“Created He Them,” Alice Eleanor Jones, 1955 — Ann Crothers and her physically and emotionally abusive husband are two citizens in a post-nuclear holocaust future who are capable of producing viable children (“breeding true”) for the state. Any children they have will be taken away at the age of three. In exchange, children bring a small government benefit to the household. Children are also commodities, in a sense, as the other women around her are so desperate merely to see a child that if she takes her children for a stroll, women will bribe her into allowing them to view or hold the children. Often, from such trips, she returns laden with precious commodities and a few treats for the children. Despite these small benefits, Ann’s life is that of a continually traumatized mother and emotionally-battered wife. At the conclusion, during a fight with her husband, she vows to kill him, but her threat simply turns him on. He orders her upstairs to the bedroom. She considers resisting, but eventually gives in; she can get through it with the help of a sleeping pill.
Comments: Read in Daughters of Earth, followed by a critical essay, “From Ladies’ Home Journal to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction: 1950s SF, the Offbeat Romance Story, and the Case of Alice Eleanor Jones” (2006) by Lisa Yaszek.
Author: ISFDB entry. For more biographical information, see Eric Leif Davin’s Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction 1926-1965 (2006).