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Gay & Lesbian Pan-Historical Speculative Fiction

Men and women grow into separate civilizations
  (+6, -4)
(+6, -4)
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Set some time in the past. Heterosexuality has either been (inadvertantly) bred out or otherwise disappeared somehow. Simultaneously male couples and female couples gain the ability to produce offspring. The key sexual element of the bond between men and women which draws them to live together disappears, and men and women gradually migrate and form separate civilizations. (Nations of mostly or exclusively men, nations of exclusively lesbians.) Book uses multiple characters jumping from years, to decades, to centuries, to millenia after the "event." Follows course of societal evolution and relationship between and divergence of the new male and female civilizations and the new relationships between individuals. Eventually ends a million years+ in the future when men and women have evolved into separate species of humans incapable of even theoretically reproducing together.
TParis23, Dec 28 2004

(?) Amzonians unite! http://uk.gay.com/printit/692
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Dec 28 2004]

Space lizard http://www.dreamspe...rt/kids/BW/sass.GIF
....unable to find a lizard using a vibrator..... [normzone, Dec 28 2004]

Charlotte Gilman: Herland http://etext.virgin...public/GilHerl.html
One of the first examples of feminist utopian fiction. Three male adventurers end up in an utopian state inhabited only by women, where everything is so much better than in the real world. Ripping good yarn, not. [jutta, Apr 30 2006]

A recent development http://www.bionews.org.uk/page_12501.asp
For women, men are no longer needed, as of right now. [Vernon, Jul 15 2015]


       Sounds like a decent premise for a novel but don't you think it would be a bit more believable set in the future rather than the past? Especially since us guys may be declared redundant and marked for deletion any time now. [Link]   

       alternative history novels are all the rage it seems - i just did a magazine illustration for an article about harry turtledove who wrote a series of books on space lizards joining the nazi party just before WW2, and the ensuing alternative history. i havent read any of his books, but the whole idea of re writing the past is an interesting one.
benfrost, Dec 28 2004

       Yeah, I read that book; all the vibrator factories took over.
mensmaximus, Dec 28 2004

       I like this idea much more with the addition of the space lizards. +.
bungston, Dec 28 2004

       The sequel to this book (about one million and twenty years from now) would feature each society -- the "men" and the "women" -- diverging into two sub-societies. No society of identical people can persist for long, because it is human nature to vary. After a decade or two, some men will have become femininer than their copats, and be ostracized; and some women will have become masculiner than their society, and be ostracized; then a third society will develop which will invite both ostracized subgroups and quite possibly be heterosexual again.   

       Continued ad infinitum, it's Pascal's triangle existing in real life.
phundug, Dec 28 2004

       Since we are talking SF, another plotline would be a society of cloners, who find sexual reproduction repugnant - akin to Huxley's Brave New World. Cloning eliminates genetic variation, which is fine for stable conditions but no good if you need to adapt. The question: to introduce genetic variation artificually with controlled mutation, or to reinvent meiosis and combine with other cloners?
bungston, Dec 28 2004

       //the whole idea of re writing the past is an interesting one.//   

       Try reading 1984. The government regularly rewrites the past in their favor.   

       //find sexual reproduction repugnant - akin to Huxley's Brave New World//   

       1984 is a better match. Sex is glorified in Brave New World, only procreation is shunned. Any sex is considered vulgar in 1984, but is seen as a necessity for procreation until better methods can be developed.
Aq_Bi, Dec 29 2004

       Would "Planet of the Apes" been a better movie if half the apes were gay ?   

       ( Must have bee a great gig for make up artists. )
popbottle, Jul 14 2015

       Ooo! Oooo! How about this premise for high science fiction! This one would be best set in the distant past, to avoid confoundation by technology. Like good high SF this is a good story but is also a story about something else, told more cleanly by ditching the baggage associated with the something else.   

       An alien parasite shows up, with the result that a certain percentage of children develop psionic powers at teenage and can do some mind control and other stuff of that sort. These psionic folks are a hazard to peaceful society as it exists and wreak havoc, so initially are put down or otherwise rendered harmless.   

       One society with a number of psionic adults with uses them to conquer its neighbors and control their resources. The only viable defense against this sort of attack is for each population to retain a population of psionics of their own, and try to set up cultural norms to stabilize societies containing populations of psionics.   

       For those who can do it, these cultural norms have benefits far beyond stabilization of populations containing psionics. Societies able to pull off this stabilization gain advantages far beyond simple stability.
bungston, Jul 15 2015

       The original idea might be found in some Samuel R. Delany works.
normzone, Jul 15 2015

       //For women, men are no longer needed, as of right now.//   

       Actually, it's possible that parthenogenesis in humans has already occurred. The whole business of meiosis is a bit of a mess in humans. It is just possible that, somewhere, an egg has ended up fully diploid (from the mother), and has been triggered into development by fusion either with a sperm lacking DNA (which happens, once in a while), or by a sperm which it didn't fully fuse with. In this case, a fully maternally-derived embryo would develop.   

       Whether such an embryo would be viable or not is a different matter - apart from recessive maternal mutations, there's the problem of imprinting (switching particular genes on or off, given that there's a duplicate set in all embryos).   

       But I would be willing to wager that, if we analysed the entire human population, we'd find one or two parthenotes out there.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 15 2015

       So, Jesus was a woman and a copy of Mary? That explains much.
RayfordSteele, Jul 15 2015

       Entirely possible.   

       Well, not entirely.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 15 2015

       As a Christian, I've long assumed Jesus was a female copy of his mother. It helps me identify with him to think of him as trans.
nineteenthly, Jul 16 2015

       Ok: here is the challenge. 1. You have tissue samples from a large number of domestic animals. These animals are already closely related to one another because of inbreeding.   

       2. Assume you have no data on parental genotypes, only from the individual.   

       2. Using genetics, how could one identify parthenotes (new word for me!) in this population?
bungston, Jul 16 2015

       If the parents are very, very, very inbred (like some lab rat strains), you might struggle. Otherwise, just sequence the crap out of the genome of each individual, and look for one that's completely homozygous.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 16 2015

       It would be female, assuming all the chromosomes (including two Xs) came from the mother.   

       I suppose, in theory, you could have a male parthenote. One way would be if null-ploid egg (ie, one with no chromosomes - probably extremely rare) got fertilized by a diploid sperm (no idea if they can exist - I suspect not, because there's literally no room for a double lot of chromosomes). Or a null-ploid egg fertilized by a normal sperm, but then doubling-up the chromosomes. Or a null-ploid egg fertilized by two sperm. In the latter case, the offspring would be partially heterozygous (since every sperm contains a random selection from the two genomes of the father), and might be perfectly normal.   

       There will definitely be some people out there who are lacking at least one or two chromosomes from the mother (and have an extra copy from the father). Lots of eggs (like - tens of percent), especially in women over 30, have missing or extra chromosomes; and I'd bet that a small percentage of sperm have extra copies of one or two chromosomes.   

       Some of my work is with IVF (on the egg side of the business), so I know that some pretty weird chromosome-juggling can happen, at least on the maternal side.   

       [Later] OK, a quick Google suggests that aneuploidy in the sperm of healthy men is on the order of a few (1-4) percent, which is higher than I'd expected. Assuming that it's uniform for all chromosomes (and assuming that extra copies are as common as missing chromosomes), that means on the order of 1/1000 sperm having an extra copy of any given chromosome.   

       For women (across all age ranges - including young women), the aneuploidy rate in eggs is very roughly the same as in sperm. So, there's a 1/1000 chance of a given egg missing any given chromosome.   

       That means that, in any fertilization event, there's a 1/1000,000 chance that the egg is missing a given chromosome, and the sperm has an extra copy of the same chromosome. And a 1/1000,000 chance of its being the other way around (egg has extra; sperm lacks). Add those up and multiply by 23 to allow for all chromosomes, and you're up to 1/25,000.   

       So, 1/25,000 fertilized eggs should have both copies of one chromosome coming from a single parent.   

       Now, depending on the nature of the aneuploidy (how it arises), those two chromosomes may be identical or different (since each parent has two different copies). If they're identical, there's an increased risk of the offspring having some catastrophic genetic disorder, through recessive mutations. So, let's guesstimate there's a 1/2 chance of such an offspring surviving and being pretty normal.   

       Overall, then, you'd expect something like 1/50,000 healthy people to have both copies of one of their chromosomes from the same parent.   

       So, one in 50,000 of us is probably at least slightly parthenogenetic.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 16 2015


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