Greetings, all…this is the first article/whatever that
I've ever posted on here, so don't expect it to be
terrifically spectacular…. It's just a story idea of
mine that needs a bit of refinement before I can
incorporate it into a plot.
Basically, if you've read Larry Niven's the "Integral Trees", you probably have a good idea on the theory of life in a gas torus. Well, I have no intentions of writing a story like that, but I was thinking that if some kind of fungus….(long pause here while I get reorganised)….well.
In theory, if life is possible in a gas torus, there could be some form of fungus there. It would probably be adjusted to feed off of gases and organic debris, and it would of course shoot of spores at the appropriate stage in its life span. The spores would probably destroy most of the fungus in the process of being ejected, and would either get caught by the gravity of the gas torus and remain in its orbit or be shot into the rest of space, where it would be capable of floating for many millenia until it came into a place where the circumstances where right for it to revive and continue the cycle. Some of these would end up getting hopelessly loss, others would probably be crashed into by stray objects, and some would probably crash into planets, on some of which at least they would remain dormant and hollow. Creatures would erect settlements in any around them, and…well, that slips into my story plot.
But what I'm trying to figure out is the basic dynamics of the fungi-creation, how large the adult stage and the spores would be, the composition of its diet, gestation (such as it is) et cetera. I am of the opinion that they would have to be fairly large, the fungus reaching maybe three miles across, or so…but that gives any of the spores that crash into a planet or planetoid a good chance of creating a small ice age. Of course, the fungus wasn't exactly designed to be a friendly visitor to distant planets, and that would provide some amusing history for the people in the story.... I'd really appreciate some input on this.
Neal M. Swain