14 May 2006:   from Greer Watson to Jacqueline Lichtenberg





Dear Jacqueline,

You say:
       No, it's established that in the high-tech era of UNTO there's no way to delay changeover with drugs—it only results in the death of the subject.

Exactly.
        I'm sure Sime society would find it advantageous to develop such drugs (along with all the others you mention).   Why?   Delaying changeover protects the breeders from being accidentally killed by a young Sime changing over.   So it inevitably kills the kid—so what?!   As you say, keeping down the Sime population isn't something that is going to bother a Genfarmer.   They care only about the preservation of their property—which is to say, the breeders.
        Young Simes would, at the very least, be seen as predators on the Genfarm itself, since they would take their first kill from among the breeders.   Even after they leave the Gen villages, they would probably have been seen in the early days as competition for the tribute paid to the local Sime group.   Later on in history, once towns have started, Sime society would still be all too aware that a lot of the young Simes would turn Raider.   Raiders hunt on Genfarms as well as in Gen Territory.   (You have that established in canon.)
        So I'm sure Sime society would consider it a good thing to develop drugs to ensure that (most) Genfarm pre-Gens who go into changeover die before they can kill.   Or, at the very least (depending on the nature of the drug, not all of which necessarily work by causing delays, and the length of the delay it causes, if it's one that does cause delay), suffer permanent brain damage, so they aren't competent to join Freeband Raider bands, and so represent little competition.
        Naturally, there will be exceptions for one reason or another.   Exceptions, however, are the substance of story because they are exceptions.

Greer



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