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Mid-80's book with custom DNA treehouses


New Member
Apr 17, 2019
I read this book in the mid 80's. In it, customers would design their "house" by custom designing a tree. The company would then create the seed that would then grow into the tree. It would grow with all the rooms you'd designed - including a bathroom that, um, used what you deposited. It would also grow custom food.

The company created the DNA by dipping the strand into a liquid, and when a piece attached but wasn't the right one, they cut it off with a laser.

I'm pretty sure it was set on Earth, but if it was set elsewhere, this was not a major plot point.

I can't remember any more - I don't remember the plot being particularly deep. But the world building blew my mind so much!

No one was thinking about things like this at that time. It was before we cracked the genome. It really changed my thinking about the future.


May 28, 2018
This is probably not the book, simply because the first one came out in 1990, but your description reminded me of a series by Thomas Easton that started with 'Sparrowhawk'. If I remember correctly (it has been more than a few years since reading it) the book was a mystery set in a near future Earth where scientists had genetically engineered (re-engineered?) everything, houses were grown, modified animals were used for transportation (the police officer protagonist uses a giant hawk in place of a car), etc.


Well-Known Member
Oct 19, 2010
Were the cars called "Roachsters?" Genetically modified cockroaches, grown large enough to be cars... This was (IIRC) a story that appeared in Analog magazine within the past 20 years or so...