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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2021 8:04 p.m. PST

…species cantina?

"Out on a small planet called Vernar IV located in the Ghan'Shi sector of the Galaxy, there's a small restaurant and bar called "Tuang's Taphouse", which serves food and refreshment to many species, including humans. There's just one problem: biochemistry.

There's about 12 sentient, spacefaring races in the Milky Way: the Humans, Qualians, Gordaniran, Amtolites, Vosian, Nekubiak, Seluban, Itaran, Zeydalaan,Jedarik, Tausali and Telenoid. Each of these species has populations who occasionally stop on Vernar IV, and each are known to frequent the bar. My question is, how do you make a bar that can safely feed and serve multiple, often somewhat incompatible, biologies?…"
From here


Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2021 8:44 p.m. PST

First of all, no droids. It's not going to be that kind of a joint.

HMS Exeter16 Feb 2021 5:44 a.m. PST

There is a flick, "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets." Its a pretty silly, tho very fun, Luc Besson SciFi romp.

In the beginning, Valerian and an insertion team must infiltrate an interdimensional "Big Market" which caters to dissimilar patrons from all over the cosmos. Each subzone has a portal with a big sign with letters and symbols. If your bio-letter/symbol is glowing, that area is safe for you. Have a watch, all will be explained.

The movie is worth it, if only for a tragically overbrief cameo by Rhianna, who chews the scenery and comes damn close to stealing the whole movie. Tho there is so much more delicious weirdness going on, including 3 Howard the Duck-esque info dealers, and a wigged out Capt. Nemo who runs a semi-legal sub service thru the aquatic sector of the city.

Arjuna16 Feb 2021 7:51 a.m. PST

If it were hard SF, I would say everything that would want to meet in 'person', if it has such a mental structure in its brain, with an alien biology without strict and even paranoid biosecurity must be a bio weapon vector, a parasite or dumb as hell.
The origin of Corona are not the evil or not evil Chinese or a natural desaster nobody could have seen coming since SARS in 2003, H1N1 in 2009 and MERS in 2012.
Its origin is a growing human population on this planet with ever growing contact zones to animal hosts of viral and bacterial vectors.
We will meet again in about ten to twenty years with some other pandemic that maybe will not just kill the old.
The wheel turns faster and faster.
Hopefully we will have learned a lesson or two next time.

So you may imagine what could happen when biologies from different ecosystems on other planets meet.

I think imagined civilisations developed high enough to meet in person to have drink or two, together in some fringe bar on Dantooine will have the logistics that allow an author to hand wave the problem away.
Some biosecurity scans from the guests or the bartender robot or some such.
Now, that was the bleak hard SF part.
Reality bites.

In soft SF the first thing that comes to my mind ist to ensure they do not eat each other out of mistake or they are each others favorite food.
I can imagine a few funny scenes.
What would you do, when you want to eat out in a restaurant at the end of the universe and some intelligent squid at the other table likes to eat his naked hominid half cooked with soy sauce?
One can probably find something in that vein at
Great ressource!

Oh and "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets." from Besson is really a funny and over the top SF flick.
Its problem is, Star Wars has already shown all of it years ago.
Valérian and Laureline on Wikipedia

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2021 11:14 a.m. PST



SpuriousMilius17 Feb 2021 10:10 a.m. PST

The well stocked bars that I frequented before the pandemic knew their clientele & offered as many brands of the most ordered liquors as they could, 2 or 3 each of bourbon, scotch, rum, etc. & some had beers that were rare in DFW. The owner could also have preferences; an "Irish" bar, "The Quiet Man", near SMU, stocked Republican Irish whiskies but the owner was irked when I asked for Bushmill's which is a "Protestant" brand. "Is "Jameson's" not good enough for you?" was her retort. She didn't serve Droids either, just thirsty Yuppies.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2021 7:37 p.m. PST

It is entirely possible that different intelligent species will not be biologically similar enough to carry diseases that can harm other species.

As long as I'm playing/reading/watching science fiction, I am willing to believe that medical science and technology will keep pace with infectious diseases.

Will other species want to meet for a drink? The drive to use chemicals to relax inhibitions may be directly related to the drive toward constant mental demand in intelligence-based societies -- that is, all societies inhabited by intelligent beings. So I expect that all intelligent beings imbibe one way or another, and bars serving an interstellar clientele are likely to have a variety of intoxicants available, along with some kind of control over who can be served what.

Some species probably prefer to drink (or whatever) alone, though, so their usual intoxicants may be less commonly found in bars. For example, if I had the death penalty on nine planets, I'd probably be drinking alone, rather than in a bar where any bounty hunter's minion can report my presence. On the other hand, if I had the death penalty on nine planets, I'm obviously not bright enough not to get caught -- and convicted -- nine times, so I may just be hanging out in desert cantinas.

As long as we're talking about meeting for chemically induced inhibition relaxation, we have to mention one of the great science fiction films of the 1980s, which helped start the careers of Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis (Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans are in it, too). It doesn't actually involve a bar serving an interstellar clientele, but it does relate to one of the important reasons bars exist all over my Traveller universe, at least. I refer, of course, to Earth Girls Are Easy (1988). If you haven't seen it, you should see it. It's probably streaming somewhere.

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