Imagine it's the year 2100 and all human reproduction is controlled by a
lottery. That's part of the premise of a new sci-fi book by Jim
Laughter, and it's scary.
But as with all good
writers, he wants to end up with a happy ending, and surely will do so
in the final chapter.
"I’ve put my heart into this new book,” Laughter says. “It’s for my
four grandkids. I hope it helps to wake the world up, too!'
His novel a book about climate change, mass migrations
north, polar cities, and, dare one say it, reproduction by lottery.
Laughter says his novel is just a good old-fashioned yarn for
the average lay person, but adds: “Hollywood screenwriters might want
to take a peek, too. I think a
visionary film director could have a field day with this. As for theme
of human reproduction by lottery, you'll have
to read the book to find out.”
A short excerpt from the novel is printed below to whet your appetite:
"Explain, Dr. Moore?” Romanov asked. “Explain what?”
This wasn’t the first time someone new had questioned the city’s lottery. He
could see in the doctor’s eyes that she held reservations
and apparently didn’t see the viability of the system.
"The lottery is the simple way we ensure survival of the city,” he said.
Lou Ellen Moore didn’t respond to
Romanov’s simple statement. She just stared at the man, prompting him
with her eyes that he was going to have to do better than that. Romanov
leaned forward and placed his elbows on the table. What did this
woman want? Did she expect him to justify a system that had been in
place for over thirty years? Was there some moral high ground she
thought she could take that would diffuse their way of life?
"I don’t understand what is you want me to say, Dr. Moore,” Romanov said.
"Lottery is system to keep city alive.”
Again, Lou Ellen Moore didn’t answer. She could see that Romanov had
no reservations about the moral
consequences of the lottery. Was this really the best idea the city
fathers could come up with to ensure their survival? Did they really
believe that prostituting the women of the city, using them
as child-bearing livestock was worth the indignity suffered by these
"So you take the young women of the city and you prostitute them to six
men?” she asked.
Romanov was shocked at the doctor’s question. “Prostitute,
Doctor?” he asked. “What you mean, prostitute?"
"Is he kidding?" Lou Ellen
thought. "Does he see this as anything else?"
"Yes, prostitute,” she
answered. “What else would you call forcing a woman to have sex
with six different men?”
Again, Romanov was stunned by the question. “Doctor Moore, I assure you…”
"You assure me?" she
interrupted. “You assure me of what? That these girls just
reaching womanhood aren’t forced to take on multiple partners so they
can produce babies? Is that what you’re trying to assure me of? That
when one of them has a baby, they don’t have to consult a lottery
schedule to determine who the father is? Is that what you’re trying to
assure me of?”
Romanov shook his head in disbelief. Lou Ellen placed a
hand on the stack of medical records on the table.
"There are two,
maybe three generations of women’s records in this stack, Dr.
Romanov. This isn’t a simple experiment. It’s a way of life,” she said.
So imagine it's the year 2100 and all human reproduction is controlled by a
lottery. Jim Laughter's book is packing a punch!