Friday, July 31, 2009

C M Kornbluth's "The Education of Tigress McCardle" (short story, humor): An unusual population control program

This is a frame story. Frame is of an unarmed unopposed leisurely US invasion by China; a wily Chinese man has sold the US government an unusual & all too effective population control idea!

But the really interesting & very funny story is the one within the frame - the population control story. Very beautiful.

Story summary.

In this era of "Parental Qualifications Program" ("PQP"), George McCardle & his wife Tigress have decided to have a baby.

PQP regulations require them to get a breeding permit from government. To get the permit, they need to care for the "Toddler", a robot baby the government gave them on application, for 3 months.

Looks easy enough; prove that you can live with the demands of a baby. Only this is a super-cranky baby, designed to ensure the aspiring parents will give up the idea in days...


  1. I suspect frame part satirizes a specific US President of the period. But I'm not familiar with issues locals had with their Presidents to figure it out.

Collected in.

  1. Isaac Asimov & Martin H Greenberg (Eds)' "Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 19 (1957)".

Fact sheet.

First published: Venture Science Fiction, July 1957.
Rating: A.
Related: Stories of C M Kornbluth.


Notkieran said...

I always read the story has satirising "King Elvis". Or "Purvis".

The Hound Dog iconography at the end of the frame story was the clincher, in my opinion