Author Topic: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]  (Read 5552 times)

Offline Quantus

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2015, 05:28:55 PM »
I agree.  For real science fiction that something like printing meat or replicators makes sense, but not in Steampunk.
Concur.  Especially in light of the comment about how their competitor's vat-meat was "rubbery chum"
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Offline cass

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2015, 08:28:35 PM »
I dunno.  Growing cultures on a framework isn't particularly advanced stuff. You can grow rock candy/sugar crystals on a string, after all.  Growing bacterial cultures isn't hard-- god knows I do it all the time in my fridge-- and I could well believe that they could induce edible tissue to grow from a broth of otherwise inedible proteins/lipids/sugars without the use of computers, etc.  I could also believe that there's skill in it-- inducing the fibers to grow in such a way as to give it a tender (or firm or whatever) texture.  Sort of like making a rock candy rib cage, instead of just a string with lumps hanging from it.

The whole 3D printed/culture-grown meat thing isn't particularly far along in our world because, frankly, there hasn't been a need. Ranching/livestock farming  produces meat cheaper and quicker, and thus far there hasn't been a need to curtail it.

Offline Quantus

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2015, 09:53:41 PM »
I dunno.  Growing cultures on a framework isn't particularly advanced stuff. You can grow rock candy/sugar crystals on a string, after all.  Growing bacterial cultures isn't hard-- god knows I do it all the time in my fridge-- and I could well believe that they could induce edible tissue to grow from a broth of otherwise inedible proteins/lipids/sugars without the use of computers, etc.  I could also believe that there's skill in it-- inducing the fibers to grow in such a way as to give it a tender (or firm or whatever) texture.  Sort of like making a rock candy rib cage, instead of just a string with lumps hanging from it.

The whole 3D printed/culture-grown meat thing isn't particularly far along in our world because, frankly, there hasn't been a need. Ranching/livestock farming  produces meat cheaper and quicker, and thus far there hasn't been a need to curtail it.
My hesitance comes less from a lack of computer analogs or their ability to physically perform the processes, and more from my own assumptions that they'd need far more advanced scientific development in Biology and organic chemistry than is present in most Steampunk settings that are generally a Victorian analog in that regard. 
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Offline cass

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2015, 10:37:26 PM »
Ah.  And I was coming at it from a necessity-drives-development direction.  I don't read much steampunk, so I'm unfamiliar with the typical tech level. Is limited living space (and therefore different methods of food production) a theme? I just sort of jumped from 'surface is inaccessible' to 'culturing meat makes sense if they can't raise it' without a huge amount of in between.

Offline Second Aristh

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2015, 12:10:53 AM »
Well, it's called steampunk because tech is supposed to stick roughly near the idea of a fantastical steam engine.  Obviously you take liberties because things like airships and laser gauntlets are cool, but if you go too far you lose the flavor of the genre.
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Offline cass

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2015, 01:10:21 AM »
Hmm. Well, the technology itself isn't complicated-- even Dresden couldn't hex it up.  As Quantus points out, it's the knowledge of biochem that's a sticking point.  I could suspend my disbelief for it though: ancient peoples couldn't tell you the reactions that made grain-water into alcohol or made milk into curds, but that didn't stop them from making beer or cheese! Maybe the people who run the vatteries don't know exactly what is going on, in the biological or chemical sense, but they do know what they have to do to produce something edible?  That covers a lack of scientific (rather than practical) knowledge of the process...

Offline Second Aristh

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2015, 01:34:47 AM »
Hmm. Well, the technology itself isn't complicated-- even Dresden couldn't hex it up.  As Quantus points out, it's the knowledge of biochem that's a sticking point.  I could suspend my disbelief for it though: ancient peoples couldn't tell you the reactions that made grain-water into alcohol or made milk into curds, but that didn't stop them from making beer or cheese! Maybe the people who run the vatteries don't know exactly what is going on, in the biological or chemical sense, but they do know what they have to do to produce something edible?  That covers a lack of scientific (rather than practical) knowledge of the process...
Sure, but making meat is much harder to stumble upon than figuring out fermentation by experimentation.
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Offline Quantus

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2015, 01:21:55 PM »
Hmm. Well, the technology itself isn't complicated-- even Dresden couldn't hex it up.  As Quantus points out, it's the knowledge of biochem that's a sticking point.  I could suspend my disbelief for it though: ancient peoples couldn't tell you the reactions that made grain-water into alcohol or made milk into curds, but that didn't stop them from making beer or cheese! Maybe the people who run the vatteries don't know exactly what is going on, in the biological or chemical sense, but they do know what they have to do to produce something edible?  That covers a lack of scientific (rather than practical) knowledge of the process...
To Artish's point, Alcohol mostly comes about by letting fruit juices and such spoil, and the secret to all cheese in history is cooking the stomachs of baby mammals (requires an enzyme from before they switch to solid food) which i imagine happened pretty often when they threw all the scraps into a stew-pot and notice that the cream soup stock has gone all chunky.  I could see something similar happening to make a homogeneous tofu-style protein paste, scrounging whatever scrap animal matter they could and rendering them down into Pink Slime.

But to go to all the effort to artificially sculpt realistic animal tissues for what would be essentially a cosmetic "texture" difference seems a stretch to me. Especially if animals are rare enough that they arent typically raised and slaughtered for meat, so the majority of the population wouldnt know the difference enough to warrant the extra effort.  I see it as kind of like them developing massive advanced tech to make all their meat turn purple; it's probably possible, but I just cant see how the motivation would develop.


PS  In modern times not all cheese is actually Animal stomach enzyme (animal Rennet), they have created a vegan version that is processed from a mold byproduct.  Because mold poop is somehow healthier, I guess. 
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Offline ITheHellAmFan

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2015, 02:48:08 PM »
PS  In modern times not all cheese is actually Animal stomach enzyme (animal Rennet), they have created a vegan version that is processed from a mold byproduct.  Because mold poop is somehow healthier, I guess. 

I don't personally hold this viewpoint, and to avoid political TT I won't go into my opinions any further, but for at least some vegans, especially the ones that make that distinction, it's less about health and more about the morality of not having to kill animals.
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Offline Mith

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2015, 03:01:57 PM »
It could also be a process for refining and decontaminating Mistcreature meat like the Mistmaw, for general consumption.  Master Stock comes to mind.
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Offline cass

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2015, 10:51:03 PM »
To Artish's point, Alcohol mostly comes about by letting fruit juices and such spoil, and the secret to all cheese in history is cooking the stomachs of baby mammals (requires an enzyme from before they switch to solid food) which i imagine happened pretty often when they threw all the scraps into a stew-pot and notice that the cream soup stock has gone all chunky.  I could see something similar happening to make a homogeneous tofu-style protein paste, scrounging whatever scrap animal matter they could and rendering them down into Pink Slime.

But to go to all the effort to artificially sculpt realistic animal tissues for what would be essentially a cosmetic "texture" difference seems a stretch to me. Especially if animals are rare enough that they arent typically raised and slaughtered for meat, so the majority of the population wouldnt know the difference enough to warrant the extra effort.  I see it as kind of like them developing massive advanced tech to make all their meat turn purple; it's probably possible, but I just cant see how the motivation would develop.


PS  In modern times not all cheese is actually Animal stomach enzyme (animal Rennet), they have created a vegan version that is processed from a mold byproduct.  Because mold poop is somehow healthier, I guess.

And yet people (and chefs) do all sorts of crazy things to alter the texture/color/smell of food products. I guess all I'm saying is that it would not break my suspension of disbelief if over the however many years people have been living in the spires they developed variations on basic food production that allowed for vastly different-seeming products.  I'm not arguing for growing whole animals in a vat, just that whatever form the products of the vatteries ultimately take, there is likely quite a bit of development behind the method used to make them.

Offline Quantus

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2015, 01:21:29 PM »
And yet people (and chefs) do all sorts of crazy things to alter the texture/color/smell of food products. I guess all I'm saying is that it would not break my suspension of disbelief if over the however many years people have been living in the spires they developed variations on basic food production that allowed for vastly different-seeming products.  I'm not arguing for growing whole animals in a vat, just that whatever form the products of the vatteries ultimately take, there is likely quite a bit of development behind the method used to make them.
Fair enough :)
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Offline Quantus

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2015, 02:32:00 PM »
Ok, so Ive gotten a bit further and it seems that there is still some harvesting going on down on the surface (wood) and so there could easily be some animal matter being harvested rather than pure home-grown protein sludge. 

And further, it seems that "Vattery" is more of a generic term for an industrial operation, like "Mill" or "Plant" since they use the same term for their crystal production sites.  It makes sense, most industrial sites I work in have lots and lots of tanks and vessels so they are a visible defining trait, and it's not like every Mill around today has any Millstones grinding grain. 
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Offline Phariah

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2015, 08:16:39 PM »
i think the meat is grown. it is not from a creature at all.
"part of growing the great sides of meat in the vattery was harvesting the leather casing that grew around them as they matured." sounds like an artificial meat source to me. if the Spires were created to get away from the earth because of some contamination or something. eating from the surface creatures was bad as they could be contaminated. so they have no room on the Spires for herd animal so they create an artificial way to create meat.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 08:22:38 PM by Phariah »
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Offline Quantus

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Re: Cinder Spires Setting discussion [TAW Sample Chapter SPOILERS]
« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2015, 08:19:43 PM »
i think the meat is grown. it is not from a creature at all.
"part of growing the great sides of meat in the vattery was harvesting the leather casing that grew around them as they matured." sounds like an artificial meat source to me. if the Spires were created to get away from the earth because of some contamination or something eating from the surface creature was bad as they could be contaminated. so they have no room on the Spires for herd animal so they create an artificial way to create meat.
good catch with that quote.  I dont think Ive reached it yet. 
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