by Caroline M. Yoachim
When Nora arrived at the fertility clinic, Jim was there, waiting. He was an amazing husband, hard working and kind, and made entirely of flesh. Nora's only regret was that they met too late to have a baby unassisted.
"How's Vivian?" Jim asked. "Did you see her baby?"
"A bundle of silverware isn't a baby," Nora said. Her sister's son was made of spoons carefully pieced together in the shape of a baby boy. Plenty of places sold human-looking bodies, but the current fashion was a less biological appearance.
Nora hated that everyone built children instead of bearing them. Her friends made children out of plastic wrap, quilted silk, and reclaimed wood from antique ships. The beach outside their apartment swarmed with fake children that didn't eat or sleep. Everyone insisted that SentiCore children loved their parents as well as any flesh-child did, but Nora found it hard to believe. "It's basically a robot, programmed to coo."
Jim shook his head. "He's not programmed. SentiCore generates a randomized blend of the parents' minds."
"Building a kid seems wrong," Nora said. Jim wanted children, and he didn't care whether they were flesh or not. He only agreed to come to the clinic because he knew how important it was to her. "Thank you for doing this."