A novel by British cyberpunk author Jeff Noon, set in a near-future Vurt-affected Manchester, describing the attempts of the Vurt world to attack that of humanity by using pollen to induce a hay-fever epidemic. Persephone, wife of John Barleycorn is sent to the real world to begin the plague, which she does by kissing to death Coyote Dog, an unlicensed cab driver. His death sparks off an investigation that brings together a rogue shadow-cop, a posse of dogboys and the world of the Vurt in a whole new surreal and fascinating fashion.

The male gametes of seed plants, which are produced in the stamens of flowering plants and in the male cones of conifers and other gymnosperms.

To ensure fertilization, the pollen must be transferred to the stigma (in flowering plants) or the female cone (in conifers) - the process of pollination.

Many flowers are cross-pollinate, ie. the pollen of one plant is deposited on the stigma of another of the same species by animal carriers (usually insects), wind, or water.

Some flowers are self-pollinated, the pollen being transfered from the anthers to the stigma of the same plant.

After pollination, a pollen tube grows down from the pollen grain into the pistil of the pollinated flower until it reaches the ovule. Two pollen nuclei travel down this tube: one fertilizes the egg cell, which develops into the embryo plant in the seed; the other fuses with a nucleus in the ovule to become food for the seed.

I am informed by vivid that "pollen grains aren't gametes. They are actually gametophytes, which produce gametes."

My A-Level Biology has failed me, and I stared at my /msg with a puzzled expression on my face for some time.

A quick trip to britannica.com later, and we have this:

"in certain plants, sexual phase (or an individual representing the phase) in the alternation of generations--a phenomenon in which two distinct phases occur in the life history of the plant, each phase producing the other. The alternate, nonsexual phase is the sporophyte. In the gametophyte phase, male and female organs (gametangia) develop and produce eggs and sperm (gametes), which unite in fertilization (syngamy). The fertilized egg (zygote) develops into the sporophyte phase, which produces numerous unicellular spores. These, in turn, develop directly into new gametes. Almost the entire life cycle of many algae and fungi is gametophyte; in others it is almost all sporophyte."

I'm no closer to understanding this to be perfectly honest with you, but the facts seem to be on vivid's side.
Yellow dust cloud.

Particles discarded to spawn life,
or to get stuck in your eye...


A desire to say inside.

A cycle for new roots through airborne transit.


I'm breathing in life, and it makes me sneeze.

Pol"len (?), n. [L. pollen fine flour, fine dust; cf. Gr. ]


Fine bran or flour.



<-- p. 109 -->

2. Bot.

The fecundating dustlike cells of the anthers of flowers. See Flower, and Illust. of Filament.

Pollen grain Bot., a particle or call of pollen. -- Pollen mass, a pollinium. Gray. -- Pollen sac, a compartment of an anther containing pollen, -- usually there are four in each anther. -- Pollen tube, a slender tube which issues from the pollen grain on its contact with the stigma, which it penetrates, thus conveying, it is supposed, the fecundating matter of the grain to the ovule.


© Webster 1913.

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