Where do you get your ideas?
Eugenics is bad science, but I’m always fascinated by sci-fi stories wherein populations breed for strange abilities, over vast timescales. Dune. Ringworld. That kind of thing. This one sprung entirely from the thought, “What if the female orgasm was necessary for reproduction, like the male orgasm is?” and then it was just world-building from there. Judging by the reactions in the news lately to feminist movements, getting the chance to literalize the “emasculating” metaphor makes the story a bit more topical than I’d planned.
“Quiverfull” was originally 1,400 words, almost a flash piece, and went through ten rounds of rejections before getting a revise and resubmit request from Bards and Sages. This is the first story I’ve ever gotten that request on. The editor’s notes included:
It’s an interesting concept, a population crash because men are unwilling to accept feminine dominance.
Develop the characters more, and this will go from being good to great quite easily.
So I added 1,100 more words and the character of Cathy as well as Jundt’s drawing hobby. The ending became a little more grim, but the rest of the story is my cheap quasi-Victorian version of a “comedy of manners” (mainly so I could include, “Are you very fond of reading?”).
The name of Ernst Jundt is one that keeps coming up in my writings. An ancient and terrible family with many secrets.