A Reading from Homer
Image from Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
A Reading from Homer

A narrative is a story that describes a sequence of events, fictional or otherwise. It might be written, spoken, or performed, and may be in the form of a document, a speech, poetry, prose, pictures, motion pictures or theatre, interactive games or virtual experiences, or dance. Stories are common to all Terragens, and to the oldest known Terragen cultures, and certainly pre-date civilization itelf; they are a key aspect of human cognition, and of sophonce in general.

In classical times on Old Earth, narration was considered one of the four rhetorical modes along with exposition, argumentation, and description. Of these, narrative is the most effective; it has long been known that information carried in a narrative is more compelling and memorable than information in other forms, and this effect has often been employed in practical memetics. As pure entertainment, narrative is the oldest and most ubiquitous form. Storytelling is as important today as it was when the first tales were shared around campfires by baseline humans on Old Earth.

  • Aesopica Fantastica  - Text by Mark Ryherd
    A collection of virches used as a didactic tool for the express purpose of teaching and reinforcing morals. Other common names for the series are Xin Daodejing and Virches of Virtue.
  • Allegory  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    In literature, symbolic story or interactive that serves as a disguised representation for meanings other than those indicated on the surface.
  • Archetypal Narrative - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Narrative that conveys an archetypal message, and is the vehicle or memetic carrier for an archetype or myth. It may be sublime and inspiring, or mediocre and insulting to the intelligence of any sentient of reasonable intellect. Examples of archetypal narrative include the voyage of the hero, the toposophic ascent, the star-crossed lovers, the journey into (and subsequent escape from) danger, the wild frontier, and so on. Most pop culture is based ultimately on archetypal narrative.
  • Arctic City Virch  - Text by Darren Ryding
    Popular interactive virch series of the Interplanetary Age.
  • Baseline Bob  - Text by Darren Ryding
    Narrative epic about a hapless baseline who falls into many comic adventures.
  • Encyclopaedia Galactica, The  - Text by Selden Ball
    Encyclopaedaic database that aims to include comprehensive information on Terragen history and galactography, amongst other subjects
  • Enhancer  - Text by Todd Drashner and Anders Sandberg
    Also known as a matter enhancer or an enhancer device. A semi-mythological clarketech artefact that is very popular in pop-culture dramas.
  • Enrastered Link Connection  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Vec poet, diplomat and memeticist (3899 AT, various versions).
  • Fabulism - Text by Anders Sandberg
    [1] The art of storytelling.
    [2] The art of creating mixtures of fiction and reality in order to entertain, confuse, perform ontological sabotage or educate.
    [3] Ideology or view that promotes fabulism in the second sense as a way of life, hiding ones real life behind a layer of disinformation, deliberate myths and rumours. Fabulism in this sense is sometimes a reaction against rigid and panoptical societies, sometimes a way of self expression or self creation.
  • Fantasy - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Popular narrative genre of virch or rl world, employing races, history, and laws of physics that do not occur in the physical universe. Fantasy virchworlds and interactives are easy enough to create, but rl fantasy worlds requires extensive utility fog and nanotech to give the illusion of a fantasy universe. Themes and genres include neotolkeinism, trekism, ardentism, kalyptism, gothism, and more. Of greater interest are fantasy worlds created by non-aligned demiurge ai.
  • Fog Wood  - Text by Ben Higginbottom
    Famous series of interactive novels coded by Il Casi Tranden an SI:2 sentient from the Byron Habitat in the Sophic League.
  • Glarion: The Glorious Conqueror   - Text by Darren Ryding
    A "moving picture" of particular note from the baseline world Tylansia.
  • High Frontier - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Information Age term for space beyond Old Earth as the frontier for development. Although romanticised during the interplanetary age as a great land of opportunity, the reality was never quite as exciting as the myth.
  • Holy Grail - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Any objective of a long and difficult quest. In Old Earth lore, the Grail refers to the plate or cup used by Christ at the Last Supper. The Holy Grail subsequently became the object of knights' quests in tales from the late Agricultural Age of Europe, and became a recurrent image in subsequent Western literature. The term has since been adapted to contexts completely unrelated or irrelevant to the original.
  • Hyperdrive - Text by Mike Parisi
    Sci-Fi plot device, originating and most common during the late Industrial to early Information Age, whose sole purpose is to allow baseline (i.e. Human) relations to take place at the familiar speed, in an interstellar society which lacks traversable wormholes.
    Despite the ubiquity of the concept, the exact physical workings of the Hyperdrive, or how it avoids violating either Relativity or Causality, is never adequately explained (a.k.a. "Warp Drive" and various other names).
  • Literature  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, from the original write-up by Robert J. Hall
    The analysis and interpretation of narrative texts, including fiction, poetry, and drama, from the trivial through the fabulist to the mythopoetic.
  • Mahamaad Yubeen's Pre-T Cuisines  - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
    A wildly popular semi-interactive virch series in the 1300's AT, detailing the most popular dishes of the Interplanetary Age over the course of thousands of episodes.
  • Man and the Amazon, The  - Text by Thorbørn Steen
    A popular docudrama about an explorer finding love amongst the Hiders.
  • Manaran (The Pure King)  - Text by Thorbørn Steen
    A fictional cycle of stories written by Laucen Greatguy.
  • Meetings With Dgii - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Popular interactive fable and hypertext, co-authored by m2vi19-t34201 (later the Megsov Godling) and purported to be a record of m2vi19-t34201's experiences with Dgii144. While agreed by all scholars to be a factiod work, rather than a true documentary, Meetings With Dgii topped the NoCoZo best-seller lists in the years 6921 to 6924, and was widely disseminated throughout the Nexus (apart from the Negentropy Alliance, where it was considered Proscribed Narrative and banned). It remains popular in parts of the NoCoNeg to this day.
  • Memetic Art - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Crafting skillful memes, spreading them into society. Partially a form of hacking, partially storytelling the form also has a somewhat competitive aspect.
  • Muuh Historifics  - Text by Dalex
    Unique genre of Muuh art combining characteristics of fiction and factual literature, most often in the form of a virch.
  • Myth, Mythology  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Any ancient traditional story of archailects, superiors, powers, gods or heroes, especially one offering an explanation of some fact or phenomenon, or a story with a veiled or extended meaning, or a commonly-held belief that is untrue, or without objective foundation. A powerful but obscure memeticity.
  • Novel - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A long prose narrative, typically describing fictional persons and events, written by and intended to entertain modosophonts. Such narratives became increasingly common over the course of the late Agricultural Age of Old Earth and had become strongly established by the late Industrial Age. Originally they were printed in ink on paper, and by the Information Age they were commonly transformed into digital media. Descendant forms, not always called novels, include interactive elements up to and including sims, turing agents, and so on.
  • Pulp Hero  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, Peter Kisner, John B
    Heroic yet caricature-like artificial biont created according to stylized and absurdly one-dimensional fashions of pop-culture.
  • Schnizlers  - Text by John B
    Animated/RL children's show recorded from 3050 to 4025 AT.
  • Sepulchre Variations, The  - Text by Liam Jones
    One of the oldest collections of virchworlds, consisting of a vast array of grotesque and eerie iconography adapted to hundreds of different clades.
  • Space Frontier Epics - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Popular Interplanetary through to late and post- First Federation Age fabulist genre, featuring a romanticized interpretation of the deep space frontier. Replaced both the Western and Science Fiction as Important archetypal narratives of the Pre-Consolidation Age.
  • Sun Wu K'ung (fiction)  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    A popular fictional character, sometimes known as Monkey, from Old Earth Chinese literature, known in the original version and many subsequent versions even today.
  • Superhero  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Late Industrial Age to Information Age genre regarding characters with strength or abilities far exceeding mere baselines, and (especially with the earlier superheros) playing out a very morally simplistic memeticity. Similar genres have arisen periodically since that time and replicas of 'superheroes' and their habitats are popular in places.
  • Tragedy - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] A literary or multimedia work with an unhappy outcome, often with an implicit or explicit moral lesson attached.
    [2] An unfortunate event in the real world with an unhappy outcome, often disastrous or involving loss of life.
  • Transcension of Andapuyaran  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The fifteenth module of the famous Anandayanna Nirvana, which tells of the transcension of the Anandayannas, and has recently become a popular didactic tale in some Sophic polities.
  • Voyage of the Arcturus  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Popular SI:<1 to SI:<<1 virch interactive produced by Novamedia. Tells the story of an S2 sentient ship, the Arcturus, a relativistic freighter in an uncharted region of the Outer Volumes, carrying a supply of nanomodules and SCMs (Santa Clause Machines), and eir crew of four bumbling but lovable SI:<1 sophonts, a vec, a splice, a virtual, and one of the galaxy's last remaining pure baseline humans, and the various adventures they have along the way.
  • What the Thunder Said  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    A classic interactive work of philosophical literature, based on the varying answers that transapients give to the deeper questions that still baffle ordinary sophonts.
  • Wild Frontier - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The romanticised and mythologized notion of the frontier, whether the outer solar system of the Solsys Era or the Outer Volumes and the Periphery today, as an exciting and lawless place. See also The Wilds.
  • Wild West  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; amended by Stephen Inniss
    From American culture, depicting the western frontiers of that nation in the 19th century CE (1st century BT). The romanticized image of lawlessness and heroism on the frontier. Eventually displaced and superseded in the popular imagination by the by the equally romanticized concepts of the High Frontier or Wild Frontier.
  • Xanax and Lucinda  - Text by Jorge Ditchkenberg
    A story of unknown authorship describing love between two uploads.
Development Notes
Text by Stephen Inniss

Initially published on 11 March 2010.

Additional Information