[LMB] The Worlds of Lois

Lois McMaster Bujold lbujold at myinfmail.com
Sat Dec 15 21:46:49 GMT 2012

[LMB] The Worlds of Lois
CatMtn at aol.com CatMtn at aol.com
Sat Dec 15 21:28:00 GMT 2012

In a message dated 12/15/2012 1:32:38 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
mmegaera at nwlink.com writes:

MJ:  I don't remember textev (or Loisev) that you couldn't pay  for
variances and
thus have more than three children.  Quote,  please?

MD:  I understood that each Betan was entitled to one  child, with a
possibility of applying (and paying) for a second child.   Wouldn't that 
mean that
four children would be possible for a  couple?

LMB:  I've never sat down to work out all the details, but the general 
idea is, each Betan gets two half-child licenses. Partnering with 
another Betan, that comes to two kids per couple. (Or one might chose to 
be cloned, using up both halves, though I expect that's not too 
common.)  In addition, each year, whatever they have for a population 
council releases by lottery whatever number of extra child-licenses (or 
perhaps half-licenses?) they calculate the ecosystem needs/will bear.  
Persons who receive such are then free to use them, give them away, or 
sell them, which sets up a secondary market in child-licenses.

Third-child licenses are not terribly hard to come by.  It is possible 
that its is made harder as the numbers go up, in some sliding-scale fashion.

It seems probable to me that the gov't also reserves a certain small 
number to hand out as special rewards for especially high-achieving 
citizens, and I would imagine the Betans debate about that; the issues 
that grip them are probably not the same ones that would grip us.

Ta, L.

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