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a brief history

Spaceblooms emerged at the end of a remarkably long period of unprecedented growth in human knowledge. Ninety percent of all patents ever issued – perhaps a poor, but quantifiable, way of measuring knowledge – were granted in the last 150 years. While some of the technologies used today have roots in the 21st century or earlier, many of their manifestations were not envisioned until much later. The successful population of Moon and the building of the new settlements are achievements that would not have been possible without the newclear or unimbler technology, without ifasto materials or atmospheric solutions, and without the millions of discoveries, inventions and innovations. The roots of this knowledge explosion can be traced to the middle of the 21st century, when, after many decades of empty rhetoric and grandiose posturing, a worldwide focus on equal access to all levels of education was realized.

fbloom prototype

In September 2235, Matoni Wulffi, a 21-year-old student of engineering, entered his final year at the University of Adanac. As a graduation project, he chose to build a self-propagating, fragrance-producing synthetic flower capable of an auton-omous existence in deep space. The project was deemed to be too complex and Matoni was advised to simplify it. Undaunted by the apparent impossibility of the task, he set out to unite the disparate technologies needed to create the object of his dreams: the flowerbloom (fbloom).

The integration of existing technologies proved to be his greatest challenge. Despite several attempts to standardize software, hardware and bioware communications over the years, the agreed guidelines were often too vague to ensure full compatibility and usually were implemented only when advantageous to the creators. Matoni solved the problem with a custom-engineered substance that joined the various hardware and bioware components together physically and facilitated communications as well. The substance was gluevins, and Matoni received a universe-wide patent, no. U1008-0021, for his invention shortly after graduation. The fbloom prototype consisted of four solpans, two alseco betteries, a conventional emag propulsion unit, and a UPU, all of which were mounted around a tubular frame that housed the centrepiece: the unimbler-based matter processor. The whole unit was controlled by a language Matoni created specifically for the project. It was called *TNG (star tongue).

After several setbacks, six software models and the abandonment of the self-propagation feature, Matoni was ready to build a real prototype. With assistance from Manutti Tutty and Anna Lawal, two of the unimbler creators, he made a functional, unimbler-based matter processor capable of producing and storing ponderosa pine fragrance. Early in March 2236, three identical fbloom 07 prototypes were released into the deep space around Nantupian Park hucosphere.

Three months later, only one unit was retrieved; the other two were lost. One unit sailed away towards Pluto after its gluevin components froze and ceased functioning, the other was devoured by kribuliacs. The surviving fbloom 07 prototype functioned properly. It collected enough matter for the unimbler to produce a fragrance, although it was nowhere close to the desired aroma of a ponderosa pine forest. Instead, the unimbler produced a small amount of paste somewhat resembling honey in appearance and sour grapes in taste, as well as an aroma, which one observer reportedly described as a “burning ponderosa pine forest.”

Despite the minor setback, the project was declared a success in principle and Matoni was granted his degree in engineering. More importantly he started to think of the fbloom as a food-producing system, one that could free space agriculture from encapsulation. After graduation, Matoni submitted several proposals to obtain funding for his food-producing fbloom. Nobody was interested.

crystallization of future spaceblooms

Matoni abandoned his ideas of building fblooms to participate in the Seven Caves Sea project (7C Sea) under the south rim of Mare Ingenii on Moon. He spent the next five years working under Cray and Anulf Okulaar on the atmospheric controls for the mammoth undertaking. Although the work was demanding and exciting, Matoni never stopped dreaming about building flowers for space. He had a new name for them: spaceblooms. It came from Matoni’s correspondence with his sister Veronika, who wished that the “new spaceblooms be designed in colour and with flair, in defiance of the prevailing style of silver and grey metallic monstrosity, a style stuck in the imaginations of twenty first century B-movies.” The word itself, which Matoni considered more beautiful than flowerbloom, reaffirmed his hope that one day fblooms would be more than just a dream.

While working on Seven Caves Sea, Matoni became friends with Aivwa Tekky, the future inventor of Krystal Klear Koat (3K), who was interested in his ideas. Together they created several software prototypes. Also helping them was Veronika, then a student at Z-Uni in Nofour City, where she was working on redepatomy protocols for food. Her first successful implementation was to shrink a complete tuna tataki down to 1 cubic centimetre which, when placed in the unimbler, would recompose back without loss of shape or flavour. Seeing Veronika’s skills helped Matoni clearly envision spaceblooms as food sources first and as flowers second.

a spacebloom for Nofour City’s Koch Garden

In December 2241, when the design plans for Seven Caves Sea were completed, Matoni went to visit Veronika, who was graduating with her Ph.D. in food nano-engineering. At a party afterwards, Matoni met a young architect, Id Tian, who turned out to be familiar with the fbloom 07 prototype and was quite interested in the spacebloom idea. In fact, he had a few sketches of his own fblooms. At the time, Id Tian was working with two of his colleagues on a proposal for the Koch Garden in the South Cross area and invited Matoni to create a spacebloom that would become an integral part of the garden. The only requirements were that it fit within a sphere of 1-m diametre and produce a fragrance using the just-invented multiChannel Frequency Stimulated Universal Smelcule Technology (better known as multiChannel fragrance).

Matoni jumped on the opportunity and over the course of two weeks worked with Veronika on several ideas. They settled on a modular design that was inspired by the work of Helge von Koch, after whom the garden was named. They called the spacebloom koulekouli. Anbug Small, the design group Id Tian formed with Ana Dew and Hagop Le, was impressed by the spacebloom and incorporated it into their proposal. Anbug Small won the competition and set to work building the garden; Matoni and Veronika established Wulffi Spacebloom, their design studio, and started building a fully functional prototype of the koulekouli.

Shortly afterwards the catastrophic explosion in Nofour Port on 15 July 2242 devastated the whole city. The disaster killed nine thousand people, destroyed most of Nofour’s greenhouses, and ravaged manufacturing. Nofour oxrioa was declared a disaster area; power and food were rationed. The Koch Garden project was postponed indefinitely.

In the aftermath of the disaster, everyone focused on rebuilding the city. Veronika and Matoni volunteered for the city’s ifasto department, helping to stabilize the atmosphere, which fortunately withstood the explosion without sustaining major damage. A month after the explosion, Matoni was ready to leave his dream behind once again. He was waiting for his flight back to Moon when he received a call from Aalvar Micpomum, the director of Nofour Future Agency, who offered to fund a pilot project that would advance the ideas and technology of the fbloom 07 prototype.

cormathy: the first spacebloom

Matoni and Veronika decided that the design of koulekouli be resumed only when it was clear the Koch Garden project would go ahead. Instead, they began working on a brand new spacebloom – cormathy – in October 2242. Although it was conceptually similar to the fbloom 07, all components were redesigned. The gluevins were made self-aware to prevent disintegration. The *TNG language was completely rewritten to allow for self-modification. The unimbler matter processor would produce food and, under optimal conditions, fragrance as well. And unlike the fbloom 07, cormathy’s appearance was given a priority. Despite being described as a cross between a satellite and a bicycle, cormathy was inspired by Earth’s flowers.

After 14 months, cormathy emerged with a cutting edge edible bettery and 14 capsules containing a sweet nectar. It was protected against radiation with the 3K coating and had its own defence system; however, it still did not have the capability to propagate.

At sunrise on 21 March 2244, the first 21 cormathys programmed to fly and float around the Nofour oxrioa were released. Later that day a production line was started at Norbu Assembler. Over the next 10 years more than 2.4 million cormathys were produced. In September 2252, Wulffi Spacebloom released an updated version of the cormathy capable of propagating itself.

2242–2253: the first decade

Cormathy proved to be a success. Two test fields suggested it had the potential to be a viable source of food at a time when people were becoming interested in alternative food sources. The Nofour Port explosion magnified the foolishness of centralizing food production and many, especially those living in Nofour and Fortreno oxrioas, were starting to be fed up with fropiofood. The fact that both oxrioas’ food supply was provided by 27 brands of fropiofood, owned by only two corporations, both controlled from Earth, did not help. (Although it was impossible to prove, many suspected that the two corporations, both headquartered in the notorious banking and information haven of Cayman Islands, were owned by the Unified Space Command. We may never know.)

Shortly after cormathy’s release, Wulffi Spacebloom secured five-year financing from the Nofour Future Agency and Fort-reno’s Debelob-Avrebb Club of Oraclings. The money allowed Matoni to hire a small group of engineers and support staff to create at least three new spaceblooms.

Several other groups expressed their interest in spacebloom design and many more were interested in licensing spaceblooms for cosmoculture. To facilitate the requests, the Nofour Future Agency and Wulffi Spacebloom established SpaceGarden Center and created the Wirfaf Licence, which allowed people to harvest spaceblooms for sale. Spacebloom Escroe, a de facto design guide, was written to encourage new designs. In a gesture of goodwill, Wulffi Spacebloom transferred all needed intellectual property, including *TNG source code and the gluevin patent, to SpaceGarden, which itself was registered as a public society, administered jointly by the spacebloom designers along with Nofour and Fortreno oxrioas for the benefit of humankind.

In 2247, Ettizoopela, a group of five students at the University of Litupi, released the osikstria. A year later, Ikasdo+Tekky added the doogmint. By 2253, the three design studios were responsible for 11 spaceblooms.

building your own spacebloom

In 2257, How Is It Done ? Five Spaceblooms was released. The book explained, step-by-step, the process of designing a spacebloom. Enclosed software allowed readers to create their own virtual spaceblooms. Those really interested were encouraged to contact SpaceGarden Center in Nofour City for information on how to build a real spacebloom. Within 16 months, four groups – Treotri Brothers, Yim Yook Yum, Initram Martini and T17S-AR – released new spaceblooms. Additionally Id Tian of Anbug Small finally got around to setting free ideas from his sketchbook, bringing the number of groups working in spacebloom development to eight.

spacebloom future

In addition to the 33 spaceblooms covered by this guide, there are three new spaceblooms: longuun, sapfo and qtea. All were released recently and their populations are so far minimal. Sapfo and qtea are also confined to the Linterraix oxrioa for the next year. Once their numbers reach 150,000 they too will be included in this guide.

The SpaceGarden Center estimates that between now and the year 2270 six new spaceblooms will be released. The recently released DIY publication How Is It Done ? New Spaceblooms is also expected to spawn another wave of designers. The University of Litupi is planning to create a Faculty of Spacebloom Engineering next year, a sure sign spaceblooms are here to stay.

For the rest of introduction see Spacebloom : A Field Guide to Cosmic Xflora, page 18-32.

additional sources


Unimbler Deconstructing
Paolo Fattlo-Blue with Anulf Okulaar
Z-UNI Press, 2265
Overview of unimbler technology, molecule management and storage. Step-by-step examples on how to extract resources from a variety of sources, including spaceblooms.


Spacebloom Formation Algorithms, 5th Edition
Johnny Kostky & Juergen Ho
Beerline Press, 2266
Essential reading for anyone contemplating setting up a spacebloom farm.

Fbloom 07: Design of Autonomous Fruit Producing Device
Matoni Wulffi
Adanac Unipress, 2237
Graduation project. Includes plans, notes, observations and data collected during a three month test flight.

How Is It Done ? Five Spaceblooms
Emily Thulia, Cool Carlos McMurdo (series editor)
NOW1C Publishing, 2257
Five case studies detailing the process of designing, testing and building aciluce, elpae, koulekouli, kubiko and nigok.

How Is It Done ? New Spaceblooms
Emily Thulia and Kelvin Cille, Cool Carlos McMurdo (series editor)
NOW1C Publishing, 2266
Detailed plans and source codes, as well as the technological and aesthetic ideas, behind thoerhul, hagopini, wirbylet, crialis and trifor.