The scene takes place in a hatchery where
humans are being created artificially.
He pointed. On a very slowly moving band a
rack-full of test-tubes was entering
a large metal
box, another, rack-full was emerging
faintly purred. It took eight minutes for the tubes
to go through, he told them. Eight minutes of hard
X-rays being about as much as an egg can stand.
A few died; of the rest, the least susceptible divided into two; most put out four buds; some eight;
all were returned to the incubators, where the
buds began to develop; then, after two days, were
suddenly chilled, chilled and checked. Two, four,
eight, the buds in their turn budded; and having
budded were dosed almost to death with alcohol;
consequently burgeoned again and having budded
– bud out of bud out of bud – were thereafter –
further arrest being generally fatal – left to develop in peace. By which time the original egg was
in a fair way to becoming anything from eight to
ninety-six embryos – a prodigious improvement,
you will agree, on nature. Identical twins – but not
in piddling twos and threes as in the old viviparous
days, when an egg would sometimes accidentally
divide; actually by dozens, by scores at a time.
But one of the students was fool enough to
ask where the advantage lay. “My good boy!” The
Director wheeled sharply round on him. “Can’t
you see? Can’t you see?” He raised a hand; his
expression was solemn. “Bokanovsky’s Process is
one of the major instruments of social stability!”
Standard men and women; in uniform batches.
The whole of a small factory staffed with the products of a single bokanovskified egg.
“Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six
identical machines!” The voice was almost tremulous with enthusiasm.
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley, 1932.