Buildings built by bacteria

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7 Responses to “Buildings built by bacteria”

  1. SF author Joan Slonczewski, an actual, working microbiologist, rocks this concept in a lot of her books.

    • Gulliver says:

      I was going to say, authors such as Slonczewski have been writing about bio/nano biotechture and von Neumann vanguards for literally thirty or forty years. Bruce Sterling even covered it in a non-fiction book back in ’02. Peter F. Hamilton has a whole frikin’ Tolkien-sized space opera about it. When I wrote some stories with comparable settings, I knew full well I was ripping off a grand old SF trope.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Arkenberg is charting the progress toward realizing such technologies and bringing it to the attention of the wider public, but it’s in no way shape or form even remotely new, and that article makes nary a mention that fabulists, futurists and technologists have all been chipping away at that mine face for the better part of half a century.

      • Mitchell Glaser says:

        Larry Niven came up with “architectural coral” to build houses out of on colony planets. I used to think that grow-your-own-house was one of those futuristic ideas that could be realized fairly soon. But unfortunately it is sitting somewhere with my flying car.

  2. billstewart says:

    William Gibson’s fictional world is here, it’s just not evenly distributed.

  3. Dewi Morgan says:

    I think the biggest problem with this is going to be the idea of deliberately contaminating an alien world with bacteria. Sure, we’ve done it a teensy bit already with our probes for all the care we’ve taken to sterilize them.

    Personally, I’m in favor of terraforming all the planets we can, but only once we’ve studied; only slowly and carefully, making sure that our studies don’t contaminate each other.

  4. Luther Blissett says:

    We are Borg. You will be assimilated.

  5. ifthereishope says:

    When I saw this I instantly thought of Frank Miller’s Ronin comic book from the 80s (which changed the way I thought about pretty much everything). http://www.sci-fi-o-rama.com/2008/12/22/frank-miller-ronin-1/

    The dystopian possibilities are endless…

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