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I'm looking for a short story I read, probably online, within the last three years.

It is set on Earth in the near future. The main character is a young woman who becomes pregnant, but for some reason, over a certain period babies were born in the shape of spheres, or cubes, tetrahedra etc, instead of being, well... baby-shaped. The main character gave birth to a cube. I recall that cubic babies were particularly favored by nurseries and creches, as they could simply be placed on a shelf without causing problems, whereas the spherical babies would roll and bounce, and had a destructive side to them.

Eventually the phenomenon ended and normal babies were born again, leaving this strange cohort of geometrical children. The story followed the woman as she and her baby grew up, but I don't remember how the story ended (this is the main reason why I want to find it again!). I do remember that the cubic baby caused a rift between the main character and her mother. The mother had been putting pressure on her daughter to have a child, saying that her fertile years were running out and so on, but when the cubic child was born she completely rejected it and cut off contact with them.

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  • 9
    So that's how the Companion Cube came to be.
    – Clockwork
    Jun 30 at 19:45
  • Bradbury had one geometric baby (not widespread) in Tomorrow's Child, which is apparently original (has no prior credit) in the 1969 collection I Sing The Body Electric. Jul 2 at 1:38

2 Answers 2

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This appears to be "The Thing About Shapes to Come" by Adam-Troy Castro, published in Lightspeed Magazine, January 2014 and available online.

Monica’s new baby was like a lot of new babies these days in that she was born a cube.

It's a common thing:

More and more women were giving birth to cylinders and pyramids and crosses and rhombuses, with the vast majority of the newest generation emerging as playful spheres.

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  • 1
    Yes, that's it! Amazingly rapid service. Jun 30 at 20:02
  • 3
    Just read it-that's weird.
    – sueelleker
    Jul 1 at 8:52
  • 2
    That was.. strangely quite moving. Jul 1 at 19:27
  • A whole story for a bit of wordplay? Hmm.
    – fectin
    Jul 1 at 23:55
  • 1
    @fectin Isn't that a classic SF tradition?
    – DavidW
    Jul 2 at 0:27
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Good thing you answered it! Or I would have sworn it was Ray Bradbury's "Tomorrow's Child".

"He did not want to be the father of a small blue pyramid."

Yes this is not the answer! But "Tomorrow's Child" is so lightly humorous that I'm sure someone else must have thought of it.

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