research * the future * culture

"Milk+" now at The Orphan!

You can read my story, “Milk+” at The Orphan. Snip:

Braxtin had no need for the milk bar until a week after starting Milk+. By then, her breasts already felt stretched and sore, and a hot little knot of pain had tightened between her shoulders. But according to the pamphlet inside her free box of Milk +, her new breast milk contained a more even distribution of fats and sugars, thus eliminating the peaks and valleys created by conventional insulin release. Lev fed steadily, cried less, and napped more. Braxtin could have wept with relief.

Steadying Lev’s stroller with one hand with baby bag and her canvas grocery tote hanging from her other elbow, Braxtin swung the keychain before a card-sized black panel and stepped through the softly chiming doors. Like deer troubled by a passing car, the heads of three nursing mothers rose to watch her from their curved, ultra-modern sofas. Despite their differences in height and race, their breasts seemed disproportionately distended and heavy, as though a bad comic book artist’s Oedipal fantasy had come bizarrely and painfully true. Stretch marks like root systems began at their necks and climbed ever downward.

I’ve been wrestling with this story for a long time. Thankfully, Brendan Byrne was willing to adopt my li’l orphan and give it a home. You should check it out, if only just to see Molly Crabapple’s excellent illustrations. They’re creepy and juicy and gorgeous, and the illustration to the right of my story is a better companion for it than I could ever have wished for. Go take a look.

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  1. PixelFish

     /  November 18, 2009

    Having read my share of the mommy blog wars (formula vs. milk; crib vs. cosleeping, how long til you wean, etc) I think this reads fairly accurately.

    • Thanks! I had really wanted to dig into how mums undermine each other as a reflection of how the mommy industry undermines them, and part of that is rendering the conflicts accurately. Phew!

  2. MtM

     /  November 19, 2009

    As a midwife I read the above with a curious mind set and was blown away. It was written so well describing a whole lot of what is going on with pregnant/new mothers (which is pretty scary stuff)… 🙂 Well done.

  • Madeline Ashby…

    ...is a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She writes a column for the Ottawa Citizen. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and Jason Richman at UTA. You can buy her books here.

    She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity, Tor.com, MISC Magazine, FutureNow, and elsewhere.

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