Birth Days

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Ryman, Geoff. "Birth Days." Interzone #188, April 2003. For frequent reprints, award nomintions and translations, see Internet Speculative Fiction Database, as of September 2023, here.[1] Reprints include The James Tiptree Award Anthology 1. Karen Joy Fowler, Pat Murphy, Debbie Notkin, Jeffrey D. Smith, editors. San Francisco: Tachyon, 2005.

Tiptree anthology reviewed by Joan Gordon, SFRA Review #274 (Oct., Nov. Dec. 2005): 26, possibly available here.[2] Gordon says the story "describes the gay protagonist's birthday at ten year intervals from 16 to 46, moving from present attitudes and technologies to more restrictive and finally more liberating ones, and showing the ling between politics and technology in attitudes towards homosexuality [...]."

The technology here is biotech, so this story is peripheral, but of interest. The webpage "Strange at Ecbatan" for Thursday, May 9, 2019, features "Birthday Review: Stories of Geoff Ryman" and quotes apparently blogger's comments on the story:

Locus, September 2003 [...] The hero is a gay man born just prior to the development of a genetic screening test for homosexuality. As a result he is part of the last generation, it seems, in which gays will be a normal percentage of the population. He becomes a scientist, and one of his projects is a drug which will "cure" homosexuality even in adults. But this seems a betrayal, and he next works on something quite different -- a means by which men can bear children, without even a female ovum. Ryman takes the implication of this tech to the extreme (beyond where I could believe it, actually). But throughout it raises worthwhile questions -- even if one might disagree with the in-story answers. (For instance, it seems to imply that homosexuality is "justified" once it becomes possible for gays to bear children -- I shouldn't think that necessary!)[3]


RDE, finishing, 23Sep23