Sunday, November 7, 2010

1950’s short story: "Thy Name is Woman" by Bryce Walton

Thanks to the industrious folks at Project Gutenberg and, you can read or download "Thy Name is Woman", a short story penned by American science fiction writer Bryce Walton (1918-1988). Originally published in the March 1953 issue of If: Worlds of Science Fiction magazine, the storyline revolves around the women of Earth, who seemingly escape their male counterparts by settling on Mars. Here are the opening lines:
After the Doctor gave him the hypo and left the ship, Bowren lay in absolute darkness wondering when the change would start. There would be pain, the Doctor had said. "Then you won't be aware of anything—anything at all."

That was a devil of a thing, Bowren thought, not to be aware of the greatest adventure any man ever had. He, Eddie Bowren, the first to escape the Earth into space, the first man to Mars!

He was on his back in a small square steel cubicle, a secretly constructed room in the wall of the cargo bin of the big spaceship cradled at the New Chicago Port. He was not without fear. But before the ship blasted he wouldn't care—he would be changed by then. He would start turning any minute now, becoming something else; he didn't know exactly what, but that wouldn't matter. After it was over, he wouldn't remember because the higher brain centers, the cortex, the analytical mind, would be completely cut off, short-circuited, during the alteration...
 Thanks to Rusty of for the tip!

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