Spacescifi

What fictional alien concepts interest you most and why?

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For me it is their behavior. How it is different from humanity. Some will seek to answer the why via popular ideas, but I am only interested in their ongoing goals. To a large degree that fits their behavior, since in my work, each fictional race I tailor made for a specific purpose which drives them to do what they do. There still is room for individuality within this too, so everyone need not act exactly the same.

 

What about you?

What fictional alien concepts do you find most interesting and why?

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The third and fourth books in the Rama series (Garden of Rama and Rama Revealed) introduced the "Octospider" species. Their leaders are called "Optimizers," tasked with making sure that their society runs in the most optimum way. I don't know how they attain that post, but it seems that every level of management is headed by an optimizer. Everything else is secondary to keeping things optimal. War is the absolutely least optimal solution. The one aspect of octo-society that would be unacceptable in today's human society is the concept of providing enough value to society to earn your keep; octospiders that fell too far behind in their contribution to society were terminated.

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1 hour ago, StrandedonEarth said:

The third and fourth books in the Rama series (Garden of Rama and Rama Revealed) introduced the "Octospider" species. Their leaders are called "Optimizers," tasked with making sure that their society runs in the most optimum way. I don't know how they attain that post, but it seems that every level of management is headed by an optimizer. Everything else is secondary to keeping things optimal. War is the absolutely least optimal solution. The one aspect of octo-society that would be unacceptable in today's human society is the concept of providing enough value to society to earn your keep; octospiders that fell too far behind in their contribution to society were terminated.

 

Humanity has tried just about everything. The inca economy was similar.

From my memory of reading on various articles, if an average commoner refused to work they would execute that person.

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/io9.gizmodo.com/the-greatest-mystery-of-the-inca-empire-was-its-strange-1198541254/amp

 

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My favorite alien race is one of my own. They had tri-lateral symmetry not only in their bodies but also in their species in that they had 3 genders, best described as men, women, and drones. Their society was entirely built up out of threes. The chief of their tribe (they were barely above subsistence level technology) had 3 people under him or her, who had 3 under them, etc down the chain as far as was needed to include every non-drone adult in the tribe. So there were 3 basic castes under the chief, and each of those had 3 variations under their leader, and each of those had 3, etc.

They also flew and did not breathe out through the same hole they breathed in with, nor eat with either of those holes. And they thought it was very weird that we did all three with the same hole. But anyway.

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16 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

My favorite alien race is one of my own. They had tri-lateral symmetry not only in their bodies but also in their species in that they had 3 genders, best described as men, women, and drones. Their society was entirely built up out of threes. The chief of their tribe (they were barely above subsistence level technology) had 3 people under him or her, who had 3 under them, etc down the chain as far as was needed to include every non-drone adult in the tribe. So there were 3 basic castes under the chief, and each of those had 3 variations under their leader, and each of those had 3, etc.

They also flew and did not breathe out through the same hole they breathed in with, nor eat with either of those holes. And they thought it was very weird that we did all three with the same hole. But anyway.

Interesting. I am curious.

How intelligent/non-intelligent are the drones? What? Are they like the workers? What do males and females do? Rule the drones?

I toyed with changing humanoid ways of reproduction once. Like what if a humanoid laid eggs?

Or what if... well I won't get into changing how reproduction goes down, can't talk about that here.

Yet I did find that to be hard... since it defies how we know humans to look. It is easier on non-humanoids 

 

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Aliens are intelligent, that is why they stay the hell away from this planet...

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39 minutes ago, Triop said:

Aliens are intelligent, that is why they stay the hell away from this planet...

You just didn't see their own wall captions.

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1 hour ago, Spacescifi said:

Interesting. I am curious.

How intelligent/non-intelligent are the drones? What? Are they like the workers? What do males and females do? Rule the drones?

Drones were on par with our pets in intelligence. They didn't serve much biological purpose outside of reproduction (they were the equivalent of a catalyst, though I never explained what that meant mostly because I never worked it out in detail and here isn't the place to speculate on that kind of thing :) ) but are capable of the same love that the males and females feel. A typical family has all 3 genders as parents, and those 3 chose to stay together and got married and all that. I never got deep enough into the society to give the drones actual jobs and social functions, but they could form a low-level working class I suppose.

During an argument, I recall one of the aliens saying to the other "quiet down, you're upsetting the drone."

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4 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

Drones were on par with our pets in intelligence. They didn't serve much biological purpose outside of reproduction (they were the equivalent of a catalyst, though I never explained what that meant mostly because I never worked it out in detail and here isn't the place to speculate on that kind of thing :) ) but are capable of the same love that the males and females feel. A typical family has all 3 genders as parents, and those 3 chose to stay together and got married and all that. I never got deep enough into the society to give the drones actual jobs and social functions, but they could form a low-level working class I suppose.

During an argument, I recall one of the aliens saying to the other "quiet down, you're upsetting the drone."

 

Cute. I remember plenty of times where I have felt like/or said "You're upsetting/scaring the pets/kids" to to teens or adults.

Your aliens seem to be inspired by Star Trek's Andorians... right?

Although their reproduction does not play much of a role in the show, it's in the lore.

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After reading about the yearly reproduction cycle and rituals of the bees in details, nobody can be surprised by the aliens' biology and habits...

Stay innocent, don't...

P.S.
Heteroptera, too, but they're primitive stupid thugs.

Edited by kerbiloid

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3 hours ago, Spacescifi said:

 

Cute. I remember plenty of times where I have felt like/or said "You're upsetting/scaring the pets/kids" to to teens or adults.

Your aliens seem to be inspired by Star Trek's Andorians... right?

Although their reproduction does not play much of a role in the show, it's in the lore.

Nope. The only Andorians I'd seen when I wrote these guys (back in about 2004) was just having them in the background in ... TOS? I never knew what they were until probably 15 years later when I saw Enterprise.

These guys were pretty much all me :)

 

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I'll give you three.

First, Primes from the Pandora's Star series.  They're hive mentalities with two castes: motiles and immotiles.

Motiles are like the worker ants of the colonies -- little more than brains and reproductive systems.  Immotiles can send instructions to motiles and receive the sensory input directly as perceived by the motiles; at first, this requires physical contact, but technological development allows this to be done remotely as well.

The really odd part is that an immotile can add brains to itself at will.  Four motiles join together and merge to make an immotile; extraneous biological structures (limbs, muscles, digestive organs, and so forth) are converted into brain matter.  An existing immotile can convert four motiles into a new brain for itself and add it to the network whenever it likes (becoming a Prime).  Immotiles are also fiercely individualistic, meaning that they'll happily glom as many brains onto themselves as they think they need for a particular problem, but they very reluctantly work with one another.  They also know that in the end, there can be only one immotile that has taken over everything else -- everything else, thanks to FTL communications.  All lesser species are merely a means to that end.

Second, Life Fibers, from Kill La Kill (an anime series).  They form all clothing on Earth.  And as parasitic sentient alien threads with a lifespan of 10,000 years, they're responsible for the evolution of humanity.

Third, I expect that if the Singularity is ever achieved, us.  What we will be ten thousand years after the Singularity is utterly incomprehensible to us now, and we squishy biological individuals with extremely brief lifespans will probably be incomprehensible to them.

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I'd recommend the Poul Anderson's series about Van Rijn again.
Various species with various chemistry and behavior.

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I've read a couple books set in different universes - those are interesting. The Planiverse is about two-dimensional beings, a little more realistic than Flatland and describes some of their biology, culture, and engineering. The nuances of that are interesting to me.

I also read a book called The Clockwork Rocket which is set in a universe where the laws of relativity are slightly different - different wavelengths of light have different speeds. So, aliens living in entirely different environments from us.

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6 minutes ago, cubinator said:

The Planiverse is about two-dimensional beings, a little more realistic than Flatland and describes some of their biology, culture, and engineering.

Yendwed! I loved that book.

 

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The Screethraw (from Orion's Arm) are super unique in that they are essentially sentient aircraft created by subsentient alien animals, known as the Thrawites.

The Thrawites inhabit a long abandoned alien megastructure, with an earthlike habitat (though with no gravity) inside. Inside the megastructure are floating orbs of water, which the Thrawites inhabit. Once the nutrient in an orb runs out, the Thrawites build a Screethraw to move between them, with the Screethraw being much more intelligent then the Thrawites that created it. Once the Screethraw arrives at a new water orb, it dissolves to let the Thrawites inside. Due to their entire purpose being to transport animals and then die, the Screethraw see life as a journey, because for them it literally is.

The Screethraw weren't naturally intelligent, but modification of the Thrawites by humanity's descendants resulted in the Screethraw they create achieving humanlike intelligence.

med_screethaw.jpg

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36 minutes ago, coyotesfrontier said:

The Screethraw (from Orion's Arm) are super unique in that they are essentially sentient aircraft created by subsentient alien animals, known as the Thrawites.

The Thrawites inhabit a long abandoned alien megastructure, with an earthlike habitat (though with no gravity) inside. Inside the megastructure are floating orbs of water, which the Thrawites inhabit. Once the nutrient in an orb runs out, the Thrawites build a Screethraw to move between them, with the Screethraw being much more intelligent then the Thrawites that created it. Once the Screethraw arrives at a new water orb, it dissolves to let the Thrawites inside. Due to their entire purpose being to transport animals and then die, the Screethraw see life as a journey, because for them it literally is.

The Screethraw weren't naturally intelligent, but modification of the Thrawites by humanity's descendants resulted in the Screethraw they create achieving humanlike intelligence.

med_screethaw.jpg

 

Interesting in a way we humans can relate to.

While we run from death, they would seek it as their purpiose in life.

There are animals that live this way... spending time and effort to reproduce only to die shortly after.

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Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy. Period.

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The Aiua(?) I. Orson Scott Card's books were really metaphysical but actually really, really cool. The Pequinos life cycle (larvae, brother, tree) was really interesting. It's like he tried to make it as alien as possible.

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I find the Borg from Star Trek to be really intriguing. They essentially travel around in their cubes and assimilate life forms, and are all linked as one mind. I find very interesting, also that they seem to have "good" intentions, if I'm not wrong, then in an episode from Star Trek the Next Generation, the borg says that they believe that they are helping the universe.

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6 hours ago, DunaManiac said:

I find the Borg from Star Trek to be really intriguing. They essentially travel around in their cubes and assimilate life forms, and are all linked as one mind.

(Pensively looks at the "cube" of the desktop system unit aside, linked to the internet, and displaying everything you need on a flat display.)

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13 hours ago, TheKSPBeginner said:

The one where they don’t care enough to destroy us.

That's why they made Earth Mk II.

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