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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Week Trees  
  Specially engineered bonsai that could grow in a week, instead of decades.  

This is sort of a great idea. Only "sort of" because most people would argue that part of the charm and appeal of a real bonsai (a stunted, ornamental tree) is that it takes decades of constant expert help for a plant to become a work of art.

Della's second present was a little seed-packet labeled WEEK TREES.

"Have you heard of these?" asked Mom. "They're bioengineered. You know the miniature bonsai trees that the Japanese used to grow? These are the same, except their whole life cycle only takes a week... They're amazing."

From Wetware, by Rudy Rucker.
Published by Avon Books in 1988
Additional resources -

In the novel, genetic engineering takes the place of the gardener's efforts. You could imagine these sold almost as "Chia Pets" that grow to whatever shape you want.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Wetware
  More Ideas and Technology by Rudy Rucker
  Tech news articles related to Wetware
  Tech news articles related to works by Rudy Rucker

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