14 May 2006:   from Jacqueline Lichtenberg to Greer Watson


You wrote:
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 and art.

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.


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