned her that time was running out.
Back to the bedroom, and into a short white skirt and white sandals, then over to the long oval mirror beneath the sunglow lamp of the room. She examined her features critically. She was handsome enough in the tradition of the day. Her skin was smooth and burnished to a roseate bronze sheen, and the whites of her eyes had been stained green to contrast with the limpid brown of the pupils. She was not more than twenty-seven. Her name was Aubretia.
She studied her lips pensively, then selected the white cosmetic spray from the beauty table, and presently the pink bow shape of the lips became snow-white--to match her skirt. Her hair was satisfactory; the silicone varnish had been applied only three days ago and was good for another week. She wished sometimes that she had white hair, like Aquilegia; but then everything about Aquilegia was white, for she was an albino, and her pink eyes were the envy of every woman in the city.
The silver lacquer on her flat, atrophied breasts had worn thin in parts, but it would do. Later in the day she could visit the Beauty Center and have fresh lacquer applied--perhaps even a change of color. Silver was clean, but there were times when it resembled armor.
Satisfied with her appearance, she put the thick, purple collar around her neck, then pulled the snake-chain that dangled from it. The collar unrolled like a blind, dropping around her body to her ankles, veiling her in the fine gloss of a purple satin cloak She was ready to cope with another day's work.
The time was nine forty-five, time enough to walk the four blocks to the tall, columnar building of the State Biophysical Center. She turned towards the window, glancing briefly over the colorful spires of the skyline, glowing mystically in the morning sunshine. The thousands of seven and eight o'clockers would be there already, working and supervising in the slender buildings of the city; and the nine o'clockers would be picking up the threads of the day's executive duties; and soon the ten o'clockers, the administrative officials, would be arriving to keep an alert eye on the plans and schedules of the vast labor organization.
She left the apartment, descending to street level on the high-speed spiral escalator, then walked briskly with the other women wearing the authorized purple cloak of officialdom towards the parallel row of skyscrapers that housed the government offices.
* * * *
The room had a sliding glass door bearing the legend: Press Policy and Administration. Inside was color and warmth and effeminacy: a large desk with slender legs, a dainty ivory table supporting an ornate crystal bowl of the newest kind of flowers that had been grown in phosphor nutrients so that the petals glowed in luminous hues, graceful padded chairs, oval mirrors, and an arched window with stained glass panes in a variety of dilute rainbow colors. It was a woman's room in a woman's building in a woman's city.
Aubretia entered the office with a distinct sense of repose, almost of homecoming. The sensation was to formula, of course. It was part of the applied psychology of labor administration. Domestic apartments tended to be functional and austere while offices and factories were generally as comfortable and luxurious as applied science could make them. The result was increased productivity.
She pulled the snake-chain on her purple cloak. Immediately the garment coiled itself into a compact collar encircling her neck. She removed it and hung it on a peg behind the desk.
The pilot lamp on the memory bank unit was flashing green. She sat down and pressed the control button with a slim finger, then concentrated on the crisp impersonal voice of the recorder as it intoned the news messages of the night.
General release, said the voice. Opening of new I. P. Center. A brief pause. Today at thirteen hundred hours the Mistress of Biogenetics will officially open the new I. P. Center at Lon South. The Center will specialize in the application and development of the latest techniques in the science of induced hetero-parthenogenesis with the object of increasing the variant factor of derivative types, which is not at present possible with normal auto-parthenogenetic methods. Ten seconds of silence. Electroscan pictures and detailed technical handouts will be distributed via authorized news agencies within twenty-four hours.
A long pause. The memory bank unit whirred and clicked, and a sheet of paper bearing a printed transcription of the message was deposited on the desk.
Restricted release, announced the voice a moment later. For professional distribution to institutions and organizations in economic, financial, biogenetic, mortic and related fields: The government, following its recent biennial survey of mortic revenue assets, has decided to authorize an increase of two and a half per cent in live parthenogenetic births during the next two years as a preliminary to a statistical revision of the personal mortic tax assessment figure in the light of improving economic conditions. General release will follow in four days.
Another pause--another sheet of printed paper.
General release: Entertainment news from Femina News Agency. State actress Butterfly II will star tonight in a video dramatic feature concerning the love of two adult women for a young albino girl whose parthenogenetic double becomes involved in a criminal attempt to...
And so it went on, the usual small talk that passed for news, always with the accent on parthenogenesis and, curiously, albinos. Signs of the times, Aubretia thought. After all, in a world where the majority of women were almost mirror images of each other there was a certain irrepressible fascination in albinos--if only because they were different. A phantom image of Aquilegia hovered momentarily in her mind. Aubretia suppressed the inevitable emotional response almost before it had formed. Time enough to think about Aquilegia later in the day--in the long warm evening--but for all her resolution she spared a moment to acknowledge her pleasure and gratitude that she should be on such intimate terms with an albino.
And as for parthenogenesis, either in its auto or hetero forms, there was barely a single news item that did not refer to it in one way or another. It was one of the fundamentals of life--like eating, drinking and cremation, and it seemed sometimes as if the government were deliberately overemphasizing the importance of parthenogenesis in society. On the whole it was an unsavory subject. No woman voluntarily sought childbirth, either by natural or induced methods, and when it came it was invariably an ordeal to be undergone in the course of duty and for the sake of mortic allowances.
The voice of the memory bank droned on unheeded, and the sheets of printed paper piled up on the desk. In due course she would have to filter the news reports and pass them via the respective channels to the press and broadcasting agencies concerned. But the day was young, and there was still time to sit and dream in inactive idleness.
The monitor buzzed shrilly on the desk. She switched off the memory bank and keyed the intercom.
"Aubretia Two Seventeen," said the monitor. "Gallardia Nine Fifty would like you to go down to the Biophysics Lab Annex right away, please."
Aubretia thought quickly. The woman known as Gallardia was Senior Cytologist in the Department of Physiology, a thick-set woman of square face and contact lenses over her yellow-stained eyes. A competent scientist, she had a cynical twist in her brain. What on earth could she want with the Press Policy Department?
"I'll be right down," Aubretia answered.