Plant Humans

Crosby_M (
Mon, 9 Dec 1996 12:42:08 -0500

Geoff Ryman's 1989 novel _The Child Garden_ (winner of Clarke &
Campbell awards) also envisioned 'plant humans' in several ways:

<[1] People were purple. Their skins flooded with a protein called
Rhodopsin ... In light, Rhodopsin broke down into sodium and combined
carbon and water. People photosynthesized. It was a way of feeding
them all.>

<[2] Child Gardens were where orphans were raised ... Viruses made
people cheerful and helpful and honest. Their manners were impeccable,
their conversation well-informed, their work speedy and accurate. They
believed the same things.>

(Hmmm, sounds alot like David Pearce's Hedonistic Imperative - only
much gentler!)

<[3] Almost no one lives past 40 ... Everyone was Read at ten years
old, by the Party ... models were made of their personalities. These
models joined the government to be consulted. The government was
called the Consensus ... The Consensus was a garden of purple, fleshy
trees that reached up and fed on sunlight. The mind of the Consensus
was below ... A computer made of flesh, growing new capacity when it
needed it, sending mycelia through the earth, sprouting elsewhere like
mushrooms ...>

Ryman's story is "a bit more subtle than that"; but, while the society
is definitely transhuman, it's not particularly extropian. Ryman
summarizes it thus:
<... a culture that replicated itself endlessly, but which never gave
birth to anything new.>

Mark Crosby