The Stars are Legion seems to be an entirely female-society. I've not completely finished the book, so the answer may well be in the last 60 pages, but this book tends to feel very vague on the details of how things actually work in the world. (Part of that is the unreliable narrator, who we know pretty much from the start doesn't remember what happened to them before the book began).

But I keep finding myself wondering, as the book seems very clear that this world/universe is completely female, how reproduction works. They mention people "coming out wrong" and one group believes the world gives them what they need as they need it (so they don't always, as I understand it, birth human creatures). There's also a lot of disease and such present. They can also swap wombs, and there is some discussion of how some people are seemingly better prepared to birth people/desired things than others.

Is there an in-universe explanation of how they create more people? They refer to themselves as human, so I'd expect that it'd work similar to normal human reproduction as we know it, but the distinct lack of males makes me wonder.

  • 1
    Strongly recommend that you finish reading the book before asking questions, because the answer to this question might be a spoiler :)
    – user111
    Mar 15, 2017 at 3:41

1 Answer 1


This answer contains spoilers for the book The Stars Are Legion.

I've read the entire novel and the question is never answered in depth. What becomes increasingly clear throughout the novel is that the Legion is the remnants of a civilization that was once much more scientifically/technologically advanced than the Legion is when the novel takes place. The characters have amazing tech, but no one seems clear on how any of it works beyond purely mechanical "put cog here" type of stuff. The only people who have any sort of understanding of how the ships work are "the witches" and they are insane.

There is also this line near the end of the book which shows that the organic "world" of the Moshki (and probably the other worlds) were constructed over metal skeletons:

"The world here is much worse off than the Katazyrna. The flesh has peeled back from all the walls to reveal rusted-out metal, twisted wiring, shriveled tendons. What really makes up the core of every world? Metal skeletons? Fashioned by whom? The gods? Did a god truly come all the way out here and shit out the Legion itself and fly on across the universe, or have we been here all along?"

This strongly suggests that the worlds were actually man made (although Zan doesn't seem to understand this).

The women produce "what the world needs" as you said -- and this includes children. It seems like most women do not birth children, but rather other parts for the ship. Sex is seemingly not needed for reproduction, but -- and this is important -- the women still experience sexual desire and they have sex with one another. The reason this is important is that it suggests that these people used to reproduce sexually. There is no need for a species that has always reproduced asexually to have a sex drive.

Therefore, I think the most likely answer is that some advanced civilization of humans wanted to create self-sustaining spaceships and they figured out a way for the ship itself to produce whatever it needs, partly by having the women occupants "birth" parts and children. The ship itself gets the women pregnant. The technicalities of how this works are not explained whatsoever. Jayd gets "treatments" prior to her pregnancies, but it is pretty clear that this isn't required to get pregnant. In fact, the people on the lower levels seem to expect women to just spontaneously turn up pregnant at more or less regular intervals. Zan's companions from the lower levels express surprise that she doesn't become pregnant like the rest of them during their long journey and once she thinks on it, Zan seems to agree with them.

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