Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Judith Merril's "Project Nursemaid" (novella): Government's difficulties enrolling unwanted babies

I cannot point to any clear flaws in the story, but I kept putting it down frequently. Took me over a dozen sittings to finish it.

Story summary.

Set up is: For space exploration, babies raised in special low gravity environments are necessary, low-gravity environments not being very conducive for ordinary earth-raised adults.

So government has a program where it creates orphans to raise (on moon)! Because of moral issues involved, the program is a secret one.

So a certain military camp in the US has certain targets: so many babies to deliver (means recruiting young mothers of unwanted pregnancies), & so many "foster parents" to deliver (older women to nurse the babies).

Story is from the point of view of Colonel Edgerly whose job it is recruit both babies & their nursemaids.

Collected in.

  1. Groff Conklin (ed)'s "Six Great Short Science Fiction Novels".

Fact sheet.

First published: F&SF, October 1955.
Rating: B. 
Related: Stories of Judith Merril.