Men Are Trouble

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Men Are Trouble, a novelette written by James Patrick Kelly, is about a private investigator trying to discover why a woman committed suicide just after she got married.  To another woman.  In a world without men.


Fay has grown up in a world without men.  When the devils came to the world, they obliterated half of the human race, only leaving the women.  Several generations have passed since then, and the race survives by being “seeded” by the devils, and only girls are born.  But still, there are woes in the world, sadness, anger, hostility.

Fay is investigating the suicide of a young woman who had just been married the day before.  And as she discovers the reasons for the suicide, the reader is introduced to a society of only females, and the many roles they have taken since the men disappeared.


A world without men?  Would that be a good thing or a bad thing?  Hmmm…  ok, ok, it would be bad.   😉

The most enjoyable part of this story was that it was laced with sarcasm and witty remarks.  My favorite: “I knocked hard enough to wake Marilyn Monroe.”  How appropriate that an iconic sex symbol is still remembered in a world of only females?  I also loved the specific talk of shoes.  I suppose some things will never change.

It was interesting to read and to rationalize that human nature would not change just because there is only one gender.  The world in this story was not more peaceful, and it was not full of daisies and potpourri without men around.  The science fiction detail was thought provoking as well.  A society intertwined with devils and robots… fascinating.  (Although one could argue that men sometimes pull off those roles just fine…)


  • Page Count: 41
  • Word Count: 16,777
  • About the Author: Did you know that James Patrick Kelly is the winner of a Nebula Award?  Yep!  Read more about this author at his website.


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2 thoughts to “Men Are Trouble”

  1. Thanks for the kind review. This has long been one of my favorite stories. Thought you might be interested to know that I just sold a second Fay Hardaway novella to Asimov’s. It’s scheduled for the Mar/Apr double issue.

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