This story was written in by Judith Merril and I take no credit for it. I am simply uploading my favorite short story to share with you. Margaret reached over to the other side of the bed where Hank should have been. Her hand patted the empty pillow, and then she came altogether awake, wondering that the old habit should remain after so many months.
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Return to Book Page. That Only a Mother by Judith Merril. Get A Copy. More Details Other Editions 2. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about That Only a Mother , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3.
Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of That Only a Mother. Nov 05, Riju Ganguly rated it really liked it. Capturing the greatest of all fears of the cold-war era, this dark story is going to pierce the thickest of skins, despite we all knowing that something is coming!
And I read it this morning! Man, the day suddenly looks gloomier. Better find something chipper, and fast! Nov 18, Alex rated it it was amazing. This is an excellent and complexly dark story. You can listen to it for free over on PseudoPod. Oct 23, Sami Eerola rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-in A choking and terrifying short scifi horror story. I can understand why this is a classic.
Even when the plot twist is revealed to not be in today's age original, it was still impactful. The saddest thing is that i could not find a copy of this story in any short story collection here in Europe. The only free version that i could fine was a audio book stream from seudopod. View 2 comments. Nov 03, Antero Tienaho rated it it was amazing. Kertakaikkisen mainio scifi-novelli. Esipuheineen alle puoli tuntia.
Aug 04, Tim Pendry rated it liked it Shelves: twentieth-century , science-fiction , north-american , warfare , psychology , horror. Set in but written in well before the invention of the ICBM , this story captures all the Atomic era fears of ordinary Americans about the effects of radiation on human reproduction and has added piquancy because it is written by a woman. This is quite skilled piece, building up our expectation of the 'punch line' by allowing the mother to offer hints of what is to come which she simply refuses to acknowledge herself through her reports of interactions with other people.
However, clos Set in but written in well before the invention of the ICBM , this story captures all the Atomic era fears of ordinary Americans about the effects of radiation on human reproduction and has added piquancy because it is written by a woman.
However, closer scrutiny suggests that the father's surprise should be no surprise given earlier communications with a maternity nurse but the story requires its punch line so that's that. Interesting though because it articulates what must have been a private fear for many parents. History has proved it to have been an exaggerated fear but the fear was rational enough. I and others born in the mids in Britain almost certainly have trace strontium in our bone growth from the covered up Windscale incident in and who knew what that meant then.
Aug 22, Andy Hickman rated it liked it. Jun 28, Laur-Marian Mertea rated it liked it. The fact that I've listened to this story, instead of reading it, really helped. Overall the idea is simple and probably fairly common for those years, but the author does a great job and still delivers a good read, although you can see the punchline from a mile away.
May 10, Steph rated it liked it Shelves: school-related. Short story read for sci-fi class. Great twist! Feb 02, Donyae Coles rated it liked it. I'm not sure how I felt about this whole thing. I don't think this story would have worked in other time than it was written in. Consequences of a long atomic war. I didn't see that twist coming. Feb 01, Kara rated it it was amazing Shelves: pulp , sci-fi.
Fears of the Nuclear Age taken to a whole new level. Quite the shocker ending! Jun 25, Anthony Salazar rated it really liked it.
As the sci-fi genre grows, older content seems to fade and lack excitement. That's the case with this short story--though I do suspect it being popular when originally published. Jun 07, Mark Collins rated it it was amazing. Mutations follow prolonged nuclear war. Jan 23, Chris Aldridge rated it it was ok Shelves: mindwebs. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A pregnant woman worries about the possible effect of radiation on her unborn baby her husband worked on the design of the bomb at Oak Ridge.
Set in , she has to wait for first the baby to be released by the hospital, and then 18 months for her husband to be allowed home leave.. Jul 10, Jessica Meyers rated it really liked it Shelves: recommend , reviewed , older-books , speculative-fic , favorites , makes-you-think.
Merril does an amazing job of delivering a disturbingly brilliant tale. This one will stick in your mind for quite some time. I recommend it to anyone who like creepy stories. Feb 21, Misha Smith added it. Mar 30, Kaleigh rated it did not like it. Of the poorest taste, offensive, etc. Mar 22, Charlotte rated it liked it Shelves: uit-eigen-wil. Well, that creeped me out.
Mar 24, Sage Maria rated it really liked it Shelves: Apr 15, Jon Cronshaw rated it liked it. You can listen to my review on episode of the Short Science Fiction Review podcast. Sep 25, ShilvaH And her books rated it really liked it. I enjoyed it. Oct 25, Mckinley Inglis rated it really liked it Shelves: creepy , good.
Well that was weird Marlee rated it it was amazing Sep 26, Jim Davis rated it liked it Feb 05, Jon R. Meyers rated it really liked it Oct 05, Bonnie Jo rated it liked it May 01,
The All-Time Top 40: That Only a Mother, Judith Merril (#43)
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That Only a Mother
The story is set five years in the future in World War III has been going on for several years. Unlike in many other depictions, it is seen as a prolonged war, which does not destroy all civilization at once - but extensive use of nuclear bombs causes radiation poisoning and has led to a rash of mutated babies it is implied that only a small fraction of pregnancies result in the birth of normal children. The first part of the story is told in the form of letters from the pregnant Margaret to her husband Hank, a "technical lieutenant," on assignment. In these letters we learn of Margaret's fears of giving birth to a mutant, disturbing tales of infanticide by the fathers of deformed babies, her successful labor, and the rapid development of the newborn. The daughter, named Henrietta, is extremely precocious, speaking in complete sentences by the time she first meets her father at the age of ten months.