Image from Bernd Helfert

Broadly speaking, any individual who uses technologies that are clarketech ('magical') to the surrounding population. The word is used in at least three distinct senses.

[1] A modosophont who has found or otherwise acquired a transpientech device or set of devices apparently lost or abandoned by the original owners and has turned it to eir own purposes. The device may be a full-fledged artefact, or something less significant. In some known cases the technomage is emself something of an artefact. A classic case of this is one of the clarketech 'wizards' escaped from some transapient-designed fantasy world. The best equipped and most intelligent technomages, especially those who have spikes of transapient-level cognition, can be difficult to tell from a true low level transapient. Technomages of this kind are extremely rare. Useable godtech devices that are not in the domain of an actual transapient are extraordinarily rare in the first place, and many of the technomages created by such a find only last for a limited period of time. Eventually the device runs out of power, or has some adverse effect on the user (converts em into a computronium nugget or into a remote for the device’s true master for instance) or simply stops working reliably. Given the rarity and short duration of the equipment that supports them, the resulting technomages are typically sole local examples, though in a very few cases they are numerous enough and near enough to one another to have formed guilds or associations. Though their capabilities may seem spectacular to ordinary sophonts, technomages in this sense are only important where transapients are absent or where they choose not to interact with modosophont society. Otherwise a would-be technomage is mostly considered unremarkable and their equipment may be confiscated, either by the local modosophont polity or by a local transapient power. Prominent and influential technomages are a rare but colourful phenomenon of the Periphery, the Seams, or of lightly settled backwater regions of the Terragen Sphere. There have been periodic fads for stories about this sort of technomage in the Civilized Galaxy. Most such tales are highly fictionalized.

[2] A modosophont, or an entire subculture of modosophonts, using tech that is much more advanced than the surrounding society, whether to gain a relative advantage or to influence or rule it. On several ludd, prim or otherwise backwards worlds or habs, technomage groups manipulate or control the masses with technologies that are clarketech from the point of view of the general populace. As with technomages in the definition above, such persons can only exist away from the Nexus and Beamrider Network, and in backward polities in which there is no AI supervision or oversight by advanced modosophont polities. Their relative advantage must sometimes be maintained by preventing others from acquiring more advanced technologies.

[3] A unique individual or member of a priestly caste within a society of ordinary sophonts that uses godtech devices or implants and operates as a representative of the local ruling transapient, mediating between em and the rest of mindkind.

Related Articles
  • Technoshamanism
  • Technothaumaturgy - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    What appears to be magic or miracles (see thaumaturgy) brought about through the use of advanced technology, especially clarketech.
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlevrevised by Stephen Inniss and Todd Drashner
Initially published on 09 January 2002.

Revisions November 2013