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"There's a poetry in the materials we use to construct our world of artifacts; it speaks of our long history as a technological species."
- William Gibson

Procreative Stump  
  A woman's torso, kept alive for the purpose of using the womb as an incubator.  

In Hellstrom's Hive, a group of early settlers in America decided to pursue a different evolutionary path. Recognizing the evolutionary success of insects, they sought to emulate them in every way.

If the Hive's interest is best served by maintaining an individual only for the purpose of procreation, why keep and feed all of those unnecessary parts?

When one of the youngsters asked if they would take the carcass to the vats or try for a procreative stump, he paused for only the briefest reflection before agreeing that they should try for a stump. Perhaps some of that female flesh could be revived and preserved. If her womb could be maintained, she might yet serve the Hive. It would be interesting to see a child of that flesh.
From Hellstrom's Hive, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Bantam Books in 1972
Additional resources -

Yes, this is a very creepy novel. However, every aspect of the novel is fully realized; the correspondence with modern green movements is eerie. The philosophy part, not the hive part.

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 uterine replicator from Shards of Honor (1986) by Lois McMaster Bujold.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Hellstrom's Hive
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Hellstrom's Hive
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Procreative Stump-related news articles:
  - Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman Taken Off Life Support

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