It was about a medical trial for a menopause treatment that ends up being essentially the fountain of youth (the reader can see this, the pharm company misses the forest for the trees), and then when several of the subjects get pregnant, the company halts the trial and abandons the research: unexpected pregnancy is too scary a side effect.

Can anyone help me identify the story and author?

  • Joe Haldeman wrote quite a few stories about immortality, so it might be worth checking them out. I can't place this one though, so this may well be a wild goose chase.
    – user56
    May 26, 2011 at 20:25
  • Any hint as to publication date?
    – Tony Meyer
    May 26, 2011 at 23:15
  • Hmm. It's the kind of thing John Varley used to do in the "Eight Worlds" stories, but doesn't ring a bell. May 27, 2011 at 2:12
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    Gilles, I'm pretty sure Haldeman didn't write it because I think he asked us to read it in the SF class he taught, and he didn't push his own work. Jun 16, 2011 at 20:14
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    As for publication date, if I'm remembering when I read it correctly, it was in an anthology that was assigned reading in a class I took 20 years ago. Style-wise, I'd say it was probably written in the 80s, but could have been 70s. Jun 16, 2011 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


I remember that story as being "Side Effects" by Walter Jon Williams from his anthology Facets.

A recklessly self-medicated doctor uses the patients at his health clinic to cash in on two pharmacology research grants at the same time, but the elderly female subjects in the study begin to show unusual side effects to the unorthodox cross-medication.

Hope you can find a copy, all good short stories, WjW is an excellent author!

  • The excerpt doesn't look familiar but I know I read Facets at some time, so that looks very likely! May 3, 2012 at 16:54

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