Gynomorphs: Classic SF Novellas About Women Who Become Men
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by Jean Marie Stine
Category: Science Fiction
Description: Three Classic SF Novellas About Women Changed into Men. The number of female-to-male transsexuals has increased dramatically in recent years, and they have received much national publicity. But science fiction writers predicted the phenomenon more than three-quarters of a century earlier. Straight from the cutting-edge of the 1920s and '30s, when glandular research was first unearthing clues about the effect of the sex hormones on the body, here is a trio of dangerous visions in which the greatest authors of the time speculated about what might if science could transform females in to males. In "The Sex Serum," a young artist discovers his fiancee has been turned into a man by her scientist guardian, and swears to kill the guardian unless he turns her back. But neither fully understands the forces they are dealing with, leading to a final, unexpected conclusion. For psychiatrist David H. Keller, the notion was a horror, a repugnant act that could only upset the natural order of things, unleashing chaos and destruction, and his scientific-detective Science fiction is quick to put women back in their place and lecture them sternly about being good wives. But first, he must uncover the conspiracy of brilliant, Amazonian scientists he views as "The Menace." But, for Science Fiction Hall of Fame author, Stanley G. Weinbaum, the new discoveries about hormones becomes the departure point for a thought-provoking tale of a future dictator and a surprising love story. One of the cabal of men in the inner circle of a future dictator was once a woman. Why s/he is there and how it effects the future of the United States will surprise and thrill you! In addition there is an informative Introduction by transgender author Raven Kaldera and a list of recommended readings for those interested in learning more about this phenomenon. Whether you read this unique anthology for its insights into 1930s science fiction or into the contemporary female-to-male movement--read it!
eBook Publisher: Renaissance E Books/PageTurner, 2005
eBookwise Release Date: February 2005
6 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [218 KB]
Reading time: 144-202 min.
THE SEX SERUM
H. O. Dickinson
(Wonder Stories, October 1935)
From the original introductory blurb to "The Sex Serum" reprinted from the October 1935 Wonder Stories:
What makes a male, and what makes a female human being? Science, so far, has not been able to solve the Mystery. It is known, however, that during the first weeks of conception, the human fetus (unborn child) is neither female nor male; it has the characteristics of both male and female. Only later on the predominant sex begins to develop, and at birth the child is usually either male or female, but not necessarily always. There are even exceptions here, and not so infrequently it is impossible to tell whether the child is male or female because it may be both--the so-called hermaphrodite types.
Sooner or later, science will discover means by which it will be possible to change the human characteristics of sex at will. As a matter of fact, science is coming nearer to the solution every day.
You will find the present story--an entirely new solution in science-fiction--particularly absorbing, because there is no question that in the future it may happen. It is the first time that this subject has been used in science-fiction, and we congratulate our English author for having brought to us not only a novelty in science-fiction, but a masterful story as well.
* * * *
CHAPTER I: THE MANOR HOUSE MURDERS
I think that my vanity is forcing me to write, although I know as I set down the words in this almost illegible handwriting at it will get no farther than the bottom drawer of my desk. Yes, it will be fortunate if it ends there, for I am a very impulsive person and the wastepaper basket is nearby.
But when I reflect, it seems hardly fair to myself and all those people who were cheated out of the answer to a first-class mystery. Consider too that eminent man, Sir John Norton. I think the satisfaction he would derive from this transcript would more than compensate him for the inconvenience caused by striking out at least one case from his latest volume; "Unsolved Mysteries of the Twentieth Century."
I have read his fourth problem, "The Mount House Murders", with a smile upon my lips and that aloof and superior feeling which comes to a man who knows the truth. And why should I not smile? It is the only reward I will ever obtain from my knowledge. For you do not realize that I am the only person alive today who knows the real solution of a crime which baffled, and is still baffling, a whole country ... a unique position to be in, you will agree, and one that arouses any man's latent vanity.
I have kept the secret for a long time now so that no one would suffer from the telling of it--not that I think it would be believed, but it will pass as another of one of the more fantastic and imaginative theories that have often been advanced as explanations of a mystery which has for so long defied logical solution.
And again, further excuse for my vain and babbling tongue. Unusual stories are the fashion these days when every normal plot has fallen the prey of the modern literary mass-production machine, dealt with as a cow does its cud--chewed, twisted, turned about, contracted, reversed, dished up in a thousand different ways, then swallowed in disgust. And now it turns, with despairing howls, to Frankensteins, freaks, and mummified horrors for its sustenance.
Do you remember the Mount House murders, non-existent reader? The strange disappearance of both Professor Neville, the famous biologist, and his daughter Jeanette? Then there was the finding of the dead and battered body of an old lady in Neville's study and the half-dead body of a young man, since thought to be the Professor's son, lying by her side.
Perhaps too you recall how young Arnold Gilmour, Jeanette Neville's fiancee, wandered into the local police station with a mad look in his eyes and a week's beard upon his face, muttering monotonously that he had killed a man.
It was in the quiet summer weeks when there was no news, and how the papers feasted on it. What a mystery! What a murder! There was no apparent reason or motive for it. The whole country waited with a pleasant thrill for the trial of Gilmour, hoping that the truth would come out. But it never did, and you could almost hear a national cry of rage and exasperation when a warden walked into the young man's cell one morning and found him hanging by his braces from the barred window. Whatever his other crimes, they thought this most unsportsmanlike--not playing the game--and they received little consolation from saying he was mad.
There were many questions to be answered, and the theories advanced were as ingenious as they were far from the truth. But as Sir John points out in his book: "After careful consideration, there seems to me to be no sane motive for the murders. Any question of money we can rule out to a certain extent, for Gilmour had just previously experienced a considerable improvement in his financial position. And apart from this fact, the girl he was shortly about to marry was known by everyone to be the Professor's sole heiress. The question of fading love or jealousy too can be ignored as it is obvious that Jeanette was devoted to him." And where did the old lady come from? She had never been seen about Mount House before, nor had she ever been observed either in, or passing through, the village. The same applies to the half-killed youth. It was unfortunate that we could obtain no information from him. His life hung in the balance for many weeks and someone should have been rebuked for their carelessness in allowing him to disappear from the hospital one morning in the simple way he did. I regard this as most significant. The youth from his resemblance to the professor was thought to be his son, but it was never known that Neville had a boy, and neither was he ever heard mentioning any male offspring.
This bring us to a most important question: where did Gilmour dispose of the bodies of Professor Neville and his daughter? The police dug around Mount House for weeks, but not a trace of the bodies has been found to this day.
Sir John bemoans, "I have considered many theories to account for the above questions, but each one of them leaves many loose ends and only serves to make other points even more inexplicable. So, from the very small amount of evidence we have at our disposal, it is obviously foolish to speculate and I am afraid that it must forever remain one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the present century."
No, Sir John! Even in that you are wrong. Your mystery is solved, but only on this white paper and in the confined space of my bottom drawer. And there, if you but knew, you could find it!