Children are a commodity few women can afford. Hopeful mothers-to-be try everything. Fertility clinics. Pills. Wombs for hire. Babies are no longer made in bedrooms, but engineered in boardrooms.
A quirk of genetics allows lucky surrogates to carry multiple eggs, to control when they are fertilised, and by whom—but corporations market and sell the offspring. The souls of lost embryos are never wasted; captured in software, they give electronics their voice. Spirits born into the wrong bodies can brave the charged waters of a hidden billabong, and change their fate. Industrious orphans learn to manipulate scientific advances, creating mothers of their own choosing.
The Female Factory, cowritten by Lisa Hannett and Angela Slatter, is available December 12th from Twelfth Planet Press. From Australia’s near-future all the way back in time to its convict past, these stories spin and sever the ties between parents and children. Read an excerpt from “Vox” below!