Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"My father was a master mechanic; I grew up with a screwdriver in one hand and a pair of pliers in the other."
- Frank Herbert

  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
Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
NASA's 'Armstrong' Soft Wearable Upper Extremity Garment
iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Watch What People Are Seeing Via Brain Scanning

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.





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

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
'... setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all.'

Loomo Mini Transporter Robot Companion You Ride On
'Slowly the [robot] horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...'

AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
'The structure,... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times. It printed itself directly below us...'

Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
'These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected.'

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.