(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 Filippo – Ribofunk)
- 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.