A Journal Retrospective: Notes On A Dystopian Speculative Fiction Idea

Going through my old journals, I sometimes come across old story ideas that look like I wrote them late at night in a crazed state of sleep deprivation. “They” represents the government/society, I think? Here is one such example:

Breeders

Based on the date, I can only assume I came up with this idea after being called a “breeder” while walking through the Castro one day. For those that aren’t aware, “breeder” is a slur shouted at anything they assume has a uterus, and the individual shouting at it has had to make a whole slew of assumptions regarding the person possessing said assumed uterus. It’s rude and messy, and if you’re someone that does this, you should reconsider that behavior. The only times they have targeted me with this slur was while I was dating only women and was walking alone through the Castro in San Francisco.

Anyway, the concept of a breeder in this dystopian universe is that at birth, they screen humans for genetic diseases, genetic predispositions, and important or new beneficial traits. They then sterilize any that failed this screening (most infants), but the benefits (on average) life extension and increased intelligence. The detriment of being a breeder is a shorter lifespan with high variation in intelligence.

This creates a cast system with the first division existing between Breeders and Non-breeders. To children this is not apparent until adolescence, when they separate breeders upon reaching sexual maturity from their peers. While they worship Breeders as the genetic parents of all humans. Above Breeders there is a ruling class—the Royal class—retired, pampered, and in control over the government where only they can vote on legislation (non-breeders and breeders have no voting rights).

This whole set up began when a plague ravaged their human colony on a new terraformed planet, yet Earth kept in touch by regular transmission until there was a breakdown of communication. The Ruling Class told everyone that astronomical radiation caused this.” With a plague claiming everyone in the population with a specific genetic trait, the government established when the colony originally started and elder citizens set up a plan to help prevent diseases in the population and create a race of humans free of microbial and genetic diseases. Because the only people that may vote or be involved in lawmaking are post-menopausal men and women, the system persists. This creates further division.

They sterilized the lowest cast: criminal breeders. They only forcibly sterilize a breeder if they have committed a crime, or “new technology” reveals that their traits are no longer desirable, so they now are known to have a previously unknown rare genetic disease (as this is also a crime). In the first case, criminals lose all of their rights and are the absolute lowest class. In the second case, they and all of their offspring must be sterilized and join the non-breeders.

Select non-breeders are chosen as advisors based on their expertise in specific fields, such as the sciences. They also act as teachers, medical professionals, caregivers, and adoptive parents. In terms of the public education prior to adolescence, teachers may not know which students are breeders and which are not. Students much choose to “come out” eventually about their status once they have reached puberty, as this will mean separation from their peers and removal from the education system.

While adoptive parents (non-breeders) aren’t supposed to know the status of a child, it is not uncommon that they find out, and this will sometimes result in conflict and manipulation. This is a criminal offense that results in the child being removed from the parents.

When becoming an adult, the breeders go off to a resort city where they are provided with housing, food, pre-natal vitamins, and all forms of intellectual venture related items like art supplies and books to keep them happy. The work of the non-breeder class pays for this (and the former breeder class). And… I have a huge diagram about how the economy works in this society because a set amount of currency came with this society when they landed and started the colony. This doesn’t mean that counterfeiters don’t pop up, eventually.

In the economy, to allow for optimal success rate, Breeders are given no reason to stress and are encouraged to explore their passions openly from painting to water polo – whatever floats their boat as long as it doesn’t involve alcohol or anything that could affect their body adversely. In return for having their passions encouraged and patronized by all subjects that pay taxes, breeders must contribute a mathematically agreed upon number of babies to the world based on the breeder’s age at onset of puberty.

One conflict idea I had was that there would be a trial run of young adult breeders given the option to opt out and instead work alongside sterile humans to pay their taxes and can change their minds until they hit menopause once they hit a population maximum.

In order to become part of the voting class a woman must have produced at least one child (or however many are necessary per person to maintain the population) and men must not only have a long history of participating in sperm donation but whose genetic material must have been used at least once.

They match eggs and sperm using statistically based genetic profiles of the individuals collected at birth. When a match occurs a woman goes to pick up her fertilized eggs using IVF, then she gets pregnant, gives birth after gestation, and breast feeds until she decides with an adviser that the child is ready to be weaned. At that point they review adoptive parent applications. If a child is not placed, the child is raised in a group home, attend a public school like everyone else, and proceed on through the social steps. “

So… that was a trip. c_c

I rarely write Science Fiction. Partly because I write dystopian Science Fiction. Specifically. And this is a genre that was… TL;DR discouraged to the point I stopped.

I’d like to change that.

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