SH Flashback: “Origin,” by Ari Goelman

Here's the next Strange Horizons Flashback story:

Origin,” by Ari Goelman
A human superheroine who's dating an alien superhero discovers that she's pregnant. (Published in 2009.) (5,600 words.)

"I should never date other supers," I say, not for the first time. I put my hand on my stomach. Crap. I can barely keep a spider plant alive. There's no way I'm ready to be a mother.

(See also the full list of Flashback stories.)




I found this story mostly fun and sweet. I do wish I had asked the author to remove the line about autism; in that context, it kinda sounds like it's suggesting that autism is a common cause of infant death. But other than that, mostly fun and sweet. Some lines I enjoyed:

Our agreement said nothing about using the embryo's excess stem cells to help create a new class of killer robots that can regenerate and recombine with one another at will. A man has a right to his hobbies.


I don't have to fight. I have everything I need to be happy already inside me.


"Child proofing," he says like it should have been obvious. "That place was all hard corners."

And I particularly liked this:

Almost forty million babies have been born since we found out we were pregnant. I was protecting them. Trying to protect them.

And the followup:

"I won't be able to protect her," he tells me. "Not totally and completely. Things will happen to her that I can't control."

...The fact that all the lines I'm quoting are from the men in the story may perhaps be an indicator that the story is overly focused on them and their wants and needs and reactions, rather than on the protagonist's wants and needs and reactions. But even so, I like the story.

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