Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"...a market economy is essentially a genetic algorithm for solving resource allocation problems..."
- Charles Stross

Fabricow  
  Cattle and other creatures that create gene-designed biomachinery in their wombs.  

A fabricow might also produce complex synthetic chemicals instead of milk. Poor women might do this as well.

It annoyed Io's best friend to give birth to a four-kilo cylinder of tightly wound, medium grade, placental solvent filters.

For five long months Perseph had kept to a diet free of sugar, sniff, or tobac – well, almost free. The final ten weeks she'd spent waddling around in the bedouin drapery fashion decreed for pieceworkers this year. And all that for maybe two thousand Eurodollars worth of industrial sieves little better than a fabricow might produce!

Perseph was really ticked.

Outwardly, Io made all the right sympathetic sounds, though actually she had little use for her friend's anger. It had been Perseph's choice to hire her womb to a freelance codder of dubious pedigree, without even vetting him through an agent...

Twenty-four hours a day, lorries pulled out from the milking sheds and parturition barns, carrying bulk loads of gene-designed oils, polymers, and industrial membranes. The mass production of specially bred fabricows dwarfed the output of smalltime contractors like Perseph or Io. Rumour had it ICI housed their pampered creatures here on the south bank to intimidate the pieceworkers living in derelict marinas and towering co-op houseboats nearby.

If so, the cattle yards had an effect on Io opposite to that intended. They boosted her morale, reminding her that there were still some things neither animals nor machines could do as well as a human craftswoman. No fabricow would ever produce wares as fine as hers!

From Piecework, by David Brin.
Published by Not Known in 1990
Additional resources -

This piece of exposition from the story illustrates another use of this technology:

Today, gene-tailored microbes refine gold and other vital elements directly from sea water. Organic solvents, once unbelievably dumped into sensitive watersheds by shortsighted businessmen, are now recycled through filters grown specially for the purpose by pampered, well-fed fabricows. And these same animals' modified milk glands produce lubricants to replace long-vanished petroleum oil in our vehicles. In this way we make use of efficient fabrication methods evolved over billions of years by Nature herself.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 3 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Piecework
  More Ideas and Technology by David Brin
  Tech news articles related to Piecework
  Tech news articles related to works by David Brin

Fabricow-related news articles:
  - Pharm Animals - Engineered Goat Makes Drugs In Milk

Articles related to Biology
Tsunami Forecasts Improved By Ionosphere Signals
EctoLife Concept Video Artificial Womb For Baby Mass Production
T. Gondii And The Leaders Of The Pack
Alien Eyes - Here On Earth!

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

'Courier Commons' By Tomorrow Lab, From Karl Schroeder (and Bruce Sterling?)
'The pokkecon rang again. *The coffee’s for him?* Tsuyoshi said.'

Terrifying Robotic Apple Harvester
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant.'

Mechanical Horse Sculpture Gallops In Place
'Rod placed the brain inside the panel... the horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

'Make Sunsets' Tweaks Climate By Atmospheric Alteration
'Pina2bo would have to operate full blast for many years to put as much SO2 into the stratosphere as its namesake had done in a few minutes.'

Eviation Alice Electric Plane First Flight
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...'

Hotels Turn To Robots As Human Workers Regroup
'Chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Changesite Mineral To Be Mined On Moon By China
'But then... not every bulldozer operator works on the Moon.'

Tongue-Controlled Tong Wearable Mouth Computer
'Griff found the white and pink map distracting and switched it off using his tongue mouse.'

Is It Better To Be Short?
'He was one of the smaller, energy-saving new breed...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.