A Tardigrade-Powered Rhizomatic Nomad Engine

I’m liking Star Trek: Discovery at the moment and I really enjoyed this bit of exposition explaining the finer details of their newly discovered “spore engine”.

Lt. Stamets:

“All right, let’s start with our mushroom, prototaxites stellaviatori, a species made up of exotic matieral found not only in normal space, but in a discreet subspace domain known as the mycelial network. Its fungal roots, a.k.a. mycelium, spread across the universe, fanning out into infinity to create a matrix that serves as our intergalactic freeway system.”


“Enter the tardigrade whose genetic makeup allows it to navigate through the network because of its symbiotic relationship with the mycelium’s spores. Like its microscopic cousins on Earth, the Tardigrade is able to incorporate foreign DNA into its own genome via horizontal gene transfer. When Ripper [the Discovery‘s Tardigrade] borrows DNA from the mycelium, he’s granted an all-access travel pass.”

Tardigrades are already cool – I can’t help but associate them with UIQ: remember that ZULI Fact Mix art? – but using them as the basis for an experimental propulsion system that is effectively rhizomatic nomadism in a box that is being put to use for the sake of the war effort?

I like it. I wonder if it will be used to its full Deleuzo-Guattarian potential…


Coming soon: T/ACC – Tardigrade Accelerationism


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