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This question already has an answer here:

I read this story I think in an Isaac Asimov short story collection - not necessarily his.

It’s about a world where reproductive organs where converted to produce all kinds of materials.

The protagonist is pregnant and kept the option to give birth and nurse.

She studies something. In the end she gives birth to a starship main computer and receive a letter that gives her the happy news that she finished school and found fit to be a mother.

marked as duplicate by Otis, Jenayah, Edlothiad, Mithrandir, TheLethalCarrot Mar 10 at 17:32

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  • Hi there. That is some good info already; if you can, please take a look at these guidelines on story-ID, see if they trigger any more memories you could edit in :) – Jenayah Mar 9 at 23:21
  • Eeeeeeh... Just to clarify, when you say "she gives birth to a starship main computer", she programmed it or something, right? She did not literally give birth to a computer? (I guess not, given the letter she receives, but still) – Jenayah Mar 9 at 23:32
  • @Jenayah No, she literally gave birth to a gene-engineered construct designed to pilot a space ship. – DavidW Mar 10 at 1:27
  • @DavidW oof, delivery must've been something – Jenayah Mar 10 at 7:16
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That is most likely "Piecework" by David Brin.

It is also the (unaccepted) answer to this other question.

Women "produce" (give birth to) industrial equipment after having sex with men who have been genetically modified.

The story follows one woman who forgoes fast money. Instead, she studies hard to earn a license to produce the most valuable "product" of all: a human child.

She has to study hard over months or years and pass examinations to earn a license to be allowed to become pregnant and have a child.


I do not know where you and the person who asked the other question get the idea of a star ship brain being involved. This is the correct story, but you have that one detail wrong

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    Actually, her last (paid "egg-work") birth was a ship brain, possibly a star brain. You are mistaken on that point. – DavidW Mar 10 at 1:24
  • Accepted. JRE - I think there are two version to the story - one is the short version and then it was extended. – Yeshai Moskovitch Mar 10 at 7:24
  • You people are awesome - tnx! – Yeshai Moskovitch Mar 10 at 7:39
  • I too have that story, and it did refer to a "star brain". I also found it on Google Books: books.google.it/… – LSerni Mar 10 at 22:39

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