CURRENT STATE OF DEVELOPMENT
Immigrants comprise 540,000 of Yom’s 830,000 Human inhabitants. The bulk of the native population consists of children under the age of twenty, though some native adults trace their birth to the early years of the colony’s existence. Most of the population lives around three major industrial centers: Praetolia and Rainbow on the Autumn Day continent and the newer Joy on the Young Tribe continent.
Limited transportation facilities have kept Yom’s population concentrated, despite its abundance of land. A young automobile industry now manufactures a basic antigrav vehicle for personal use. Produced in four- and six-passenger configurations, the vehicle derives its main market from farmers who value its truck-like features. Few families can afford more than one of these basic machines, and many country dwellers rely on flexibleroute, antigrav buses to transport them to work or to the cities. A good supply of levitrucks insures that no restrictions occur in Yom’s distribution of basic goods, and large hypersonic transports carry passengers quickly and efficiently between the main population centers.
Yom produces abundant quantities of inexpensive
food. Many part-time farmers supplement
their incomes and their larders with fruits and vegetables
grown on their own farms. Yom’s farmers
became the first people to find a practical use for
trups. Today, trups perform many important
menial tasks on virtually every farm. Consequently,
Yom’s farming industry requires less of the expensive
machinery used on other planets.
Though Yom contains a variety of seed- and fruit-bearing plants that make suitable foods for Humans, the first pioneers feared to depend on them and brought their familiar crops from Earth. Meat, prohibitively expensive in the early years, has not become extremely popular fare and today most people on Yom eat a largely vegetarian diet, supplemented by an abundant supply of dairy products. Native foods have begun to creep into the Yomite diet, and Yom will no doubt develop its own intriguing cuisine someday. Yom’s farmers now cultivate “orchards” of “quard” bushes, which produce small fig-like fruits that are usually served dried. Large-scale farming of “Ibo barley,” a hearty grain with a slight coffee-like taste, has begun near Joy. No doubt the most interesting of Yom’s native grains is the “sweeta.” Sweeta forms a small kernel that looks like wheat but is filled with a nearly pure fructose-like sugar. Bakers make cakes directly from sweeta flour, using no artificial sweeteners, and popped sweeta has become a favorite dessert or snack among children from six to 106.
Yom lacks a plentiful supply of consumer goods, and the novelties and luxuries commonly found on Earth can’t be purchased at any price. Some ready-made clothing can be bought in rather limited and simple styles. Inexpensive yard goods have induced Yomites to sew much of their own clothing, particularly for dressy occasions, and so a basic, semi-automated cutter-sewer machine has become a standard appliance in nearly every home.
Spire structures imported from Earth still serve as housing for more than half the population and are well equipped with the most modern of Earth’s appliances. People moving to single-family dwellings must give up some of these conveniences, though most can afford manually directed clean fields and a basic food prep center in addition to necessities like preservators, clothes treaters, and space conditioning. Yom doesn’t produce any domestic robots, but most country dwellers keep a few trups to do basic cleanup chores.
Yom’s pioneers enjoy the same access to entertainment and information available to people on Earth. A universal “communications center” has become as standard as indoor plumbing. This simple device serves as book viewer, holovision projector, and musical reproduction center. Small remote speakers and terminals extend the device’s capability to more than one room. Yom’s central computer contains all books, movies, music, and recorded shows produced throughout five colonies and on Earth. Since Yom has no entertainment industry of its own, the dependence on Earth helps the largely immigrant population to feel that they maintain a strong link with their former home.