A Birthday

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"A Birthday" is a 1995 science fiction short story by American writer Esther Friesner, about abortion. It was first published in the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Plot summary[edit]

Women who have had abortions are forced to view and interact with computerized recreations of the hypothetical children they could have had.


"A Birthday" won the 1996 Nebula Award for Best Short Story,[1] and was a finalist for the 1996 Hugo Award for Best Short Story.[2]

At the SF Site, Dave Truesdale called it "fascinating, if disturbing", noting that while it was "as fresh as tomorrow's headlines", it was nonetheless evocative of material published "in the (19)50s heyday of Galaxy."[3]

Friesner has described the story as "super-dark".[4]


  1. ^ 1996 Nebula Awards, at Science Fiction Writers of America; retrieved September 20, 2018
  2. ^ 1996 Hugo Awards Archived 2011-05-07 at the Wayback Machine, at TheHugoAwards.org; retrieved September 20, 2018
  3. ^ Nebula Awards 32, edited by Jack Dann, reviewed by Dave Truesdale, at the SF Site; published 1998; retrieved September 20, 2018
  4. ^ InterGalactic Interview With Esther Friesner, by Darrell Schweitzer, in InterGalactic Medicine Show; retrieved September 20, 2018

External links[edit]

A Birthday title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database