14 May 2006: from Jacqueline Lichtenberg to Greer Watson
But eventually drugs might also be used on the Genfarms to ensure that
kids don't change over and kill the breeders during the night when the Gens
are sleeping. Sleeping pills for the teenagers, or something on those
lines. I have no trouble seeing this as delaying changeover, increasing
mortality rates, and—among survivors—causing assorted nasty complications.
But, again, this would be in “historical” times only. Before the time of
the books, obviously; but not necessarily a long, long time before.
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.
And yes, of course the pharmacology developes rapidly. It is established
that Gen civilization masters large civil engineering and large scale
manufacturing—gross applied science. Sime civilization, as it developes,
leans more to bathtub chemistry, small, high-knowledge-intensive
specialities. The beginnings of that lie in the commercial advantages of
learning to drug pre-Gens, and the whole Genfarm population is kept addicted
to something mild at least—Pens use heavy stuff.
And then of course they develop that fear drug used in HoZ.
Don't forget Zeor's speciality is dyes and textile design and manufacture—chemistry
That's Sime psychology and focus—plus the effect of “First Year”—once
harnessed and directed by deliberate schooling as in the Householdings, it
produces adults with a whole lot of education that out-T Gens don't get
without years of hard study.
And yes, the drugging of children during development of course produces
brain damage and other side effects. As long as it doesn't limit eventual
selyn production, who cares?
And yes, changeovers from that drugged population just never recover
fully—but again, who cares? They become the grunt labor, ditch diggers,
garbage collectors, etc.
If any Genfarmer post-Zelerod does believe the figures, they're happy to
keep the Sime population down!
I believe Jean has staked out the entertainment value of the pickled mutant
and freak show for her characters. Talk to her about it.
Greer's last e-mail
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