If you're one of the many people who howled in pain upon reading the recently-released final trade of comic book Y the Last Man, then gendercide is probably on your mind. In that comic, as you'll recall, every man on the planet (except one) is wiped out and women are left to rebuild the world. This idea of gendercide, where one sex is eliminated or damaged irreparably, is one of the weirdest apocalypse scenarios in science fiction. And that's why we've dug up a list of the freakiest gendercides in fiction for your destructive pleasure.
Y the Last Man
Nature of the problem: In this comic book by Brian K. Vaughan, every male creature on the planet is wiped out except for our main character Yorick and his pet monkey. Because women are such a minority among world leaders, pilots, and scientists, it takes years for the world to get back on its feet again.
What caused it? This is a point of some debate, because the explanation – even to the characters in the comic book – is ridiculous. Apparently the first human clone that's born sends out some kind of weird death ray that wipes out all men.
Children of Men
Nature of the problem: In this novel-turned-movie, all women lose their ability to reproduce. So women aren't wiped out, but their main female superpower (getting pregnant and having babies) is.
What caused it? Unexplained epidemic of infertility among women.
Nature of the problem: A group of happy-go-lucky human astronauts arrive on a planet ruled by fierce women who exist in a bee hive-like society where there are very few males. And the males who do exist are very tiny and weak. This is one of the great L. Sprague de Camp novels of the mid-1950s, and it reads a lot like a really good (and campy) Star Trek episode.
What caused it? Apparently, like bees, these female-dominated aliens only grow strong if they eat certain substances. The men are never fed meat (MEAT!) so they grow up puny. As soon as they start eating meat, thanks to those meddling astronaut ladies, they get all burly and liberate themselves.
Hell Comes to Frogtown
Nature of the problem: An amazingly great/awful B-movie where the majority of men are wiped out and frogs rule the Earth. Women rove around the wilderness, kidnapping helpless men to use for their sperm. Luckily, Rowdy Roddy Piper is there to teach them to respect men for who they are, not just what they've got in their balls.
What caused it? Nuclear war and frog power.
Ethan of Athos
Nature of the problem: In this novel by Lois McMaster Bujold, there is no real problem for the men who live on Athos, happily co-existing in a homosexual paradise where everybody works to earn the right to rear a child grown in an artificial womb.
What caused it? Male separatism.
Nature of the problem: Nicola Griffith created a planet in this novel where all the human colonists are female, and no males have existed for a few generations. The women on the planet are fierce warriors and have learned to reproduce via some kind of vaguely-explained psychic parthenogenesis.
What caused it? A local disease wipes out everybody with a Y chromosome.
The Female Man
Nature of the problem: In Joanna Russ' brilliant experimental novel from the late 1960s, a group of separatist men is making war on women. They've eliminated all genetic women from their ranks, and only allow transsexual women to live among them.
What caused it? A feminist-led gender war for equality. Or so it seems. The novel is surreal enough that we never know for sure how it happened, or whether the war is just a figment of one character's imagination.
Nature of the problem: There are men and women, but sex between is no longer allowed on Earth. Men who desire women must travel across the universe to find them — which is why our heroes journey to the forbidden star system known as the "sex galaxy."
What caused it? Overpopulation led to the sex ban. Too many B-movies led to Sex Galaxy.