Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"...the people dealing with these new technologies will still be derived from the human stock we're familiar with today."
- Charles Stross

  The odor created in enclosed space environments due to the need for bacilli for healthy soil.  

Each Concatenate world faced biological problems as it aged.

Fertile soil required a minimum of ten million bacterial cells per cubic centimeter. This invisible swarm formed the basis of everything fruitful...

But humanity and its symbionts had thrown aside the blanket of atmosphere...The circumlunar worlds had shields of imported lunar rubble whole meters deep, but they could not escape the bursts of solar flares and the random shots of backshots of cosmic radiation.

Without bacteria, the soil was a lifeless heap of imported lunar dust. With them, it was a constant mutational hazard.

The Republic struggled to control its Sours...Mutant fungi had spread like oil slicks, forming a mycelial crust beneath the surface of the soil

From Schismatrix, by Bruce Sterling.
Published by Arbor House in 1985
Additional resources -

Arthur C. Clarke skipped over this problem with Rama, which was probably the largest such environment in sf. As I recall, there was a sort of musty odor when they first entered the craft.

And, lest you think that soil bacteria is a dull subject with no possible interest, consider this:

The soil is a most amazing and largely undiscovered realm with over 2 million species. Although it forms part of the terrestrial ecosystems, it is nonetheless an entirely separate environment, not or hardly mixing with any of the other, the terrestrial, fresh water and oceanic realms. Soil species are biologically very varied because they cannot travel easily. Rivers, lakes, mountains and seas form impassable barriers, leading to intensive variation and specialization.
Read more at this cool New Zealand site.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Schismatrix
  More Ideas and Technology by Bruce Sterling
  Tech news articles related to Schismatrix
  Tech news articles related to works by Bruce Sterling

Sours-related news articles:
  - Gene Expression of Microbes Changes in Low Gravity Bioreactor
  - Unwanted Life Forms Abound In Sick Spacecraft
  - Bacteria Behave Differently In Space

Articles related to Biology
Svalbard Seed Vault (aka Doomsday Vault) Gets Upgrades
China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
Hackers Insert Malware Into DNA
Worms Eat Plastic Now

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.





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 Invention Timeline, or see what's New.





More News

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
'... setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all.'

Loomo Mini Transporter Robot Companion You Ride On
'Slowly the [robot] horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...'

AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
'The structure,... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times. It printed itself directly below us...'

Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
'These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected.'

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.