Short story where almost all men are infertile, female main character

2018-01-11 15:04:23

A few days ago I was discussing SF/Fantasy with unusual subject matter with a friend and he mentioned this short story.

I realized I had read it as well a long time ago, but neither of us can remember much detail about it.

We are hoping the unusual subject is trigger enough for someone to identify it.

We read it around 1990, give or take a few years, as a Dutch translation in a bundle of short stories. The story itself could be quite a bit older as Dutch publishing houses at the time often bought these short-stories in bulk from British and American publishers and it was usually not the newest material they got.

What we remember for certain:

The setting is a small town in a dystopian near-future. It's not really hardcore SF. We can't remember any mention of high-tech, etc.

For some reason in this nation almost all men are infertile. (Reason we can't remember, possibly war/bio-weapon.) The few men who are fertile work for the government and go around the country impreg

  • Could it be Unto the Last Generation by Juanita Coulson. Everyone is infertile due to population control technology, an 8 year old girl shows up and everyone tries to figure out where she came from? It doesn't match up entirely, but has some of the same essential plot points.

    Or Edward P. Hughes, Masters of the Fist (1989) which is a series of short stories about a village in Ireland where all the men are infertile.

    2018-01-11 15:29:37
  • Not all of the details line up, but your description reminds me of "Welcome to the Monkey House" by Kurt Vonnegut.

    Everyone takes an anti-aging shot twice a year, so the government is focused on population control.

    The government distributes "ethical birth control" to reduce sexual desire (though people are, in fact, still fertile).

    The main character is a woman named Nancy who looks 22 years old.

    The story takes place in a small town named Hyannis, near Cape Cod.

    Contained in a bundle of short stories. Published in 1968 and thus likely to have been translated by 1990.

    There is one man who approaches women to have sex with them, though he is an outlaw.

    Your friend's description of the uniformed workers seems reminiscent of the women who work in the Ethical Suicide Parlors.

    Summary (emphasis mine):

    In the not-so-distant future, a criminal mastermind named Billy the Poet is on the loose and on his way to Cape Cod. His goal is to deflower one of the hostesses at the Ethical Suic

    2018-01-11 16:20:37
  • The book you were discussing was "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood, a dystopian novel published in 1985 (I think!).

    2018-01-11 16:44:47