jrl on September 16, 2007, 10:41:49 am
So, if there are three genders of Lamvin. how does the biology work?

IIRC the puppeteers from Niven's "Known Space" series have two "Males:" A Male-male (sentient) which provides sperm a conceiver-male (sentient) which provides the egg and a female (non-sentient) which does the work of gestation and gives birth. I know several moms who would have gleefully delegated the process of gestation to a sheep or some such critter if it had been possible. . .

Or is it something more exotic?

Rocketman on September 16, 2007, 07:55:33 pm
At a "GUESS" I would say that the female needs to be fertilized by the other two sexes in order to become pregnant.  Perhaps something in the chemistry doesn't allow just the male and female alone to reproduce.  Again this is just a guess.  As far as how the Freenies reproduce with their seventeen sexes I have no clue.  ;D  ;D  ;D

Sean Roach on September 17, 2007, 08:22:24 pm
New reader, and poster.
I just discovered L. Neil Smith, but what I've read got me digging...
Go look up "Her Majesty's Bucketeers" on amazon.  I think you'll recognize our friend.

Rocketman on September 18, 2007, 02:48:09 pm
Sean:
     Your a little late to the party, but still welcome.  The Lamviin originally appeared in the "Tom Paine Maru"  also by L. Neil which was a sequel book of the Confederacy series.  Your in for some really good reading.  I got interested in them about 20 years ago when a girlfriend of mine who was interested in the libertarian point of view gave me a copy of the "Venus Belt" and I got hooked.
 ;D

Scott on September 20, 2007, 06:04:33 pm
The way I understand it, Lamviin biology is based on a triple-helix, rather than double-helix, genetic code. Therefore, all three genders are required to donate "genetic material" for conception. But the female is, I believe, the one responsible for gestation.

Sphynx on September 20, 2007, 08:23:32 pm
Sean:
     Your a little late to the party, but still welcome.  The Lamviin originally appeared in the "Tom Paine Maru"  also by L. Neil which was a sequel book of the Confederacy series.  Your in for some really good reading.  I got interested in them about 20 years ago when a girlfriend of mine who was interested in the libertarian point of view gave me a copy of the "Venus Belt" and I got hooked.
 ;D
Rocketman: Thier Majesties Bucketeers is copyright 1981, Tom Paine Maru is 1984, so TMB is technically (as well as chronologically1) the first appearance of the Lamviin.

  (1): The prologue states that the novel's events occur approx 25 years prior to the TPM intervention.

The way I understand it, Lamviin biology is based on a triple-helix, rather than double-helix, genetic code. Therefore, all three genders are required to donate "genetic material" for conception. But the female is, I believe, the one responsible for gestation.
Scott: Yes, TMB has several references to Females as the gestators/incubators of offspring, which are then born live.  I also detect a strong implication in some of Mymysiir's statements that each parent contributes to the offspring's genetic make-up.

IIRC the puppeteers from Niven's "Known Space" series have two "Males:" A Male-male (sentient) which provides sperm a conceiver-male (sentient) which provides the egg and a female (non-sentient) which does the work of gestation and gives birth. I know several moms who would have gleefully delegated the process of gestation to a sheep or some such critter if it had been possible. . .

Sean: Welcome, the more, the merrier.  Note that, in Ringworld Engineers, when "The Hindmost" is questioned about Nessus's whereabouts and Puppeteer reproduction, relates that puppeteers have two males (as you stated) and only two sets of genes: "The female contributes none.  In fact, females mate among themselves in another way to make more females.  They are not properly of our species,...."  Louis Wu compared puppeteer reproductive methods to "... digger wasps: their progeny ate the flesh of a helpless host."

Rocketman on September 20, 2007, 11:40:32 pm
Sphynx:
     I stand corrected.  I didn't check the copyright date and I should have.  I got a copy of the TPM long before I found a used copy of TMB.  My bad.   ;D  ;D  ;D

enemyofthestate on September 21, 2007, 12:04:20 am
The way I understand it, Lamviin biology is based on a triple-helix, rather than double-helix, genetic code. Therefore, all three genders are required to donate "genetic material" for conception. But the female is, I believe, the one responsible for gestation.

Triple helix?  I'm having a little difficulty imagining how the molecular bonds would work in such a structure...  Then there's the problem of mitosis and meiosis.   If there were only two daughter cells how does recombination work?  Would a cell triplicate itself meaning each strand would have to replicate twice?  Would reduction result in nine gametes?

Assuming it's not just a case of rampant intersexuality (how dimorphic are the Lamviin?) it's easier to imagine they are more like the "newcomers" from the skiffy show Alien Nation.  The first male's ejaculate acts as a "catalyst" to prepare the female so the second male can fertilize her.  Maybe the males switch types at unpredictable intervals making orgies the norm.

LNeil on September 21, 2007, 09:06:16 am
....It's fun to read all the speculation about lamviin reproduction. I didn't go into it much (and in fact made Fodduans sort of Victorian) because that wasn't what I wanted _Their Majesties' Bucketeers_ to be about. Being a libertarian, I was more interested in the idea that "there are three sides to everything". As I recall, I'd recently met a libertarian historian (can't recall his name at the moment) who made a good case for that idea.

....Proper lamviin mate in triads -- they consider anything else to be perverse -- because their DNA-equivalent is triple-stranded. As it happens, Dr. Linus Pauling suggested that model for human DNA shortly before Watson and Crick stole that lady crystallographer's discovery of its real nature. I know nothing of the chemistry involved, and neither do the lamviin when we first see them in _Their Majesties' Bucketeers_.

....I can tell you that both the male and the surmale copulate with the female at the same time, and that the female carries the resulting offspring, the two halves of her carapace, upper and lower, separating gradually as the fetus grows. A tough leathery "maternity girdle" holds the two halves together. Delivery -- like copulation -- is through the mouth. I did that because, at some time, I wanted to explore the attitudes of a species whose "recreational area" does not not have "a sewer line running through it". I've often thought that human attitudes about sex are heavily influenced by that evolutionary boo-boo.

....Ironically, _TMB_ was originally meant to be a short story, aimed at giving me some experience at writing aliens (_you_ try walking down the street on six legs) before I put them into _Tom Paine Maru_. I had refrained from writing aliens before then, because, when I got to it, I wanted to do as good a job as Hal Clement. I had sort of hoped _TPM_ would be a masterwork and my "breakthrough" book. That, of course, was before my editor raped it. He also suggested making _TMB_ a novel, which I did with some enthusiasm.

Zen Redneck on September 21, 2007, 10:17:36 am
Lamviin senior proms are hell to organize.

Rocketman on September 21, 2007, 12:50:11 pm
 ;D Just imagine how difficult a Freenies Senior Prom must be to organize!!!!!!! ;D

Zen Redneck on September 21, 2007, 05:18:07 pm
I just got a vision of what the Lamviin equivalent of the Jerry Springer Show must be like.  Brr!

archy on September 26, 2007, 08:18:39 pm
....Proper lamviin mate in triads -- they consider anything else to be perverse -- because their DNA-equivalent is triple-stranded. As it happens, Dr. Linus Pauling suggested that model for human DNA shortly before Watson and Crick stole that lady crystallographer's discovery of its real nature. I know nothing of the chemistry involved, and neither do the lamviin when we first see them in _Their Majesties' Bucketeers_.

....I can tell you that both the male and the surmale copulate with the female at the same time, and that the female carries the resulting offspring, the two halves of her carapace, upper and lower, separating gradually as the fetus grows. A tough leathery "maternity girdle" holds the two halves together. Delivery -- like copulation -- is through the mouth. I did that because, at some time, I wanted to explore the attitudes of a species whose "recreational area" does not not have "a sewer line running through it". I've often thought that human attitudes about sex are heavily influenced by that evolutionary boo-boo.


Makes sense. I was guessing it'd be one for the ova, one for the fertilization, and #3 for the bearing of offspring.

So, is the surmale a societal equal? Or can any male provide the third strand for the DNA....?   
Ah'm just a lowly salesman for the Deef Smith Greeting Card Company....

wdg3rd on September 28, 2007, 11:57:54 am

Makes sense. I was guessing it'd be one for the ova, one for the fertilization, and #3 for the bearing of offspring.

So, is the surmale a societal equal? Or can any male provide the third strand for the DNA....?   

No, the surmale is a completely separate gender.  Male, female, surmale.

While the situation may have changed after the intervention by the folks on the Tom Paine Maru, in the pseudo-Victorian period of Their Majesties' Bucketeers, males are dominant over the other two genders.
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

enemyofthestate on September 29, 2007, 08:02:39 am
....It's fun to read all the speculation about lamviin reproduction. I didn't go into it much (and in fact made Fodduans sort of Victorian) because that wasn't what I wanted _Their Majesties' Bucketeers_ to be about. Being a libertarian, I was more interested in the idea that "there are three sides to everything". As I recall, I'd recently met a libertarian historian (can't recall his name at the moment) who made a good case for that idea.

....Proper lamviin mate in triads -- they consider anything else to be perverse -- because their DNA-equivalent is triple-stranded. As it happens, Dr. Linus Pauling suggested that model for human DNA shortly before Watson and Crick stole that lady crystallographer's discovery of its real nature. I know nothing of the chemistry involved, and neither do the lamviin when we first see them in _Their Majesties' Bucketeers_.
Interesting you should mention Rosalind Franklin since she originally rejected the double helix for A-DNA.  Her own later work proved her wrong and it was pretty shabby of Crick and Watson to only mention her data in a footnote.  IIRC she was credited at the Nobel awards but she was allready dead by then and the rules of he Nobel Prize forbid a posthumous award.

 

anything