Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"To get anywhere, or even live a long time, a man has to guess, and guess right, over and over again, without enough data for a logical answer."
- Robert Heinlein

Selektrogel  
  An over-the-counter gel to choose the sex of a child at conception.  

For the Age of Woman had indeed followed almost directly upon the Age of Power, though nobody had accurately foreseen it at the time. The relevant technique was called sperm electrophoresis, a ridiculously simple trick to perform in glassware - and the pharmaceutical manufacturers had quickly come up with a medium, an anion or cation exchange gel, which made it equally easy to perform in situ. Its purpose was sex determination of the child at conception.

By hindsight ... it ought to have been realized that the first several generations to have the trick made available to them would respond by "starting with a boy." That preference had already existed, and indeed was so primitive that it might possibly be instinctual. The result,in any event, was the world of today, heavily overburdened with males, most of them useless - at least in the sense that neither the economy nor the society could find places for most of them. Being a man, Jom was inclined to think that the real death blow had been struck by the release of Selektrojel to the populace as an over-the-counteror non-prescription item. Possibly if its use bad been restricted to couples psychiatrically certified to need a baby of a given sex -- like, say, a couple to whom unaided nature had given only a string of five daughters, or, no, better make it nine ... But that would not have worked either. The demand for the stuff had been far too great. Like alcohol, the trade in it could be regulated more or less effectively but it could never be restricted in any meaningful sense.

From And All The Stars A Stage, by James Blish.
Published by Unknown in 1971
Additional resources -

Thanks to Winchell Chung for suggesting this item, and supplying a quote.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from And All The Stars A Stage
  More Ideas and Technology by James Blish
  Tech news articles related to And All The Stars A Stage
  Tech news articles related to works by James Blish

Selektrogel-related news articles:
  - IVF Parents Pick Sex, Alter Balance Of Nature

Articles related to Medical
iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Watch What People Are Seeing Via Brain Scanning
PRIMA Bionic Vision Restoration
Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.