Tom Wilkie

Tom Wilkie is the science editor of the Independent.

Mares and Stallions

Tom Wilkie, 18 May 1989

From the peacock’s tail to the quiet of an English rose garden, the dominant message of the natural world is that of sexual reproduction. We are so used to its omnipresence that we seldom question it. Few writers have seriously explored what life would be like in a sexless but otherwise human society, although Ursula Le Guin, in her very effective Science Fiction novel The Left Hand of Darkness has tried to do so. Whether consciously or not, Ms Le Guin set the action of her novel on a planet where perpetual winter provides an appropriately gray and colourless backdrop. But even she could not quite sustain the imaginative leap required: once a month her characters acquire sexual characteristics, but at random – an individual may be male one month and female the next.’

Flavr of the Month

Daniel Kevles, 19 August 1993

Nothing in contemporary science seems to trouble the public more than genetic engineering. Despite the cloying sentimentality that Steven Spielberg has introduced into Jurassic Park, the film...

Read More

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences