Monday, December 28, 2015

13 Worldbuilding Questions: Numbers 7 & 8 continued

  7.  What's the predominant culture?
  8.  What's the current form of societal normalcy?

In the previous post I explained how I measure the alien civiliations (and ours).  In this post I want to tell you about the most significant (aka predominant) cultures.

I've described the Originator Race in previous posts, but according to the scales I just established I thought I should include their rating.
SQ:  +25
CL:  8d

The Deific Race is just slightly younger than our universe and only slightly less powerful than the Originator Race.  They're purpose is to destroy the current universe adn install a new one of their making.  They want to make something like stargates to collapse our existing universe, bringing about it's destruction and releasing the energy for their own purposes.

The DR are a community intelligence that uses spore-like devices (not purely physical or energy, but bundles of information and intelligence) to reproduce and infect.  They interact with races like Homo sapiens when one of these spores comes in contact with some human at least at genius level.  Anything less would destroy the infected mind.

The DR are almost beyond time, having learned to bend and manipulate it to their own devices.  They don't know death and can take any amount of time to do things.

The DR make use of all the most advanced forms of communications.

SQ:  +20
CL:  8c
KS:  V

The Puissant Race (PR) are another transcendent race who have moved beyond their physical bodies, but are not a communal intelligence.  Because of this they will probably never reach the level of the Deific Race and they know it.  This makes them bitter and envious.  They have turned their concerns to controlling everything in this universe.

The entity Aachiang in "Bellwether's Asteroid" is a member of this race.

SQ:  +18
CL:  8b

There are aliens who frequently visit earth, but they are so powerful and alien that we don't recognize their present.  These are the Extrinsic Aliens (EA).  The EA are a galaxy-wide presence and force, not limited by time or set physical bodies.  

They have individual personalities within their communal intelligence, able and needing to create physical bodies to act as avatars to interact with the physical universe.  

They are capable of creating portals, or stargates.  They can even use these to move data directly into someone's mind, with a similar affect of psychic powers.

SQ:  +16 
CL:  7c

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

13 Worldbuilding Questions: Numbers 7 & 8

  7.  What's the predominant culture?
  8.  What's the current form of societal normalcy?

What is the predominant culture in the universe?  I suppose that depends on your definition of predominant.  Obviously the most dominant is the Originator Race.  On the other hand, they are so powerful and intelligent that they don't normally interact with humans, at least not in a way that is understandable to humans.

There are several other very powerful species and some are even in our galactic neighborhood.

Before I do it would be best if I introduce several methods of measuring intelligence.

The first is the Sentience Quotient (SQ).  This describes just how quickly information is gathered, interpreted and a decision can be made on.   Per Wikipedia, it is, "the relationship between the information processing rate (bit/s) of each individual processing unit (neuron), the weight/size of a single unit and the total number of processing units (expressed as mass)."  Homo sapiens SQ is +13.  All earth animals are within a few points of this while earth plants are around -2.

The next measure of the civilizations in my universe is the Cognizance Level (CL).  This is how the civilization interacts with its environment.  Each level is divided into four letter levels:
a.  Awareness of the environment at that level
b.  Being able to respond at an individual level
c.  Manipulating the environment
d.  Understanding the environment fully

The overall levels are based on the description, scope of the environment:

  1. Immediate Environment
  2. Extended Environment (outside of senses)
  3. Community
  4. Self
  5. Time
  6. Cosmos
  7. Physical Ability
  8. Meta-Cosmos
Humans are probably a 4c.

The last measure of the civilizations is the well known Kardashev scale (KS).  Simply:
0.  (Carl Sagan addition) A civilization capable of using a mega watt
I.  A civilization capable of using all the available energy of their planet
II.  Using all the energy of the home star
III.  Using all the energy of the home galaxy
IV.  (questionable addition) Using all the energy of the universe
V.  (even more questionable, but probably necessary for my universe) capable of using all the energy of several universes

Humans are at about 0.724.

I think I should break it here and talk about the individual civilizations, or races in a second post for these questions.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

13 Worldbuilding Questions: Numbers 5 & 6

  5.  What's the linguistic situation on this world?

Math is the language of the universe, and math is the universe, and the universe is math, and the universe speaks in math.

Seriously.  There are physicists and mathematicians who claim that the universe is math.  Personally, in real life, I think math is the language of the universe, but not the reality of the universe.  In my stories however, it is all.

This is partially because it frightens me that the universe may not actually be a thing, but rather a mathematical probability, or collections of possibilities.  The universe is real, it is a thing, we are all things that really exist in a real universe, don't we?  Don't we?!

  6.  What's the primary means of communication?

Quantum communications is a thing in my universe and it is the primary means of long distance communication for those intelligences great enough to make use of it.

There is another means of communicating that involves alternating the universe itself.  This is akin to traveling using a warp drive, similar to that found in the Star Trek universe.

This universe warping communication is so difficult, complicated and power hungry that only the most advanced of the most advanced races can use it.  They, however use it at a whim.  They don't care how much power it requires.  It's a trifle to them.

They can and do put thoughts directly into our neuronic systems without a moment's hesitation.  In fact, they can warp time as well, so that a even a moment is not a moment.

The lowly races such as ourselves communicate through electromagnetic radiation in the form of radio waves.  Those a little more advanced than us have learned to keep their big mouths shut.  To announce to the universe that you are a life baring planet with intelligence to exploit, abuse, enslave, destroy, crush, and subjugate is pure folly.  They've learned there are races in our universe what would love nothing better than to revel in the dispiriting, disheartening and  demoralization of another intelligence. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

13 Worldbuilding Questions: Numbers 3 & 4

  3.  What happened here before?
  4.  How does its history influence the present?

In the previous post I did start talking about what happened before.  The godlike Originator Race created our universe after destroying their own.

The key influence this has on our present is that our entire universe obeys their laws, and/or whims.

Panspermia is the concept that life on Earth was seeded from other places in the universe.  H.P. Lovecraft plays with this idea in At the Mountains of Madness and "Shadow Out of Time."   In fact his Old Ones are the ones who created humans as a joke or mistake.

In my universe this isn't true.  Life developed on Earth just as our scientists say it did.  Was it influenced by aliens?  Were there monoliths as described in Arthur C. Clarke's 2001 and 2010?  In my initial concepts there was not.

Aliens are very powerful and intelligent.  For the most part they don't care about us at all.  They would not make an effort to "uplift" us as the aliens in Clarke's work.

Panspermia is out.  It is possible that aliens interfered in our past and could interfere with us in our future, but they are not benevolent.  This is horror after all, but why should they hate us?  They don't.  They are indifferent and unsympathetic.

This would be a good time to discuss the Great Filter.  This is a concept borne of the Fermi Paradox.  Given the number of possible worlds and the age of the galaxy, the purely random chance of life should have yielded many, many worlds, prompting physicist Enrico Fermi to ask, "Where is everybody?"  one day at lunch.

Since we have no evidence of any other life in our galaxy there must be something that keeps life from either developing at all, or if it does develop it must never get to the level of using radios and being detectable by our SETI efforts.

The thing that keeps life from developing or advancing is called the Great Filter.  There are several candidates for the Great Filter:  berserkers, self-destruction, cosmic destruction, etc.  None are very good, all are great horror story fodder.

In my stories all of these may brush against us, threatening our existence, threatening the existence of not just mankind, not just life, not just the earth, but our entire solar system.

We are also rarely and disastrously come in fleeting contact with the insanely powerful alien races that inhabit our galaxy, our universe and neighboring universes and even dimensions.  None of them is as stupid, weak and ignorant as us.  We are defenseless, like a swimmer when a great white shark decides to find out what the strange not-seal is and with casual curiosity bites off her leg.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

13 Worldbuilding Questions: Numbers 1 & 2

I said I was working on 13 Worldbuilding questions, so here is the first installment of the answers.


  1.  Where are we?
  2.  What's the natural environment like?

Of course you are asking yourself, and me, where are we?  What world is this, what stories is this the world for?  What sort of stories will take place in this world.

I'm focusing on horror stories.  I have written and intend to write straight up horror.  My brand of horror is cosmic horror, like H.P. Lovecraft.  I also intend to do mash-up horror, like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  I haven't written any yet, but I've wanted to do it a long time.

The mash-up horror would still be cosmic, but I would mix in some other element.

For this "world" building I would keep both these ends of my story telling spectrum in mind, perhaps leaving off some details that are as yet undecided, spoiler-ific, or are outliers specific to one of the story types.

Where are we?  We are in our universe, for the most part.  There are some things about our universe that are unknown to science.  This world does not violate any known scientific laws or facts, but does play a bit in the unknown edges.

My universe is part of a multiverse.  Faster than light travel is impossible, but teleportation is possible.  Travel into the past is impossible, but travel to a parallel universe in which time moved more slowly (thus giving the illusion of backwards time travel) is possible.

Probably most importantly, our universe was created by aliens.  A race from a previous universe became so powerful that they decided they wanted to create their own universe.  Our universe is the result.  

This is not a species as such, because they are beyond reproduction, or physical bodies.  I've called them the Originator Race (or OR).  This race knows nothing of us, nor do they care.  The difference between their intelligence and ours is greater than the difference between our intelligence and a tree.

There are races of intelligent beings in our universe far older, intelligent and powerful than us, but they too are to the Originator Race as we are to ants.

2.  What is the  natural environment like?

There may be pockets of our universe where the physical laws are not the same as they are here.  The physical laws may be subject to the Originators whims, machinations, or ulterior plans.

The universe is vast and mostly cold, and uncaring.  There are parts of the universe that are incredibly hot and uncaring.  The universe is on the brink of collapsing in on itself.

Life is not real.  It is nothing but a very complicated set of chemical and electrical processes played out in what is really mostly emptiness.  There is no good and evil because good and morality do not exist, they are just a lack, or minimization of bad.

Math is reality.  There is no free will.  Love is a chemical reaction.  Death is final.

Frightened yet?