Our belly buttons are our first scar. Today I had a small surgery on my belly button. Usually, I am nonchalant about scalpels, needles, and doctors, but this time there was a primordial, nervy fear around having someone carve my original connection to my mother.As I was waiting in the room, I was reading the dystopian novel We, by Yevgeni Zamyatin and in it there is a reference to making society more orderly by surgically removing such faculties as the power to love, to question and to imagine. The reaction I had to this was oddly parallel to my feeling about my forthcoming surgery. It was as if someone had uprooted me, attacking the very essence of my conception. Are we capable of this I wonder? I have a deep suspicion that we can if we become so depraved and if our sentiments become so cut-off from our humanity. That is why I love dystopian literature. This is why I wrote Surrogate Colony. I am terrified of murder mysteries and horror. I am simply too anxious to read that stuff. But dystopian literature is different; it works as a cautionary tale and it is separate enough from our lives for the fear to be less visceral. You might see the scalpel and the doctor, but it isn’t attacking your belly button.