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"I have been a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled 'Science Fiction' and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Hyper-Developed Mulies  
  Bioengineered animals that optimally transform vegetable matter into usable mechanical energy.  

A half-dozen hyper-developed mulies crouched on their treadmills, their rib cages billowing slowly, their flanks streaked with salt lines of sweat residue from the labor of winding Lalji’s boat springs. They blew air through their nostrils, nervous at Lalji’s sudden scent, and gathered their squat legs under them. Muscles like boulders rippled under their bony hides as they stood. They eyed Lalji with resentful near-intelligence.

One of them showed stubborn yellow teeth that matched its owner’s.


Lalji made a face of disgust. “Feed them.”
“I already did.”
“I can see their bones. If you want my money, feed them again.”
The man scowled. “They aren’t supposed to get fat, they’re supposed to wind your damn springs.” But he dipped double handfuls of SoyPRO into their feed canisters.

From The Calorie Man, by Paolo Bacigalupi.
Published by F&SF in 2005
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