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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Uterine Replicator  
  A device that simulates the functions of the human uterus.  

The medtech smiled sourly. "We're returning these to the senders."

Vorkosigan walked around the pallet. "Yes, but what are they?"

"All your bastards," said the medtech.

Cordelia, catching the genuine puzzlement in Vorkosigans's voice, added, "They're uterine replicators, um, Admiral. Self-contained, independently powered - they need servicing, though -"

"Every week," agreed the medtech..."

"They're all alive in there?"

"Sure. See all the green lights? Placentas and all. They float right in their amnionic sacs, just like home..."

"...Floating fetuses - babies in cans..."

Technovelgy from Shards of Honor, by Lois McMaster Bujold.
Published by Baen Books in 1986
Additional resources -

Compare to synthetic babies from A Biological Experiment (1928) by David H. Keller, Bokanovski's Process from Brave New World (1932) by Aldous Huxley, artificial womb from Brave New World (1932) by Aldous Huxley and the procreative stump from Hellstrom's Hive (1972) by Frank Herbert.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Shards of Honor
  More Ideas and Technology by Lois McMaster Bujold
  Tech news articles related to Shards of Honor
  Tech news articles related to works by Lois McMaster Bujold

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