“The Gender Plague” is a 1999 science fiction novelette by K. D. Wentworth. It is about an infectious disease that causes people to change gender overnight.
A True Gender Bender
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the opposite sex? C’mon, you know you have – I certainly have. Anyway, this very cool story goes a long way in explaining what might really happen if people started randomly changing back and forth between male and female.
Non-spoiler Summary in a Nutshell
Lance has a bit of a problem. He has been infected by the Gender Plague, and on the morning of an important business presentation he has become a woman. With no time to get treatment before work, he has no choice but to give the presentation as a lady – and that makes his conservative clients very unhappy. Oh well, at least he can go to the bar after work and relax. In fact while he’s there he meets someone who will help him realize that being either sex can be a good thing – in more ways than one! (Nudge nudge, wink wink!)
My Two Cents…
- The whole Gender Plague idea was a very fun concept, and it was cool to see how the characters dealt with it.
- Lance was a great character. I especially loved how he tried to fight his “female” feelings – and kept losing!
- This is one of those stories that is a very easy read. It is a great story told well, and made for a quick and delightful reading experience. Well done!
- Page Count: 25
- Word Count: 7,823
- Did you know that K. D. Wentworth is a retired elementary school teacher? Yep. You can learn more about this excellent author at her web site.
- Special thanks to Free SF Reader for suggesting this story.
Where You Can Find The Gender Plague:
- This short story first appeared in the 1999 collection Age of Reason: Stories for a New Millennium.
- You can read “The Gender Plague” for free online at the DayBreak Magazine web site.
Craving More Science Fiction Short Stories?
If you liked “The Gender Plague” then you might also enjoy “Stable Strategies for Middle Management” by Eileen Gunn – about a woman who has undertaken a drastic form of bioengineering as a way to move up the corporate ladder.