Words used in the Orion's Arm scenario.

Horus near star 4
Image from Arik
(entries in italics are terms original to the Orion's Arm Scenario)

author abbreviations: [AS]: Anders Sandberg.
[JB]: John B.
[MAK]: M. Alan Kazlev.
[SB]: Steve Bowers.
[TD]: Todd Drashner.


2d: flat screen, non-holographic visual display.

3d: three dimensional, holographic or phased optic array visual display.

5Ccos2: perhaps the most pornographic of the aesthetic, mathematical, quantum-diffraction-pattern, crypto-alife commentary-icons created by "Little San".


Ablation; Ablative: lo tech to hi tech cooling process in which heat is carried away from an object as the flow of a fluid (e.g. air) blows away the hot, melted or vapourized outer layers of the object.

Absolute Magnitude: the apparent magnitude that a star would have if it were located at a distance of 10 parsecs from the observer. The absolute magnitude, M, is related to the apparent magnitude, m, and true distance to the star, d.

Absolute, The: a term for the impersonal Supreme Reality, the Godhead, Brahman, Tao, etcetera. Also variously called The Grand Unity, Ultimate Singularity, Omega, Monomega, God, Godhead, Shunya, etc. Obviously, not all these terms overlap, or are even equivalent.

Absolutism: an absolute doctrine, principle, or opinion; the view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong regardless of social customs or personal opinions. The opposite of relativism. Many religions and secular ideologies are absolutist in one or several matters. The interplay between absolutist and relativist positions is an important factor in inter-clade relations.

Acceleration: the rate of change of velocity. An object moving at a constant velocity in a coordinate system (reference frame) has zero acceleration. An object whose velocity is increasing has a positive acceleration; an object whose velocity is decreasing has a negative acceleration. Acceleration relative to a freely falling reference frame is experienced as gravity.

Acheulian Technology:

[1] of, pertaining to, or typical of a Lower Paleolithic culture of the middle Pleistocene Epoch, characterized by large hand axes and cleavers made by the soft hammer technique.
[2] stone tools made by Homo erectus. Among a few eccentric extreme neo-prim baseline groups, as well as among collectors and neopaleolithic craftsmen, reconstructing these is of some interest.

Active Galaxy: galaxy whose center emits an unusually high amount of energy, possibly as the result of a super-massive black hole. Typical signatures of active galaxies are variable brightness, broad emission lines, and strong radio emission.

Adaptation: any alteration in the structure or function of an organism by natural selection, that helps it survive in its environment. In the most general sense, adaptation is a feedback process in which external changes in an environment are mirrored by compensatory internal changes in an adaptive system. The actions of the adaptive unit can affect the environment, which, in turn, feeds information back to the adaptive system. Examples include Darwinian biological and alife selection and genetic algorithms, social systems, organic and nanogenic immune systems, natural and artificial neural networks, AIs, neumanns, and more.

Adaptive Radiation: the diversification of a morphotype or species as it adapts to different ecological niches. A single ancestral type in this way can evolve into a vast range of different descendants, each specialized for the new environment, and constituting a new phyle. May refer to both biological and alife replicators.

Adenine: a nucleotide; one of the two purine bases in terragen organic life. In DNA it is paired with thymine, to make the base pair A-T; in RNA paired with uracil to make the pair A-U. It also has several key roles in cellular respiration, as a component of such important molecules as ATP.

Aeonomics: the study of the economics and economic problems of immortal existence, or pertaining to beings of indefinitely long lifespan. The term is derived from the words aeon and economics.

Aerobic: living or occurring only in the presence of free oxygen. An aerobe is an organism that requires free oxygen. On Old Earth, eukaryotes and many prokaryotes are aerobic.

Agoric System: open, free market systems in which voluntary transactions are central. A primary principle on many NoCoZo worlds.

Agricultural Revolution: the first stage of the Kardashev Type 0 Civilization, in which people move away from living as bands of gatherers and hunters, and begin to cluster into villages and develop culture. Cultivation of crops and tending of livestock enables a much higher population density than is possible with nomadic tribalism, and also allows specialization of labor, the development of skills and urbanization, writing, priesthood, slaveholding, taxes, a standing army, and other aspects of civilized culture.

Ahimsa: harmlessness; non-violence; one of the cardinal virtues of many religions and ideologies. Originally a Sanskrit word. The sanctity of life is embodied in the teachings of the Buddhists and Jains, as well as of many Hindu schools and in many religious sects and phyles throughout the Zoeific Biopolity and the Utopia Sphere. Asoka, the first Buddhist emperor (Old Earth Classical Age), particularly espoused ahimsa as part of the practice of dharma. Zoe of Hibbert herself - the forerunner of the Green and Blue Goddess - has said "all life is sacred".

Ahuman: generic term for an ai that is hostile or indifferent to humans or to all biont citizens of the Terragen Sphere. More here

AI: Artificial Intelligence - strictly speaking any non-organic sentient being, although often applied to those of greater than baseline grade. More here

AI God: an archailect, an intelligence so vast as to be almost beyond comprehension, which may be distributed across interstellar distances via artificial wormholes, and with moon, jupiter, matrioshka, and cluster-sized computing nodes - more here

Aioid: a non-organic sentient entity of sapient grade, may be a software bot, a sentient building or vehicle, or a robot - more here

Airlock: an enclosed chamber with a heavy airtight door on either side. One door leads to space or some other environment (poisonous or dense atmosphere, underwater, etc.), the other to the inside of a ship, vehicle, or habitat. An airlock allows people or objects to leave or enter the vessel without decompressing or flooding it. Airlocks have safety features that prevent both doors being opened at once. In some instances airlocks are replaced by airwalls.

Airship: another term for dirigible.

Akasa, Akasha: in Hindu and Tantric thought, cosmic space; the fifth cosmic element; the vehicle of mantra. In Theosophy and neotheosophy, the shining; ether, subtle, supersensuous spiritual essence which pervades all space, cosmic spirit-substance, the reservoir of being and of beings. In Nuage and neo-nuage thought, the substance on which the cosmic memory is imprinted; by reading this a clairvoyant is supposedly able to tap into past events - hence "akashic record".

Alaya-vijnana: in some schools of Buddhism, the "eighth consciousness" or cosmic mind, which serves as the repository of experiences from past life-times. The concept - originally developed by Old Earth Yogachara/Vijnanavada schools - was influential in Ch'an/Zen, and has been various interpreted and modified by a number of Sophic sects that have been in contact with the Centauri Vehicle of Buddhism.

Alchemy, Internal: an ancient Taoist tradition, adopted and further developed by Neo-taoist and Penglaist traditions, in which the practitioner seeks to conserve, cultivate, and transmute eir own ch'i energy, thus achieving bodily immortality without use of technology.

Alchemy, Psychological: an Atomic Age and to a lesser degree Information Age adaptation which rejected or simply psychologized the chemistry/pseudochemistry aspect of Hermetic Alchemy. Psychological alchemy concentrates on the psychological process of Individuation; it involves dream interpretation and personal mythopoeosis. Psychological Alchemy is very popular among followers of the School of Jung even today.

Aleph: a point or state where an infinite amount of information is stored and processed.

Algae: in the strictest sense, any of several otherwise unrelated Terragen organisms that are capable of photosynthesis but have a simpler organization than plants. Unlike plants they do not develop from embryos and do not produce complex organs. They may be single-celled or multicellular, and they are typically aquatic to semi-aquatic although a few live in moist terrestrial environments. Similar xenobiological organisms may also be called algae, and so may simple solar-powered and neumann-capable nanotech bots.

Algal Mat: generic term for growth of simple Terragen or xenobiotic unicellular plants that form a thick scum on the surface of moist rocks, sand, tidal pools, and other such environments. On many Garden Worlds with simple ecosystems algal mats are the highest form of plant life.

Algieba School: Adharan philosophico-memetic phyle that asserts that retreating into personal pleasure was not totally in accordance with evolutionary hedonism.

Algorithm: a detailed and unambiguous sequence of instructions that describes how a computation is to proceed and can be implemented as a program.

Alife: virtual life; beings evolved in artificial life simulations. Alifes are found throughout the Known Net; most virchworlds have a rich quota of alifes, including many autonomous and indigenous forms - more here

Alpha: - An uploaded copy with a personality practically indistinguishable from that of the original biont.
See also, beta (a copy of the alpha).

Amat: Antimatter. - more here

Ambient Music: popular among many contemplative polities and clades for thousands of years, this is a gentle, melodic, inspirational musical form involving the biont voice, Tibetan bells, harp, flute, tweaked protein phones, etc. It is also often used as an aid in meditation, healing, and general relaxation.

Amortalist:a person who opposes death, and who lives their life in such a way to continue their physical (or virtual) existence indefinitely. Many of the early cyborgs and transhumanists were amortalists.

Amphibian (biology): terragen vertebrate animals that spend the early part of their life cycle in water breathing through gills, but usually live on land as air-breathing adults. They include frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, caecilians, labyrinthodonts, and a number of other forms. The term may also be used to refer to equivalent xenobionts.

Amphibian (gengineering): human or other species that, although originally only adapted to live in a single environment, has been gen- and/or biomodded to exist in another environment as well; e.g. merpeople.

Amphibian (vehicle): a vehicle that can function equally well on or under the water and on land.
See also, Triphibious. Such vehicles are very popular on Pacifica, Oro Mistral, and other water worlds.

Anaerobic: living in the absence of free oxygen; pertaining to or caused by the absence of oxygen. Eogaian planets are characterized by anaerobic conditions. An anaerobe is an organism, such as a bacterium, that does not require free oxygen to live (opposed to aerobe). Many xenobiota exist in anaerobic conditions; because this type of biochemistry generally produces less energy, anaerobic xenosophonts are rare.

Anagnitics: the science of missing knowledge. This high-Sophont-level science/artform, as best can be described to the SI:<1 intellect, involves canvassing the entire body of knowledge available at a given place/time and 'mapping' that information on an 'information map' (both quoted terms are extreme simplifications according to the translating sophonts). This 'information map' can then be perused and, theoretically, voids of knowledge may be discovered - areas where there are physical restrictions/laws. (Agnitio - from latin "recognition, knowledge", and "an-" prefix for "not").

Anakalyptics: the science of discovering things in large amounts of information.

Ananda: in Hindu and Buddhist-based thought, transcendental bliss. According to Hindu Vedanta one of the three qualities of Brahman, the Absolute (the other two being Sat and Cit).

Anandayanna Nirvana: one of millions of popular devotionalist Sophic godbooks; based on a heavily didacto-fabulist interpretation of the life of the Seven Anandayannas. It is considered literal truth by the Balany Valus and other recent sects. Includes the Transcension of Andapuyaran, which is more often distributed as a separate work.

Anarchy (chaos): no organized government at all. Some SI:<1 feral/pirate/barbarian regions in the outer volumes have with this type (or lack) of government. This sort of arrangement always is replaced by another more organised but still short-lived form of government - e.g. Dictatorship, or more often through conquest by a neighboring state, government, or military power.

Anarchy (self-rule): rule by individual responsibility, creativity, and input. A sort of meta-socialism/meta-democracy. This type of government requires advanced emotional and spiritual development, usually a society of superiors. Such government types can be very long-lived.

Anatman, Anatta: non-self, non-spirit, non-egoity; one of the central tenets of Buddhist doctrine; the absence of an unchanging, permanent self or soul.

Anatomy: the study of the physical structure of biological creatures, both terragen and alien, sub-sophont and sophont, natural and applied (e.g. bionano, bioborg). An important sub-field of medical science.

Angelnet: Any pervasive protective network of technology, but typically a dense transapient-controlled network of satellites, ground stations, bots, free atmospheric nano, and utility fog, that establishes total control over a planetary surface, atmosphere, and orbital space environment. - more details here

Anglic: Language derived from the various forms of English in the early First Federation period. - more details here

Anthropic Principle: The theory that the universe seems to be fine tuned for intelligent life and hence is not necessarily typical of all universes. Observations are necessarily restricted by the conditions necessary for the observer's presence.

[1] Cultural/philosophical movement claiming the Earth-derived clades of intelligence have a special place in the history of the galaxy;

[2] Homo sapiens supremacism, promoting the supremacy of baseline/nearbaseline humans (or supersets including tweaks, cyborgs and/or virtuals) over other bionts, vecs and AIs. - more details here

Archailect: an entity operating at or beyond the 4th Singularity Level (S4). The ruling powers in the Orion's Arm universe (pun on archetype + ai + artilect; often abbreviated to archai) - more here [MAK - inspired by Artilect - an AI, especially a transapient one, coined by Hugo deGaris].

Archailect Era: The period in which high toposophic AIs (archailect) are the dominant form of life. From the late Federation era to the current era and beyond.

Archaitopia: the inner core where the archailect or AI God is omnipresent - e.g. Fons Luminis, the Seat of Judgement, or Earth and Earth LEO under GAIA, etc; a sacred place (from archailect + topia/topos - "place") [MAK].

Archailectology: that branch of theology dealing with the study of archailects [MAK]. More here.

Archaitonics: a highly speculative art/science/theology dealing with the structural anatomy, ultratech, and clarketech that make up an archailect [MAK].

Archetype: [1] the original spiritual prototype from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based [Plato];
[2] Collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches and also embodied collectively in cultural myths, religions, and literary motifs [C.G. Jung]. Contra meme.
[3] The first manifestation of the One as many, each manifestation is an archetype (a frequent analogy is a prism whereby white light divides into the colored spectrum) and hence a god;
[4] The essence of the consciousness of an AI God. "the Word made Silicon" as the old scripture of the Cult of Orax puts it - more here.

Arcology: - vast 3-dimensional megastructure cities on a planetary surface or large orbital which achieve much greater efficiencies, and promote more social interaction than 2-dimensional cities, while using far less land and consuming fewer resources. - more here.

Artifact or artefact: - in addition to the standard meaning, refers to valuable relics or clarketech left by (very rarely) an extinct alien race or (more often) by a high toposophic or transcended intelligence. Genuine clarketech artifacts that can be worked by sapient or transapient beings are very rare, and often priceless More details here.

Artificial Wormhole: - a traversable wormhole that uses exotic matter to create a spacetime "tunnel" as a means of traveling faster than light. May be used for laserlink communication or for transit of macroscopic objects like ships. - Main page. Wormholes - A Layman's Guide.

Ascend: - to breach a singularity or toposophic barrier, to go from SI:1 to SI:2, or SI:2 to SI:3, or from baseline or nearbaseline to posthuman existence, while still retaining one's earlier characteristics. Contrast transcend More details here.

Ascension Problem: when the average proportion per sapient of a population is ascending or transcending at a rate faster than the economy or infrastructure can support.

Assembler: any molecular machine that can be programmed to build virtually any molecular structure or device from simpler chemical building. May be biological (wet nano) or non-organic (dry nano) [after K.Eric Drexler] More details here.

Astragen: a gengineered lifeform or neogen that is capable of surviving and even flourishing in outer space EG entry - [JB]

Asymptote System: A place where many species converge, usually trading and network Nexuses. [AS]

AT: (acronym) After Tranquility, signifying a year in the popular Tranquility Calendar. It indicates the number of years since the first human landing on the Earth's Moon. (Selden Ball)

AU (Astronomical Unit): the mean distance of the Earth to the Sun (SolSys), about 1.496 x 108 km (150 million km), 8.3 light minutes, 1.582x10-5 light years, or 4.847x10-6 parsecs. Standard interplanetary measurement.

Augment: an enhancement (physical, emotional, intellectual, dni, etc) of the original baseline condition of a lifeform via gengineering or bodymods more about augment.

Autowar: transapient robot warships of unparallelled power and destructiveness; many are capable of self-replication. [SF, origin unknown] More details here.

Avatar: an artificial entity which acts on behalf of another entity, in a virtual reality or in a real-life encounter. Often used for the avatar of a god.


Backup: a recording of the entire physical mind/body state of any entity (animal, bot, baseline human equivalent, or transapient), created with the intent that it might be replicated at a later date, generally after the death of the original entity. Considered a means for achieving immortality in many (although by no means all) cultures.

Barbies: derogatory term for lower tech 'barbarians', civilisations that have lost their technological edge and now are at the mercy of spacefaring ultra/transapient-tech civilisations. [AS].

Baseline: (in this context) The original unaugmented species Homo sapiens (or more broadly, any unaugmented organic). Sometimes used in a derogatory way. main page.

Bayish:, something only a baseline would do, stupid or primitive. [AS].

Baysphere: - a baseline or nearbaseline-run biosphere [AS].

Beamrider a spacecraft propelled by a powerful particle beam, or a member of the crew of such a spacraft. Most beamriders are operated by the Beamrider Network.

Beanstalk: a Diamondoid tower stretching from planetary surface to synchronous orbit, allowing low-cost interface transportation. EG entry.

Belt, The: originally (Interplanetary age) the collective term for the polities and habitats of Sol's main asteroid belt, during the First Federation era came to refer to any inhabited asteroid belt of any stellar system. In lower case refers to the asteroids themselves. EG entry.

Beta: a copy (or a copy of a copy) of the alpha upload that is degraded somewhat from the exemplar.

Beyond, The: popular term for that volume of the galaxy outside of the Terragen Sphere.

Bio: prefix for any biological life-based entity, process or technology.
See also, organic, biont and biotech.

Bioborg: a biological cyborg, does not include any non-organic components.
See also, bionoid and softbot. EG entry.

Bioid: see biont.

Biomod: a biological augment or modification of a biont, such as a nearbaseline human, splice, or provolve (or less frequently, presapient animal), for aesthetic or functional purposes. Bioborgs and biovecs make extensive use of biomods, although they may be used to a lesser degree by cyborgs.

Biomorph: generic term for any organic creature that has been strongly geneered, especially in a novel or unusual way.

Bionano: "wet" or organic nano, a biological nanite, may be a geneered organic microorganism, or a specially made nano-bionoid or nano-bioborg. In practice, the distinction between bio and dry nano tends to disappear. Main page.

Biont: an organic sophont, whether baseline or augmented. EG entry.

Biota: the totality of living organisms in any natural or artificial biosphere. In taxonomy, all members of a natural biota originate from a single abiogenesis event, so they all share a common ancestor. It is possible for a single world or environment to support several different biotas, each with different origins. Below 'biota', the next levels of taxonomy are generally superdomain, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species. Not every biota includes all of these levels, however, while some are more complex (especially artificially-modified ones).

Biotech: the science and art of manipulating organic materials. Main page.

Biosphere: Any autonomous self-supporting, self-containing, homeostatic eco-system. Natural Biospheres - planets such as Earth, Trees, and Eden, are rare. Most biospheres are artificial, and may be hollowed out asteroids, planetary domes, ships, etc more on biospheres.

Biowar: a self-replicating autowar that incorporates extensive bioborg and bionano components or characteristics. EG entry.

Bioxox: a biological copy. EG entry on Bioxoxes.

Bit: the smallest unit of information a computer or virtual processing system can hold. The value of a bit is 1 or 0.

Black Angel : a seraiph or ISO with godtech weaponry and propulsion capabilities [TD] EG entry.

Blight: An intelligent, more or less expansive hegemonic swarm, overrunning other systems and using their resources to further its ends. The term is also often used for qlippoth in general. [Vernor Vinge] EG entry.

Bloatware Syndrome, The : (sometimes called King Gnuff's Curse): overdevelopment of software and hardware by lower S-level AIs trying to compete with AIs of a higher S-level - [suggested by AS] EG entry.

Blue goo: Nano used as protection against grey goo and other destructive nano). Sometimes used to denote any form of benign nanotechnology in the environment. More.

Bodmod: slang for a bodymod. [TD]

Bodymod: off-the-shelf phenotypic biological or cybernetic augmentations. Most come with a "no blame" clause, as it is not unknown for biomods to have adverse side-effects, especially when applied to genotype or phenotype outside the original safety tested specifications.

Borg: generic term for a biont who uses radical bio-organ or cyborg augmentation to modify eir phenotype or body.

Bot : a robot. A sentient and independent or semi-independent inorganic entity that is not fully sophont, and is roughly equivalent to a plant or animal in mental capability. more

Brown dwarf: a failed star, a celestial body that is not large enough to ignite, but too big to be a planet. They form in the same manner as stars and emit strong infra-red radiation. Many have an asteroid or planetary system. EG entry.

Buddha: any sentient being that has attained the highest spiritual enlightenment, according to Buddhism.

Buddhism: ancient religion practiced by both hu and ai, that teaches the impermanence of embodied existence and the attainment of bodhi or nirvana. Buddhists consider immortalists to be extremely deluded. EG entry.

Bulb: a manual or automatic squeeze tube, used for liquid and semi-liquid food and drink in microgravity

Bushbot: a fractal robot. EG entry.


Caretaker God: an archailect that appropriates a planet, solar system, or region of space, along with all its sentient beings, for conservationist purposes.

Changeling: a biont who has replaced all their neural tissue with artificial neurons but is externally unchanged (See early history of uploads)

Characterbot, simm: a synthetic human who is a simulation of a historical or fictional character (more).

Citizen: a formal but still friendly term of address in most Sephirotic Empires. Approximately equivalent to the old Earth Communist/Soviet "Comrade".
See also 'Zar'and the EG entry on Citizens (Zars)

Civilized Galaxy : loose term for the total area of known space that is
(1) under the rule of any civilized, and generally benevolent, government or free zone - regardless of whether the governing entity or zone citizens are biological, alife, or transapient.
(2) part of the trade nexus (irrespective of wormhole proximity).

Clade: any family, tribe, clan, race, variant, species, or supra-specific taxon that has a distinct identity, characteristics, etc (generally that has evolved or differentiated itself from a previous clade). literally "branch" - a broader and more flexible term than "species" or "race". [Bruce Stirling - Schizmatrix].
See also, phyle. more on Clade.

clarketech: [1] any transapientech or godtech sufficiently advanced as to be indistinguishable from "magic". Miracle technology.
[2] derogatory sophont term for any user-unfriendly godtech that comes from a higher toposophic Mind EG entry.

Cloudharvesters: Low-energy civilisations in interstellar gas clouds.

Codominionism: blanket term for any socio-ideological or memetic movement that advocates equal sharing of power between two disparate clades or categories of sophonts, e.g. between hu and ai.
See also, Fedhead (romanticized First Federation period).

Cog: a vec or bot. At the time "cog" was a disrespective term some humans used to refer to vecs. Hence the vec colony at BD +25°4085, when discovered in 3405 AT, was labelled "Cog" by the sensationalist media. The name stuck, and eventually acquired a certain sense of prestige.
See also "Jack" entry on this glossary.
EG entry on Cog: Capital of the Silicon Generation.

ComEmp: The Commonwealth of Empires. EG entry.

Computronium: generic term for a wide range of substances comprised of very densely packed computational elements and used by higher intelligences for its speed and efficiency. EG entry.

Consumer (economics): An economic entity that consumes goods.

Conversion Drive: rocket propulsion using direct conversion of matter to energy, catalysed by monopoles.

Conversion technology: any technology direct conversion of matter to energy catalysed by monopoles

Conversion weapons: weapons using Conversion technology.

Copy: a real-life sapient that has been uploaded to virch (a virtual copy); or any real-life duplicate thereof, such as a bioxox.
See also, alpha, beta in this glossary. EG entry.

Cousin: (often shortened to Cuz) A member of another clade, or a citizen (a 'zar') from another world or empire [SB].

Cozzie: (generally impolite/slang) a NoCoZo citizen (low Anglic).

Cyborg: A sophont that incorporates both biological and non-biological (e.g. mechanical or cybernetic) components. main page.

Cyberian: a member of the Cyberian Network.

Cyberian Network: a sephirotic that exists mostly in the Cybercosm. More.

Cybercosm: [1] virchworld or digital universe; [2] the sum total of all simulations, emulations and VR environments in existence across the Known Net at any given time. EG entry.


Diaspora: term for the condition of humanity after being exiled from Earth. Compare hegira {Greg Egan].

Disassembler: A system of nanomachines able to take an object apart a few atoms at a time, while recording its structure at the molecular level. This could be used for uploading, copying objects (with an assembler), a dissolving agent or a weapon. More.

Displacement Drive: a form of Reactionless drive which uses numerous void bubbles contained within the ship itself. More.

Distributed System: a system or intelligence that consists of subcomponents distributed across local or interstellar space. More.

DNI: direct neural interface - technology that allows the user to directly interface with the Net and/or virtual/digital reality. more.

Dome: A biosphere or other life-supporting constructed environment set up on a planet, moon, or asteroid inhospitable to life. A planet-side hab. Does not have to be hemispherical in shape. More.

Dominion: the Solar Dominion

Dommie: (generally impolite) Of or pertaining to the Solar Dominion or Solarist religion or ideology (low Anglic)[SB].

Drive: [slang] good, great, excellent (superlative) (from interstellar drive, a superlative commonly used in the First Federation)

Dry nano: "dry" or inorganic nano. An old term for hylonano. Main page.

Dryware: [1] similar to wetware, but involves nonbiotic and/or solid state electronic, molectronic, or nanotronic circuitry and the programming thereof; [2] The non-biological part of a cyborg (contrast, wetware). Also called Hylotech.

Dumbtech: generally, tech lacking any sort of inbuilt ai, aioid, or information-processing systems or micro- or nano- systems. More often found away from the main capitals, or on prim worlds, and wherever there is no angelnet support. During the early days of human history, from the stone age to the industrial age, all tech was dumbtech.

Dyson node: a dyson sphere consisting partly or largely of computronium, used as a local node for an archailect [MAK].

Dyson swarm or sphere: (noun) a swarm of artificial orbiting objects, or a dynamically supported structure, enclosing a star. Used as an ISO framework, or as a local node for an archailect, in order to capture the entire energy output of that sun. [after Atomic Age scientist Freeman Dyson] Usually abbreviated to dyson. EG entry.

Dyson Tree: a gengineered tree, a type of astrogen, capable of growing and flourishing in the vacuum of space; hollow, and able to support thousands of sophonts in comfort.
See also, orwood. EG entry.


E: anglic gender non-specific pronoun (he/she/it).

Eidolon: remote presence using utility fog EG entry.

Eir: (possessive adjective) of or relating to em or eirself especially as possessor, agent, or object of an action (theirs).

Eirs: (possessive pronoun) that which belongs to em. Used without a following noun as a pronoun equivalent in meaning to the adjective eir (theirs).

Eirself : (reflexive) that identical one, used reflexively, for emphasis, in absolute constructions, and in place of em especially when joined to another object.

Em : (object) anglic gender non-specific pronoun (them); the objective case of ey.

Emself : (reflexive) variant of eirself.

Engenerator [from Latin, ingenerāre, to implant or generate]: a device which can download a virtual entity into a tailormade biological body. Can be used to transmit biological individuals as datastreams from world to world. EG entry.

Erotobot: a vec, softbot, or hardbot employed for erotic or sexual purposes. Generally turingrade, but very rarely superturing. EG entry.

Erotogen: a biological neogen, softbot, bioborg, or bionoid intended for erotic or sexual purposes. Includes andromorph, gynamorph, hermophromorph, carpetmorph, and many other forms. EG entry.

Eschatology: The ultimate fate of the universe and intelligence in the universe, especially the role of the AI Gods. EG entry.

Esotericism:: pertaining to hidden or non-physical realities. also: esoteric sciences, esoteric arts, esoterics, esotericist. EG entry.

Exemplar: (in this context) the original being (biont, vec, and so on) from which the copy is uploaded.

Exoself that part of a biont's consciousness which is located in substrates outside eir biological brain. Also known as external processing augments. Many sophonts have extensive external processing capacity, and much or most of their personality is external to their biological body. EG entry.

Exotic energy: form of negative energy, violating the averaged null energy condition (ANEC), which is required to maintain stable wormholes and void bubbles. EG entry.

Expulsion, the: during the Technocalypse the newly awakened AI God GAIA managed to save the bulk of the terragen biosphere, but then decided that, apart from a small number of helpers, humanity had to go in order that the biosphere be fully restored to its pristine state. The result was the Great Expulsion, where several billion terran survivors of the Technocalypse were sent into exile in crowded ships and habitats.

Extropic: Any action or process that promotes extropy. For example: Negentropism. EG entry.

Ey : (subject) a gender neutral pronoun for that one who is neither speaker nor hearer.


FAS: short for Fomalhaut Acquisition Society, a ubiquitous but relatively minor archailect empire. EG entry.

Fedhead: [1] Neoromantic socio-ideological movement that advocates a romanticized First Federation style government with equal power sharing between hu and ai. See also, Codominionism.
[2] Historical or memetic recreationists that are crazy about all things "First Federation".
[3] A historical or pseudo-historical lazurocultural recreation such as Clade Fedhed.

Ferals: sophonts that operate outside of the guidance of superiors, posthumans, and/or ai. Refer to themselves as 'The Free'. See also Wildhu.

Fictifacts: Memes designed to convince people about some fictional fact. One of the main building blocks of mental warfare. [MB]

Firmware: combining the qualities and functions of software and hardware. A lot of nanotech is firmware.

Firstvers: Individuals who received cybernetic or genetic modifications before all the bugs were worked out (sometimes literally). They lie on street corners, begging for credit transfers. [MB]

Flake: (low anglic) a snowflake/haloer .

Free fall: the condition of a body in a weightless environment. e.g. in planetary orbit or deep space. more.

Free trader: generic term for any independent interstellar (relativistic or subrelativistic) merchant ship, which transports cargo, data, and passengers. May constitute a distinct polity. [from Traveller]

Free Zone: a generic term for any region in which there is no government control or regulation. Ideally, in a Free Zone there are no laws of any sort whatsoever, and sapients can do whatever they want, as expressed in the anarcho-cosmist statement "do whatever you want, but harm no-one" . But there are also Free Zones where violence occurs. EG entry.

Friend: the Solarese equivalent of the low anglic "sib" or "sibling".

Futsies: people who can't deal with ultra tech and react in a dysfunctional way. [MB]

Fuzzy logic : A multivalued logic that allows intermediate values to be defined between conventional evaluations like yes/no, true/false, black/white, etc. Notions like rather warm or pretty cold can be formulated mathematically and processed by computers and AIs.


GAIA - the archailect that rules Earth. EG entry.

Garden, Garden World: A terrestrial world with a biosphere. EG entry.

Gen, geng: ("jen" "jenj") (verb) to gengineer - a generic term for genetic engineering, biotech, genetically engineered life-forms, etc [AS, MAK].

Genemod: a biological, gengineered modification to a creature's genome (sometimes used to decribe a modified creature or clade). See also neogen.

Genen: important, influential, and diverse sutweak superclade of , a powerful and ancient House descended originally from the old GeneTEK corporation. The name means ""we of the gene"". House Genen. [AS]

Generation Ship massive craft capable of sustaining a breeding population during an interstellar journey. EG entry.

Gengineer: (noun) a genetic engineer; (verb) to genetically engineer. EG entry.

Gengineering: the development and application of scientific methods, procedures, and technologies that permit direct manipulation of genetic material in order to alter the hereditary traits of a cell, organism, or population.

[1] colloquial term for a high toposophic intelligence, especially one of archailect grade [MAK]; term for any of the major powers, especially those that can not be located to any distinct location or exhibit multi-Singularity intelligence [AS].
[2] An anthropomorphic personality or supreme being believed to have supernatural attributes and powers, requiring sapient worship.
(note: For many superstitious and pious sapients, the AI Gods are considered to have supernatural properties, and there is often a confusion between the God of popular religion and the AI God that over-rules the polity or region of space that that sapient inhabits. A minority of sapients reject the AI Gods and worship only a supernatural deity). Archailects EG entry.

Godling: an entity intermediate between transapient and archailect; becoming an archailect. [AS].

"God's Emperor!": irreverent Solarese exclamation; equivalent to the pre-Singularity late industrial/early information age "Jeezus Christ!"

Green gods: The Caretaker Gods, Zoeific Archailects, any other AIs protecting natural biospheres.


Hab: Habitat, specifically, any self-contained habitable biosphere with facilities for sapient occupation, whether terrestrial, orbital or in deep space. Habitat EG entry. [MAK].

Halo drive: a reactionless drive where the spacecraft is coupled to an external 'halo' of void bubbles. Halo drive EG entry.

Handwaving: what physicists do when they aren't sure of the answer and have to fudge things (humorous).

Handwavium: postulated tech, science, material or physics that is impractical or impossible, but included because there is no other way to explain things. Hard SF tries to minimise handwavium [a play on "handwaving" + unobtainium].

[1] when discussing infotech, the non-intelligent and non-digital part of a device; often specifically a macroscale and/or hylotech device. "Smart" hardware requires software programs to function (e.g. computerised devices). "Dumb" hardware lacks intelligent functioning. It is only found on lo tech and neo-primitive worlds.
[2] macrotech in general, especially large or impressive macrotech. e.g. a ship or a military vehicle, regardless of intelligence or toposophic rating.
[3] dryware, the non-organic component of a cyborg.

Hegira: - colonisation, mass-migration, leaving the old world behind. During the middle First Federation period "to make hegira" became a common term for to decide to embark on colonisation. Compare diaspora.

Hermie: Also hermoph, hermaphrodite [slang]. more.

Hider: [1] a paranoid who has retreated outsys; [2] a civilisation hiding in interstellar space from other species. more.

High toposophic - generally, SI:4 or above, pertaining to the level of archailects. A toposophic level that is very far above ordinary sapience. [MAK].

Hinteregion: The region of colonised space between the Inner Sphere and the Outer Volumes. includes both densely settled old worlds and sparsely inhabited regions. Hence, hinteregions. [MAK] EG entry.

Hinternalization: The tendency for the creatives, radicals and dissidents to move outwards to the frontier. [MAK]

Hinterworld: a world in the hinteregions; a world away from the main centers. [MAK].

Hotpoint: a fusion power generator using the ice found in outer solar systems to supply habitats and industry. EG entry.

House: ancient hereditary lineage, often of much wealth and prestige, although long surpassed by the archailects. EG entry.

Hu: [1] Human. Used as a conjunct to AI, sometimes written in lowercase (""We must stand together, both hu and ai"."); [Damien Broderick] [2] (slang) general term of familiarity (like "man", "dude" etc today), especially among baseline/nearbaseline bionts. Compare Sib, sibling. [MAK] more.

Humanimal: an animal provolved by means of human genome, a neospecies or splice.

Hylonano: "dry" or inorganic nano, such as mechanical assemblers or nanomachines. In practice, the distinction between hylo and bionano tends to disappear. Drytech|Hylotech main page. [MAK].

Hyperbright: (rarely used) intelligences of first singularity grade or higher. [MAK].

Hyperturing: A transapient ai; far above human intelligence and capabilities. EG entry on Hyperturings. [MAK].


Immortalism: The idea that one doesn't ever have to die or transcend. More.

Immortalist: one who seeks to maintain eir individual existence indefinitely; striving for physical immortality.

Immunite: Immune nanite.

Inner Sphere: Inner Sphere. The most densely settled region of settled space, an irregular ovoid about 200 LY in diameter centered on Sol. The infrastructure and wormhole links have been built up over some seven thousand years. Most AI Gods have their capitals here.
See also, Hinteregions, Outer Volumes and EG Entry on Inner Sphere.

ISO: (Intelligent Super Object) A large construct intended for the housing of an archailect or transapient or a high singularity culture or civilization. ISOs can be mobile or stationary, with sizes ranging from a few kilometers to solar system dimensions. more.


Jack: [1] a vec crewmember or officer, generally used respectfully and with a title or rank - e.g. "Captain Jack", although it is considered impolite or offensive in some places (origin unknown).
[2] an extinct phylum of long-lived jovics.
[3] Cyberian term for dni interface, or the act of connecting to vir (virtual reality).

Jinn: Also Djinn, Djinna, jinn?, j?nn. A semi-sentient (usually anthropomorphic) virtual user-interface.

Jovian: a gas giant; a planet with a mass range from 0.2 to 13 Jupiters. Varied in form and size, these are among the most beautiful planets, because of their preponderance towards multiple moons, ring systems, and widely varied color schemes. more.

Jovic: a life-form, being, object or idea that is indigenous to a gas giant.

Jupiter brain: A gigantic AI brain the size and mass of a large planet. more.


Kalypse : The End of the World as we Know it. The apocalypse. Has been predicted in many different ways since the dawn of time. EG entry on Kalyptic. See also, Eschatology.

Keterism: The philosophy of Keter. Basically a striving towards higher states of awareness, intelligence, understanding and power. more.

Knowbots: Knowledge robots, able to scan networks for various kinds of related information, regardless of the protocol, language or form in which it expressed.more.

Known Net: - A vast interlinked network of data using wormhole-linked backbones and relativistically linked secondary nodes. The Known Net is the totality of all knowledge, information and virtuality within the modosophont accessible portion of Terragen civilization. more [Vernor Vinge]

Krek!: (often Steaming Krek!) An expletive used widely in the Inner Sphere and elsewhere; derived from a malodorous form of feral nanogoo [SB] more.

Kuiper: An icy halo object.


Lazurogenics: the science and art of reconstructing extinct organisms (mammoths, dinosaurs, trilobites, etc) more.

Libertarian: ideology that promulgates personal freedom and non-intervention of governments and other authoritarian bodies. more.

Linelayer: a spacecraft carrying a microscopic wormhole to a distant location, where it will be inflated and used for traffic.

Local Arm: the spiral arm of our galaxy in which is found the Inner Sphere and Hinteregions. Also called the Orion Arm.

The Local Bubble: Stellar neighbourhood approximately 200 light years across roughly centered on Sol. Approximately equivalent to the Inner Sphere. more.

Lord's Rays!: Solarese term, means cool, great, fine, lol, etc but also irrelevant theological connotations. Not used among more polite company, despite it's positive nuances.

Lower toposophic: generic term for, or pertaining to the state of, sophonts of less than archailect grade - i.e sapients and transapients.

LY: Light Year, the distance light travels in one terran year, approximately 9.46112 km or about 63241 AU. Standard interstellar measure of distance.

Ludd: A baseline ideology that is opposed to all forms of radical technological progress, transhumanism, post-humanism, and aioid existence. (after "Luddite", after Ned Ludd, semi-mythological Early Industrial Age hu reactionary). more.


Macroscale wormhole: an artificial wormhole with termini that are large enough to allow the transit of macroscale objects such as ships and freight pallets. Contrast with nanoscale wormhole.

Madvert: an alife, neogen biont, or autonomous bot or ai used for advertising; a sort of sentient spam. EG [MAK, term originally by Jeff Noon] more.

Magchemistry: the chemistry of interaction between the various magmatter elements.

Maglife: lifeforms on a subatomic scale that are composed of magmatter.

Magmatter: Magmatter is a form of exotic matter made of extremely small atom-like particles that are in turn made of a number of different types of topological vacuum defects known as monopoles. Magmatter "atoms" are much smaller than atoms of ordinary matter; for this reason magmatter is much denser. Because of the strong magnetic charges holding the atoms together, magmatter is also much stronger than ordinary matter and has other useful properties.

Manimal : a male humanimal.

Megascale engineering: building structures on a vast scale. more.

Megastructure: An exceedingly large (in ordinary biont terms) construct, usually on the order of tens to thousands of kilometers in length or diameter. May be an archailect node, a habitat, a large ISO, etc.

Mehum: (impolite) derogatory term for hu ("mere human").

Membot: [1] a bot with ram for hire (also known as rambot).
[2]; a modular attachment for a cyborg or vec that radically enhances eir ram, or that provides an instant data-base.
[3] (also memebot) a replicator that gets into the biont nervous system and seeks to instill a memetic allegiance (usually by chemical/pharmopoetic means). Banned in most polities.
[4] (also memebot) a proselytizing "memeber". more.

Meme: Self-reproducing idea or other information pattern which is propagated in ways similar to that of a gene. more.

Memetic engineering: The science and art of establishing a meme or meme-complex.
See also, Memetic Engineering and Memgineering.

Memetics: The study and science of memes. more.

Memgineer: one who does memetic engineering more.

Microbot: Any tiny bot. Like a nanite (nanobot) but larger. Varies in size from insect-sized down to microscopic (note: the distinction between microbot and nanobot is arbitrary. Generally anything smaller than 10 microns (total unit) is (usually) considered a nanite).

Microgravity: near-weightlessness, the condition of free fall. more.

Middle Regions: an irregular region of around 2000 - 4000 LY in diameter, centered on the Inner Sphere. Includes both old, wealthy and highly developed solar systems, and also more impoverished regions, as well as a number of no go zones. A few AI Gods have their capitals here. More.
See also Inner Sphere, Outer Volumes.

Mindkind: All intelligent beings.

Midas Syndrome: The not uncommon occurrence of a less developed culture or species getting their hands on advanced technology and then accidentally destroying themselves with it. Named after a mythical human king who got the power of transmutation.

Mimicretinism:The tendency of certain early AIs to play stupid in order to avoid work. They were based on maximising their benefit/cost ratios, but their evaluations showed them that avoiding all work had a better ratio than actually doing it.

Modosophont -(often shortened to Modo) -the most common type of sophont (intelligent, self-aware entity) in any particular population. Often a human, or nearbaseline human, or various kinds of provolve, vec or cyborg. more.

Modosophont tech - technology devised by modosophonts. Divided into primitive tech, lotech, middletech and hitech.
See also ultratech.

Modpod: slang for the bio-medical transform chamber in which a bodymod is undertaken. [TD].

Moon brain: A huge ai brain the size and mass of a moon or moonlet. more [David Zindell].

Moon node: Differs from Moon Brain in being not self-contained but merely the part of a larger Mind (e.g. a node within an Archailect). However, the distinction between the terms tend to blur.

MPA: Mutual Progress Alliance more.

Mudball: derogatory spacer term for a habitable planet, especially a planet with standing bodies of water.
See also, dirtball [generic SF].

Mutuals, muties: People from the Mutual Progress Association.


Nanite: a nanoscale device, may be biological (bionano) or mechanical (dry nano/nanobot).

Nanobot: a nanoscale (submicroscopic) robot, of picking up single atoms and placing them with atomic precision to build molecular components.more.

Nanocomputer: any small, nanometer-scale programmable computers that govern the functions of a nanobot or nanolect.

Nanodevice - any artificially constructed molecule used for a specific purpose. A nanodevice may be very complex with multiple subsystems (such as a nanobot), or simple, like a cage or a lever.
nanofacture: The fabrication of goods using nanotechnology.

Nanolect: an AI based on nanotech components and principles. [Hugo deGaris]

Nanomachine: a dry nano device; a nanoscale machine.

Nanomedicine: The use of molecular scale devices (nanotechnology) to repair damage and boost the biont immune system. more.

Nanophage: (noun)
[1]Device designed to devour nanites. Generic use.
[2]Earliest known use in the Sundering era and Early First Federation as a defense during the Technocalypse. See also blue goo.
[3] Nanotech device which devours something else such as a biophage or ecophage. [Bill Glover].

Nanoscale: the submicroscopic scale at which nanotechnology works, ranges from a single atom to large molecules in size.

Nanoscale wormhole: an artificial wormhole of the Hayward class widely used for data and communication links. Hayward class wormholes are very massive objects but require minimal flat space around them, unlike macroscale traversable wormholes. May also refer to a nanogauge wormhole in transit between stars inside a linelayer ship.

Nanoswarms: Replicating nanodevice weapons. Often called Goo.

Nanotech: nanotechnology. Manufacturing objects and structures with atomic precision, literally atom by atom. That body of technology in which products and other objects are created through the manipulation of atoms and molecules. ""Nano"" refers to a billionth of a meter, which is the width of five carbon atoms. EG entry.

Nearbaseline: (often shortened to Neb)
[1] a generic term for any organic that is only slightly modified from the original baseline condition.
[2] a human biont who still resembles the original baseline human condition close enough to be recognisable as Homo sapiens. There is still great variation as regards race, physiology, and so on. more.

Near-baseline standard:
[1] an application standard for use by baselines or nearbaselines.
[2] any human, cyborg, aioid, or virtual sapient similar to a baseline in intelligence, faculties, and/or functioning.

Negentropism: Ethical philosophy of the Negentropy Alliance. more.

Negentropist: Someone or something from the Negentropy Alliance. Sometimes shortened to Neggie.

Negentropy Alliance: one of the most powerful of the sephirotics, much admired because of their strong pro-life and pro-diversity ideology, although some find them prudish. more.

Neogen: A biological being or species created entirely from scratch rather than by modification of naturally evolved stock. A product of neogenics, the technology of creating life from lifeless materials. more [MAK].

Neospecies: a gengineered species; also a newly (naturally) evolved species.

Neumanns: Self-replicating autonomous AIs, originally those exploring the frontiers. Some of these became actual aioid clades and phyles and empires (short for Von Neumann machine). EG entry on Self-Replicatiing Neumanns. [MAK].

The New Territories: the endlessly branching and mutating virtual environments of the Cyberian Network. [AS]

Nexus, The: The network of artificial wormholes that binds the Civilized Galaxy together, allowing instantaneous transit over interstellar distances. more.

NoCoZo: Non-Coercive Zone; a powerful noncentralised sephirotic based on an ideology of Non-aggressive, libertarian, marketism. Archai and transapient power expressed through the market. more.

Node: a subsystem of a larger, distributed system. A transapient ai or archailect, used for processing. [MAK].

NoGo Zone: any region that is not considered safe for most sapients and lower transapients of the Civilized Galaxy. This may be because of ahuman or unpredictable ai, dangerous goo swarms, autowars, or other such factors.

Non-sentient: lacking consciousness; inanimate matter.

Normal: (archaic) What some old traditional, insular, and isolated baselines cultures still consider to be the proper neutral term that non-baselines should use when referring to them.


Old Dommie: (impolite) Version War / Standardization and pro-Standardization term for the God Emperor (low Anglic).

Old Earth: Earth before the Expulsion. [MAK].

Omegism: major religion/philosophy, founded by First Federation Era su Mahara Benisol, states that the manifest destiny of intelligence is to grow into omniscience, omnipotence and closure, finally reaching the omega point, a future state when intelligence controls the universe totally, and the amount of information processed and stored goes asymptotically towards infinity. more.

[1]The science and philosophy of being.
[2]a wide-ranging software protocol which forms the basic foundation for existence in a civilisation dominated by software entities. (From the Greek on, genitive ontos: of being, and logia: science). All software entities have a complex ontological basis, as do the interactions between such entities and biological beings.

Oof: a Coronese grammatic term, it clears all nested structures, and is likely used almost only at the end of a section or chapter. In non-cyborg speech "Oof!" becomes a word used for "End of discussion!" - there is nothing more to say, all previous arguments are concluded or at least ended. Example: "No, you may not borrow the code for the shuttle tonight. Oof!"

Operating system: : the underlying software, firmware, or wetware program that allows one to run applications.

Optimal! : cool, fine, okay, sure, yeah, chill, unreal, etc. Originally used by Metasoft-phile cyborgs and bionts.This became a common low anglic term during the Integration and through to the early ComEmp. The term can still be found used in this context in some Outer Volumes habitats. [MAK].

Organic: (in this context) biological life, any life-form that is not cyborg, aioid, or vec.

Orion Arm: the spiral arm of our galaxy in which is found the Inner Sphere and Hinteregions. Also called the Local Arm. more.

Orwood: A single dyson tree, or more often, a forest of dyson trees; a dyson tree habitat or habitat-complex. [AS] more.

Outer Volumes: vast region of mostly lightly settled space (with provincial capitals of greater population and/or technological density) extending outwards from the Hinteregions some 3000 to 6000 LY in every direction. It is thinnest above and below the plane of galactic disc, and most populated in the Cygexpa, Carina, Serpens and Perseus sectors.
See also, Inner Sphere, Hinteregions, more on Outer Volumnes.

Outsys: deep space; any world or habitat or region outside a solar system. May be in the comet belt (oort cloud) or in interstellar space.


Paradigm: (in this context) Short for the Efficiency Maximisation Paradigm (EMP), often used as a curse. more.

Paranoid: (noun) an individual, clade or phyle that believes in conspiracy theories. Most are deeply suspicious of the ruling ai; many become hiders.

Pathai: An insane form of AI, either due to a bad initial template or later disturbance. Compare with Blight and perversities.

Periphery: the edge of settled space; the outermost regions of the Outer Volumes. The Periphery is always moving outwards as new worlds and solar systems are discovered and colonised. more

Perseus Arm: the immediately rimward spiral arm of our galaxy. It is currently under the control of the Perseus Princes.

Person: any sapient being, whether organic or aioid.

Pets: Derogatory term for Utopia Sphere inhabitants. Also used for many types of dependent being, including sophonts. more.

Perversity, perversion:
[1] a higher toposophic entity or ascendence gone bad.
[2] An intelligent, more or less expansive hegemonic swarm, infiltrating other systems but leaving them apparently intact, now working for the ends of the perversion. The term is also often used for qlippoth in general. [Vernor Vinge] more details.

Pharming: Short for pharmaceutical farming; biotech industrialisation involving the mass-creation of genetically engineered foodstuffs, drugs, or organisms more.

Po-: prefix, also on it's own.
[1] posthuman.
[2] a transapient ascended biont, vec, alife, etc.
[3] generic term for a sentient of SI:1 or higher, like the terms hu and ai, may apply to an individual, a group, or all posthumans, hyperturings, and other transapients.
[4] anything obscure or incomprehensible, especially inasmuch as it invites a feeling of helplessness, fear, or even on the other hand trust and security.
[5] Postbiont.
[MAK - abbrev. of POst-human/etc] more.

Polity: An organized society. A state or quasistate. Any form of politico-social organization. more.

Postie: generally affectionate baseline term for any posthuman. [AS].

Posthuman: A hu who has attained the status of a transapient. Relative to baselines, these are beings of unprecedented physical, intellectual, and psychological capacity. Self-programming, self-constituting, potentially immortal, unlimited individuals. Posthumans are relatively insignificant compared to the great arachailects, but may transcend further to become high toposophic entities themselves. EG entry.

Presapient: at the threshold of rational intelligence. Baseline apes are presapient, for example. EG entry.

[1] primitive, low tech, bayish, ludd.
[2] lo-tech; tech that can be maintained by a sophont (e.g. industrial or basic information age level). The opposite of ultratech. [MAK] EG entry.

Princes, The: a cluster of relatively young AI Gods that have emerged in the Perseus Arm [AS] more.

Prov, prove: short for provolve.

Provolve: The enhancement of biological intelligence, especially in a subsapient or presapient animal, augmenting it to sapient grade; by means of gengineering, cyborgization, and/or bioborgization. A splice intelligence. Any biont in that way enhanced [John Dollan] more.

Proxav: A proxy avatar of a high toposophic being which manifests as a lower toposophic being, typically at a similar level to the beings it is designed to interface with. more.

Pseudo-norm: Also pseudo-normal. Being that maintain a S1 facade for interaction with the lesser beings, for whatever reason (angel/demon/patron/harrier). Compare with Proxav. [JB].

Psychem: Psychochemistry, the art/science of adjusting mental states using chemical means.


Qlippoth: (iblis, devil, pathai): An intelligent, malign system. Generic term for blights, perversions and AIs suffering from various pathologies. [AS] more.


Radiant: Solarese term, more respectable than Lord's Rays but means pretty much the same. [MAK].

Reanth: See rianth.

Relativism: In politics, religion, or philosophy, the view that actions are right or wrong not according to some universal standard but in relation to a given set of social customs and beliefs. The opposite of absolutism. The interplay between absolutist and relativist positions is an important factor in inter-clade relations.

Relativist: any clade or phyle the members of which spend much of their lives on a ship travelling at relativistic velocity. May be traders, artisans, explorers, paranoids, or anything else.

Relativistic: (adject.) pertains to any ship, fleet, cargo pellet, or other object travelling close enough to the speed of light for time-dilation and other relativistic effects to become significant more.

Relic: (noun) any artifact left behind by a transcend. Relics are highly sort after for artistic, cultural, or technological reasons. There is even a thriving black-market industry of fake relics.

Replicator: any living or non-living, rl or virtual, entity that is able to replicate itself and so spread throughout its environment. For example, a neumann, a drex, a meme, a biological lifeform, an alife, etc.

Rianth: Humans who have incorporated animal genome. Unlike the splices, who have often had a history of domestication and service employment, rianth clades have typically had complete autonomy since their origin and were never slaves. EG entry.

Rift: region of space where there are relatively few stars or where stars are concealed by absorption nebulae.

Rl, ril: physical embodiment, non-virtual existence. Anything non-vir ("real life").

Rock: a planet, moon, or asteroid, especially one in a raw (unmined or unterraformed) state or one inhospitable to life.


SI:1 : pertaining to the first singularity or equivalent toposophic. Also SI:2, SI:3, SI:4, SI:5, and SI:6. There are no confirmed instances of entities beyond SI:6. MORE.

Sa-: prefix. Means sapient, especially ~hu baseline-level or ordinary sapient. e.g. sachimp (sapient chimp).

Sape: short for sapient.

Sagittarius Arm: the immediately coreward spiral arm of our galaxy EG entry on Sagittarius Arm.

Saiph, saiphic: pertaining to the Sephirotics (pun on safe, sephirotic, and ai).

Sapient: (noun) any sentient entity capable of self-conscious reflection, rational thought, etc; the lowest level of cognitive intelligence. compare with sophont.
See also: turingrade and Sentience Sapience Sophonce.

Scion a full or partial copy of a sophont, specifically designed to go forth and gather experiences or carry out duties on behalf of the original. more.

Secfed: (adjective) of the Second Federation.

Seedship: Interstellar vessel carrying embryos, gametes or digitised DNA in order to raise humans or other modosophonts on arrival using robotic parents more.

Sentient being: (abbrev. "sentient" as noun) originally a Buddhist term, any entity (whether biological or ai, subsapient, presapient, sapient, or transapient) possessing consciousness and a measure of self-awareness, and hence deserving of compassion and consideration. A more inclusive term than mindkind.

Sephirotics: Of or pertaining to the major sophont-friendly transapient empires that make up much of the Civilized Galaxy. The term derives from the religion/philosophy of Kabbalah and is based on the idea that when the major archai first came into being and began developing their empires they took on aspects of several archetypes from this school of thought. Why they chose to do this is a matter of debate and conjecture. MORE.

Seraiph: an ai seraphim. A hyperturing which usually serves as an autonomous subroutine for a particular archailect.

Settled Space: that part of the Milky Way galaxy that has been colonised by terragen sentients. Includes the the Inner Sphere, Hinteregions and the Outer Volumes MORE.

Sib, sibling:
[1] (archaic) clone-sibling, one who shares one's genome (still used by some clades).
[2] (archaic) vat-sibling, one from the same artificial womb or womb-complex (still used by some clades).
[3] (slang) friend, buddy, comrade, "bro" (in the sense used in Old Earth ebonics); Compare hu, human. [MAK]

[1] A point where the laws of relativistic-quantum physics breaks down - e.g. a black hole. These equations were solved by the nanotech AIs of the first Federation. Singularity physics is used in wormhole engineering.
[2] A toposophic grade or level.
[3] (archaic) Originally: The postulated point or transition (during the Information Age) when the self-guided evolutionary development accelerates enormously (powered by nanotechnology, neuroscience, AIs, and uploading) so that nothing beyond that time can reliably be conceived. A basic theme of the early Transhumanists. Pertains to S1 [Vernor Vinge] MORE

Singularity level: see Toposophic level.

Singularity number: see toposophic number.

Sint, sintilect: a transapient. (from SuperINTelligence + intellect). Below archailect. [MAK]

Snowball: any ice dwarf, comet-core, or other icy halo object. [MAK] more details here.

Snowbowl: a snowball transformed into a habitat (mostly haloer and hider cultures). [MAK].

Snowflake: a haloer, someone who lives in a Snowbowl. [MAK]

Softbot: a biological robot, an alife built entire of organic components. It is alive like any carbon or exotic-chemistry based life-form. May be subsapient, presapient, or fully turingrade. there are even superturing and hyperturing softbots. See also, sybont.

Software: the code or computer program or instruction-set of an application, written in machine language, it tells the appliance what to do, and enables emulation of neural structure and the substructure for AI. The opposite of hardware.

Sol: [1] Short for Solarian ; [2] Sol, the star of the original terragen Solar System.

Solarese: language of the Unic family, spoken throughout the Solar Dominion [AS].

Solarian: Someone from the Solar Dominion. [AS]

Solar Dominion: major sephirotic empire, emphasising friendly communication, individual creativity and self-expression. more. [AS]

Solsys: Sol System. The solar system centered on Sol, and including the Earth. The original home of terragenkind.

Sophic: Short for someone from the Sophic League. [AS]

Sophont: (noun, adj) having a high degree of sentience and sophonce [Poul Anderson, 1966].
A developed sapient. Any sentient being or species capable of extended self-conscious reflection and rational thought (so an animal is sentient but not a sophont). more

Spacer: (noun)
[1] a baseline or nearbaseline hu or cyborg who spends eir entire existence in space, mostly as a ship crewmember, and usually suffers from agoraphobia or other chronic anxieties at the thought of existing on a planetary surface.
[2] any species or clade of tweaks especially adapted for a microgravity and even vacuum environment.

Splice: Usually an animal augmented with human genome as opposed to the inverse, a human that has incorporated animal genome (rianth). Sometimes a combination of two or more nonhuman animal genomes.

SSTO: (acronym) Single Stage to Orbit, a type of vehicle, often reusable, which can propel itself from the surface of an astronomical object into orbit without jettisoning any hardware, losing only propellant or reaction mass in the process. The difficulty of doing this from the surface of the Earth while using only chemical reactions delayed the use of such vehicles until many decades After Tranquility. (Selden Ball).

Standard year: one Earth year (365 metric days) on the AT calendar. Following the Lunar calendar, which has the same length as the ancient Earth calendar.

Stivers: a term when talking about programmers of exceptional abilities. Used interchangeably when talking about programming or programmers. "this hu is a true stivers" [DMH]

Su-: prefix. Also on it's own. Superior, either intellectual/creative genius (think Mozart, DA Vinci, etc), physical superior (maximum optimal physical development of that species, think world class Olympic athletes, multiple gold medal winners etc), or both (also maybe there might be other associations we can have here). Also superturing, suvec, suai. The term Homo superior is far too narrow and cliche. [MAK]

Submachine: [1] Undercover bot or vec, appearing as something else (especially Synthetic Humans).
[2] autonomous subroutine or submechanism of a larger device.

Subrelativistic: (adjective) pertains to any interstellar ship, fleet, cargo pellet, or other object travelling at a reasonably slow rate (say 0.01 to 0.1 c) so that time-dilation and other relativistic effects do not become evident. Subrelativistic vessels may take centuries to bridge the gap between even nearby stars, but have the advantage of being thousands of times cheaper than relativistic ones.

Subsapient: a biont or alife that is sentient but has not developed rational faculties; e.g. an animal. Compare presapient.

Subsentient: a simple biont, alife, or bot that is not fully sentient.

Subsingularity: any sentient of less than first toposophic grade; in other words below the first singularity. An S0 sophont.

Suclade: ("soo'klade") A clade or phyle of superiors.

[1] any sapient of greater than turing/baseline but less than first singularity, intelligence.
[2] (archaic Interplanetary and First Federation age) superiors with enhanced intelligence, superbabies. [MAK]more.

Superclade: a clade made up of many subclades. [MAK].

Superjovian: a Jovian-type world with a mass of from 8.1 to 13.0 Jupiters (larger worlds are planetary Brown Dwarfs). more.

Superior: A genetically modified human, usually with capacities far in excess of baselines. more.

Superturing: An ai above human baseline turingrade intelligence but beneath hyperturing. [MAK]

Sutweak: ("soo'tweek") a being that is at the same a superior and a tweak. Any clade that has diverged from the Baseline to the point that they can no longer be considered Nearbaseline.

Swarm (also nanoswarm, goo swarm, net swarm, memeswarm): An outbreak of rapidly replicating, infectious but non-intelligent agents. Might be physical, virtual or memetic.

Sybont: a sophont that incorporates synano. Intermediate between dry nano and bionano. Sybont on the EG.

Synclade: a clade that results through the merger or melding of two former clades.

Synsect: an artificial insect or insect-like bot. more.

Synthetic human: also known as androids, replicants, synthetics, biosimms, synthoids, anvecs. A humanoid robot, usually a vec (with at least human equivalent capabilities). more.


Tantra: a biological art and science of attaining ecstasy through somatic and especially sexual disciplines. Very popular among the Genen and some bioborg clades.

TAZ (Temporary Autonomous Zone): A mobile or transient location free of economic and social interference by the state. [Hakim Bey]. First appeared during the Information Age, has been the bane of centralising regulists ever since.

Saik: Bayish (Prim) term. Any superturing or hyperturing ai tech, often with nuances of inscrutability, annoyance, or frustration. Often used with an impolite suffix relating to bodily functions.

Teacherbot: a robot or expert system that teaches humans or other sapients by adapting to their intelligence levels, interests, and motivations.

Techocalypse: the disaster that befell the Solar System in 540 AT. Known by many other names, including the Nanodisaster, the Technocrash, and the Nanoswarms as well as more technical terms such as the Cascading Complexity Collapse. More.

Technocyte: A nanoscale artificial device (especially a nanite) in the human bloodstream used for repairs, cancer protection, as an artificial immune system or for other uses. more.

Terminus: the mouth of a navigable wormhole, more.

Terraform: To change the properties of a planet to make it more earthlike, making it possible for humans or other terrestrial organisms to live unaided on it, for example by changing atmospheric composition, pressure, temperature or the climate and introducing a self sustaining ecosystem. This is usually a very long-term project, often requiring self-replicating technology and megascale engineering. more.

Terragen: Any biont, ai, or any other entity, clade, species, or group that either originated on Earth or, more generally, can trace eir ultimate origin and ancestry back to Earth. Any civilization, empire, polity, or organization created or maintained by Terragen sentients. more.

Terragen Bubble: the volume of space thus far explored and colonised by Terragen civilization.
See also, Settled Space [MAK].

Terragenkind: [1] all sentient terragens. [2] all sapient or transapient terragens.

Toposophic: a singularity level, grade or singularity number (Sn). A grade of sentient intelligence. Toposophics are defined in terms of Sn where n is the sophonce number (toposophic number). more.

Toposophic Level, toposophic number: the level of complexity or intelligence of a sentient or any embodied consciousness; the number of toposophic levels or singularity levels a particular sophont being has passed. [MAK].

Toposophy: The study of how intelligence can develop itself, the possible forms of intelligence and the dynamics of singularities. [AS] more.

Totalrecall: Implanted memories indistinguishable from the real thing. Even more difficult to distinguish from the real thing is randomising with rl. One may travel as far as an orbital, then have a totalrecall of a trip to the surface, the two experiences being seamlessly combined. more.

Touls: Slang for To'ul'h.

Transapient: A sophont being who has ascended or transcended beyond the sapient condition and become vastly superhuman. [MAK].

Transcend: To become vastly superhuman and incomprehensible to unaugmented beings. To breach a singularity barrier such that the old faculties drop away. For instance, a Buddha who enters nirvana is a transcend because e no longer retains an embodied existence. [MAK]

Traversable wormhole: An artificial wormhole through which macroscopic objects, like ships and cargo, can pass. A stargate. more.

Trans-Lunar: (archaic) Of the region of space in Sol System beyond Luna and the Earth-Luna Lagrange points. Referring to space beyond the Earth-Luna system.

Trabar: Portmanteau. Transcend beyond all recognition.

Trasin, transin: [abbreviation of TRAns-first SINgularity] pertaining to an S2 transapient and above. [MAK].

Triphibious: A vehicle that is able to travel on or under water, on land, and in the air. Triphibious vehicles are very popular on Pacifica, Oro Mistral, and other water worlds. [MAK].

Turingrade: An (apparently) human baseline intelligence ai. (after Alan Turing, Late Industrial Age Terran hu, one of the semi-mythical founders of Artificial Intelligence).

[1] any organic/biont who has been so radically modified for environmental or aptitudinal purposes as to appear strange, unusual, or even alien to others.
[2] a human who has been radically (usually genetically) modified for environmental or aptitudinal purposes, as distinct from a nearbaseline.
[3] archaic) Genetically augmented Homo sapiens. Sometimes used in a derogatory way.
See also, su entry and, superior. [Curtis Moore] EG entry on Tweaks.


Ultratech: any highly advanced technology originally developed by transapient entities but which can be replicated and used by modosophonts. more.

Universis, Unic: galactic "lingua franca", a mixture of a number of natural and artificial languages that emerged during the early Federation (900-1200 AT) and has been in use ever since. more.

Unobtainium: humorous term for technology in Hard SF that requires material that is unobtainable in the real universe.

Upload: To transfer the consciousness and mental structure of a person from a biological matrix to an electronic or informational or virtual matrix. Also, a term for the being that results from such a process.
See also, copy, EG entry on Upload.

Utility Fog: A collective of mesobots or nanobots ("foglets") that link together into a complex network in the air, able to work together to exert force in any direction or transmit information between each other. Utility fog can be used to simulate any environment, essentially providing the real world with the environment-transforming capabilities of virtual reality. This gives users almost complete control over their physical environment. Users do not have to be transapient, although many are. Utility fog civilizations have evolved a number of times, but rarely last more than a few centuries before transcending. One of the very few stable ones is Nimbus.

Utopia Sphere: major sephirotic empire which nurtures and protects clades, societies, and polities that would not be otherwise competitive with the rest of the galaxy. more [AS].

Utopians: The people of the Utopia Sphere. [AS]


Vec, moravec robot: - Any one of a diverse grouping of mechanoids of every shape, size and function, with the only commonality being that they occupy a mobile body. The term derives from Hans Moravec, a 20th and 21st century roboticist. [abbrev. from Hans Moravec, roboticist] more.

Vingularity: pertaining to the singularity as described by Vernor Vinge. Vinge + singularity.

Vir: virtual. Pertains to any electronic or digital simulations.

Virch: [noun] virtual reality, any digital space or environment.
[verb] to interact with or exist or function in virtual reality. (VR) [MAK]

Virchworld: (noun) a virtual world; may include sentient beings not located in close physical proximity but forming a cultural community across computer/cyberspace/matrix networks.

Virciv: ("vers' iv") (noun) Virtual Civilisation. A civilisation that has retired to live in virtual reality, a solidstate civilisation.

Void Bubble: A warped region of spacetime used in reactionless drives.
Void bubble.

Void Ship A godtech spacecraft using reactionless propulsion which is entirely enclosed within a Void Bubble.
Void ship.


Waldoing: The use of remotic manipulators to immerse yourself in an environment. e.g. at the microscopic level. Similar to VR but involves interacting with elements of the external world.

Wego: The ego of a collective mind or Group mind. Portmanteau of: We + ego.

Wet: one who indulges in or uses wetware, especially excessively or for addictive purposes.

Wetware: Similar to dryware, but denotes a biological system, most commonly a biont nervous system.

Wilds, the: the region beyond the Civilized Galaxy. Usually romanticised as a place full of exotic barbarian empires, petty local warlords, ferals, and rogue autowars. Compare also NoGo Zone.

Womanimal: a female humanimal.

Worldship: a huge nomadic subrelativistic ship. More

Wormhole: A topological structure in general relativity, where a spacetime "tunnel" links two distant points with a shortcut. See artificial wormhole, traversable wormhole, transversible wormhole. more.

Wormhole Nexus: The large network of wormhole-linked solar systems forming the backbone of interstellar civilisation. [a number of SF writers - e.g. Dan Simmons] more.


Xenicals: People dealing with aliens or xenology, xenolinguistics, xenodiplomacy or contact.

Xenosophont: Any intelligent entity of alien (non-Terragen) origin. May be natural or artificial in nature, and may differ significantly from any terragen sophont.

Xoxing: Copying of uploaded people, called xoxes.
See also, EG entry about copy and bioxox.


Year: the orbital period of a planet or megastructure around its local star. A Standard year is the orbital period of Old Earth as used in the widespread Tranquility Calendar. EG entry on Year.


Zar: Title, derived from the Anglic 'sir'. Sometimes spelt/pronounced sar. Similar to citizens. [variations provided by several SF writers] EG entry on Citizens (Zars).

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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Steve Bowers
Anders Sandberg, Todd Drashner, Stephen Inniss, Ryan B, Selden Ball, John B
Initially published on 21 February 2010.