What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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UNSOLVED: One specific book > SciFi- Virus targets women for Population control

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message 1: by Sally (new)

Sally (sal_pal) | 3 comments I read a book in the summer of 2009 that was about a scientist who released a virus that either sterilized or killed (Can't remember) women in order to address overpopulation. It was *not* Dan' Brown's Inferno, and I don't *think* it was The White Plague by Frank Herbert. I got it at a used bookstore so I'm not sure if it was new at that time or old.

The only specific detail I remember is that one of the characters specifically explained the reason for the virus via a thought experiment about 101 people on an island, and how if there were 100 men and 1 woman, after a year there could be 1 baby; but if there were 100 women and 1 man, there could be 100 babies, and that's why the virus specifically targeted women.

I remember there was an important female character, maybe the main character. I think there was a female scientist trying to stop the virus, and a male scientist who released it, but may have that backwards.

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!


message 3: by Justanotherbiblophile (last edited Mar 05, 2018 01:25PM) (new)

Justanotherbiblophile | 1767 comments _The White Plague_ was killing women, as revenge for an IRA bombing (was s'posed to limit to Ireland... but whoops) which took the MC's wife + kid. There was a female scientist, for a moment, but she died.


message 4: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39275 comments Mod
Possibly Dryland's End?


message 5: by Justanotherbiblophile (last edited Jan 18, 2019 06:32AM) (new)

Justanotherbiblophile | 1767 comments Also, that thought experiment is *so* bogus.

Mostly male island will probably end up with far fewer than 101 people on it. Maximum increase is plus one baby. Good likelihood infanticide, however. Non-zero chance that the woman doesn't make it either; killed in conflict/rape or sacrificed to reduce conflict - much less any medical issues with childbirth. That's presuming she's willing to carry the child of potential mass-murderer(s), which there is a good possibility will be her only option for a mate.

Second island, almost certainly fewer than a 100 babies, although that is a theoretical maximum. There'd most likely be some that had issues being born (stillbirth, miscarriages), and some women won't make it through childbirth (lose the mother and the kid). If proper medical care was to be magically had, there's still the issue of hidden estrus and perhaps the McClintock effect (may not exist). Unless the guy is a satyr, he may have issues servicing all the women every day that they need to be serviced within the first 2 months (min 3/day, more likely 9-12 a day, assuming women are maximally dispersed on estrus - might have to do 24/day or more a day if he's unlucky in how the estrus falls - ie: artificial insemination would most likely be needed, might be eyedrop low-tech based, however). He'd get a slight decrease in his workload after the ones he did knock up after month 2 (assuming they were honest, and they didn't have miscarriages later). But he only has one more month to get the remainder pregnant. Massive assumption that he's fertile, in good enough condition, and lives long enough to get everything done. One heart attack, and he dies happy in bed - and possibly no babies. That's also assuming none of the women are gay, have any issues with sharing him, and can't wait to get knocked up, etc. Personally, I'd hazard a much lower guess on viable babies for the second island; on the order of 20-50 babies (assuming optimal fertile females who desperately want children, know their cycles, haven't had any disruptions, yadda, yadda, yadda) with all natural methods - eyedrop AI might bump this up a bit, however.


message 6: by MJ (last edited Jan 06, 2017 02:56AM) (new)

MJ | 1382 comments Justanotherbiblophile wrote: "Also, that thought experiment is *so* bogus.

Mostly male island will probably end up with far fewer than 101 people on it. Maximum is one baby. Good likelihood infanticide, however. Non-zero chanc..."


LMAO. Well said JAB.

In these kind of books, I've always thought they'd be better to target the males anyway, but then, if they wiped out the females, but a few survived, it's still a slow population growth potential. But if they targeted the males and a few slipped thru, well, with all the free womb space running around, there's a chance of a fairly speedy baby boom.

Doesn't that just suck for team XX :/


message 8: by MJ (new)

MJ | 1382 comments Trilobyte wrote: "Implosion"

At the bottom of the Implotion page, there's a thread about forced breeding books... Might find your book in there... Maybe?

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 9: by Andy (last edited Jan 06, 2017 07:42AM) (new)

Andy Love | 2095 comments Possibly "Seventy Years of Decpop" by Philip Jose Farmer (described here) http://strangehorizons.com/non-fictio...

This story was republished in 2006 in Pearls from Peoria Pearls from Peoria so that might be where the OP read it.


Justanotherbiblophile | 1767 comments From the review:

“Seventy Years of DecPop,” featured in “Lost Futures.” DecPop means steadily decreasing population, thanks to an antioverpopulation zealot named Clabb who released an aerosol that rendered nineteen out of every twenty people sterile. While most of the action takes place in the small Illinois city of Busiris (another mythical element Farmer slips in), the planetary ramifications over the course of seven decades—personal, sociological, economic—are not ignored. Some may find all this extra detail to be story halting, but sticking through it will make the reader feel as if seventy years really have passed by story’s end, with the world becoming a strange place indeed—though in some ways unsettlingly familiar.


message 11: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39275 comments Mod
Sally, are you still looking for this or did you find it?


message 12: by Sally (new)

Sally (sal_pal) | 3 comments Lobstergirl wrote: "Sally, are you still looking for this or did you find it?"

I'm still looking, none of these were it.


message 13: by Gary (new)

Gary E | 8 comments Are you certain it was a book and not a movie?

This plot sounds familiar to me but I think it was a movie not a book but my mind might be playing tricks on me.

Or maybe it was an episode of a TV show I am thinking of.

yeah that is it . . . it was an episode of Stargate SG-1 season 4 episode 16. The Episode was called 2010 and appeared in January of 2001. In other words years before you said you read the book in question.

Oh well. I 'll leave this post here in case anyone comes up with the same "brilliant" idea I did. LOL

Or on the off chance that episode was part of the motivation for the book you read. Or if it was an older book who knows maybe the episode was based on the book?


message 14: by Sally (new)

Sally (sal_pal) | 3 comments Gary wrote: "Are you certain it was a book and not a movie?

This plot sounds familiar to me but I think it was a movie not a book but my mind might be playing tricks on me.

Or maybe it was an episode of a TV ..."


I've seen that, it's definitely not what I'm thinking of. No aliens or space travel involved in the book.


Justanotherbiblophile | 1767 comments *population control 2021 bump*


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