Saturday Storytime: Zombies, Condoms and Shenzhen: The Surprising Link Between the Undead and the Unborn

One of the lovely things about the F&SF culture wars (the only other one I can think of being that good people seem to be winning) is that it introduces me to writers I haven’t seen before whose work I’m likely to like. In Madelyn Ashby‘s case, I didn’t get more than a paragraph into a story picked at random before I needed to share. Ashby also writes very well reviewed futuristic novels.

First of all, I’d like to thank the editors of this website for soliciting a contribution from me. It’s not often that someone without an agenda wants to hear from a woman living the kind of life I live. Normally when an outsider asks my opinion, it’s because they secretly hope that I’ll cast aspersions on my husband or our five boys (and counting!). They always ask the clumsiest questions, like how hard it is to keep this acreage going, or whether I believe in science, or if I really think God wanted me to have those episiotomies. I almost never get asked about zombies.

But as a formerly academic woman later called to missionary work in China and moved to enter the Quiverfull lifestyle, and as a fan of Factory Girl and a regular consumer of MieMie fansubs, I feel I have a unique perspective on the fall of Shenzhen and the spread of Lan Caihe.

Keep reading.


  1. Emu Sam says

    That was disorienting. Where does reality leave off and fiction begin? I have Factory Girls beside me right now, a little more than halfway through; my cat’s name is Lan Caihe (note to self, now invalid for password creation); references to blogging and feminism and Quiverful; the author is in my head, writing to me to twitch all my interests.

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

  2. Anniemouse says

    I couldn’t wrap my head around the story; sadly, I know Quiverfull women in real life, and none of them are capable of science. For a woman with an education and skills, to devolve into the Quiverfull life requires a psychotic break, and they wouldn’t be any good as researchers or analysts after that.

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