Children are the future, as the song says, but what does the future hold for them? The future is going to change how we raise kids, for certain. It’ll change how we have kids, too. Maybe we’ll even get to a point where it’s par for the course for men to be pregnant—that’ll be something to see. Science has already brought us so far in terms of how we conceive and what we know about reproduction but there’s a lot more in store.
Science fiction is already full of designer babies and pre-programmed kids. But why have kids at all? Why not have full grown adults if one wants to expand the human race? Could parents really love and bond with a full-grown person who’s just stepped out of a vat looking like the best of mom and dad (or mom and mom, or dad and dad… or mom and mom and dad… you get the picture)?
If you really want a baby, or a toddler, in the future you might be able to pick your favorite age and order a custom android to suit your craving for the pitter-patter of little feet. Though, having a two-year-old with a pause button for when the phone rings feels a bit like cheating. Dianne and Anah have both wished for just that, mind you… more than once.
Zero-G playgrounds, perfect genetics, and even custom kitty-ears may lie in store for us in reality. In the meantime, kids will keep entertaining us in science fiction: tiny geniuses, pint-sized troublemakers, disease-vectors ready to introduce the common cold to the Zeta Quadrant, and the focus some of our favorite heart-warming scenes.
The future is going to need baby-proofing. Do they make child-safe latches for airlocks?
Anah Crow and Dianne Fox write sci-fi, paranormal, and contemporary queer romance for Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, and Amber Allure. They’ve been writing together for more than 10 years. You can find them on the web at anahcrowdiannefox.com and on Twitter at @anahcrow and @diannefox.