Races

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(image from Eclipse Phase)

There are countless different races of sentient (having feelings and empathy) and sapient/sophont (problem-solving, rational, self-aware) beings, running the full gamut of degrees of awareness.

These include (in no particular order but alphabetical)

  • AI, which are sapient beings in a digital or computational substrate
  • animals – who are distinguished from other sophonts like humans and xenocs in that they don’t culture and tool using to bootstrap technology
  • cyborgs – which are a combination or organic and mechanical
  • humans – who are simple one species of sophont among countless
  • infomorphs – who exist only in a computational or virtual substrate
  • interdimensionals – for example elves, who come from different zones of existence (in this way, the Alcione-verse is Science Fantasy rather than traditional Science Fiction.  But I distinguish it from popular Science Fantasy  Star Wars  as hard science fantasy (i.e. follows science in all other respects).
  • mechanoids – robots and AI in robot casing; these may be manufactured conventionally, or self-replicating von neumann machines
  • posthumans/postaliens – who have crossed the singularity barrier
  • splices – human-animal hybrids, who often exist as an oppressed underclass as they don;t have full sentient rights in many human (and I suppose xenoc) societies (the term and concept is from Paul di FilippoRibofunk)
  •  xenocs – thanks to Peter F Hamilton for coining this useful term, it simply means “aliens”, that is, sophonts who come from any planet except Earth

Each category consists of innumerable subtypes and combinations.