[LMB] Not quite a butterbug

Judy R. Johnson jrj at fidalgo.net
Mon Sep 26 00:36:01 BST 2011

-----Original Message-----
From: lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk
[mailto:lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk] On Behalf Of Tom Vinson
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 7:56 AM
To: Bujold List
Subject: [LMB] Not quite a butterbug

Pandas are possibly more efficient than termites at processing cellulose.


Unfortunately, if my memory isn't playing tricks, Barrayar doesn't have any
mammals at all, let alone large herbivores.

NEW from JRJ> Wonder if there would be any advantage to having herds of
large animals roaming Barrayaran plains rather than an equal biomass of
butter bugs?  

But why can't Enrique put Panda-gut bacteria into anything to do the
terraforming?  Well, just about.  Seems like he could start with
earth-derived equines and so forth, animals that have some economic value
other than food, since the vats produce all the necessary protein.  Of
course, there would be interest, likely, from whoever wants to more cheaply
produce the whole beef for banquets.  ...Nah, there's enough terraformed
acreage by now to supply that.

Would it be necessary to bioengineer complementary predators?  Or, since
they would all start out domesticated, not?

How about worldbuilding a wildlife park to drive aircars through?  I can
think of several old SF books that feature this.  Telzey Amberdon got shot
down in one in one of James Schmitz's books, and there was one in the Solar
Queen series -- Andre Norton.  You could have sections with historical
animals from all planets, since bioengineering could produce any foods and
conditions they might need.  (Niven's zoo world, frex, had an Enrique
somewhere in its background).  Then the fun part, start with a whimsical
animal and build it and its biome simultaneously.

How much life insurance do they have on Enrique?  Replacements from the
Durona Group lined up?  Who's running the Tourism Ministry these days?  Can
Jin come play?

Entwife Judy
The Skiffy Minded

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