Malthusia is quite different from my other books, and combines my love of biology, sociology, and scifi. A 100% s 'big girl pants' tale, thought provoking dystopia world in the tradition of 1984 with deep, realistic brave characters.
Scroll down to see how the book was born.
Malthusia is a fictional alternate society in a pristine Earth, hidden and separate from our world, but using currently known scientific facts. The guiding principle for Malthusian society is population control. Genetic engineering, using various other species, including wolves, has resulted in only a fraction of the population developing the ability to reproduce, according to population pressure and social/personality factors.
Children are born intersex, and all are capable of developing into child-bearers (omegas) or child-sires (alphas). Most people (betas) remain intersex and reproductively inactive. Each individual is given a first name suffix on reaching adulthood. This proclaims their reproductive and societal status, ‘ish’ for alphas, ‘elle’ for omegas, and ‘en’ for betas.
Warning: This is a DARK world, with uncomfortable, but scarily possible, themes.
Currently there is one double-sized novel Fate, in the series; there will be more.
The birth of Malthusia
Malthusia has been gestating for around six years; its birth involved a mpreg father, a genetic engineering mother, and a speculative fiction surrogate with a fantasy style fetish. It’s a look into a possibility that is becoming increasingly plausible as science advances. It’s a story about the perils of unregulated experimentation, strength, and weakness of character, and a commentary on the pressures of politics, religion, and society.
Every now and again, I got it out, played with it, then stuck it back in the same drawer thinking that the world isn’t ready for it yet. The few people who have read it over the years have pushed me to publish for most of that time. Thanks to Nero, Stephanie, Debbie, Joy, and Stina for beta reading and giving me the courage to press the button.
So, how did I come to write Malthusia?
Even though I find myself able to accept magic, shifters, and demons in fiction, my background in biology has always balked at the mechanics of a man becoming pregnant and giving birth. Human men simply don’t have the anatomy. The mpreg tales I’ve read have fade to black births, or every pregnant male needing a c-section. That doesn’t sit right with my inner anatomist. Damn my logical brain for not being able to shrug and go with the flow of ‘it’s magic’.
Secondly, I’ve always been fascinated with the various reproductive strategies animals employ. Some species change gender according to need, including the clownfish. So if brave little boy fish Nemo had been real, his dominant nature would have eventually turned into ‘Ms. Nemo’. Most female clownfish have already mated and sired young as a male before becoming female and producing eggs. Other species go from female to male. I began to wonder what would happen if someone did some gene splicing between these gender-fluid species and humans as they do in GM crops. But why would such experiments be attempted?
The specter of overpopulation has been frightening humanity for centuries. Robert Malthus, in his 1798 book, An Essay on the Principle of Population, proposed that humanity would outgrow our ability to produce food, leading to mass starvation, and the collapse of human civilization. I bet he was popular at dinner parties.