Cryo Lab. Image by ArtDoge. Creative Commons
Cryo Lab. Image by ArtDoge. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0

In the interstellar, multizonal future of Freehauler Alcione, there are many types of technology, created by different races and civilisations for different purposes.

Technology can be built of any substrate: abiotic/drytech/mechtech, biotech, infotech, qitech, and psitech. Or built at any scale: femtotech, nanotech, microtech, macrotech, or megascale. Or be at any developmental level from stone tools to godtech. Obviously, the classification given here is a very incomplete one.

Tech by Substrate:

Drytech – machine-based technology, does not require solvents or catalysts. Contrast with wet tech. / technology based on abiotic components and mechanisms, machines.

Infotech – computer based, virtual, digital etc

Biotech – technology based on organic processes, e.g. proteins, genomes, bionano, gengineering, biospherics, and bioships. Being more plastic and adaptable, biotech can handle zone translation better than drytech. It includes:

Qitech, also called Chionics or orgonics, involves accessing and utilising the cosmic lifeforce. Essential in aetherspace.

Psi-tech – technology based on psi-space, imaginal, or transliminal laws and principles, includes occultism, psiborgisation, psionic, psychotronics, and other applications and techniques.

Tech by Size scale:

Femtotech – engineering on a sub-atomic or quantum scale. Generally the province of very advanced races or higher toposophics

Nanotech – technology or use of nanites or nanobots, microscopic biological (bionano) or inorganic (drynano) machines or artificial organisms. Hence Nanofab: create using nanotech assembly (see also fab, fabbie, autofab). Nanotech can be either dry or wet nano

Drynano – non-organic nanotech, micro- and nano-scale drytech, uses rigid structures such as diamondoid to get around microscale problems such as brownian motion. In contrast to bionano, chemistry dictates that dry nano involves considerable technological challenges and for this reason is generally used only by more advanced races. Drynanites are microscopic machines that work in a mechanical rather than an organic way. While a potent realspace technology it is very interzone fragile.

Bionano – organic nanotech created from, or mimicking, living, gengineered microrganisms (e.g. bacteria) but with a specific tailored purpose. It solves micro- and nano-scale and zonal engineering problems with fluidity rather than rigidity.

Microtech -computer circuits, miniaturization, etc

Macrotech – normal scale

Megascale – this is technology on a very large-scale, what is called megascale engineering, the construction of megastructures such as huge ships and orbitals, arcologies, space elevators, starscrapers, up to and including dyson spheres.

Tech by developmental level:

Technology does not follow a single linear sequence, but is better described as branching and converging.  So drytech and biotech may be two completely different branches, although there is some overlap.  But putting things simplistically, we can still refer to a tech scale made up developmental levels.  However what constitutes these levels differ according to whether it is, say, a space opera setting  (e.g. GURPS Space and the standard GURPS tech scale) or a transhumanist setting   I try to assume a semi-hard universe in this worldbuilding, and so have elements of both.

At its most simplest this gives

  • paleolithic/hunter-gatherer
  • agriculture/metalworking/writing
  • industrial revolution
  • information revolution
  • space faring, advanced infotech, basic nanotech
  • singularitan, advanced nanotech
  • god tech

In science fiction, FTL or star faring is simply a bit more advanced than interplanetary spacefaring in low realism Space Opera, but a form of godtech in hard SF and transhumanist SF.  Some hard SF writers use the space opera version of  FTL, but only as a plot device,  a convenient lie to get the story happening .  In the Alcione-verse, FTL also ties in with metaphysical dimensions (Warhammer 40K is the same but from a Horror perspective).

Interestingly, the reverse is the case with nanotech, it is considered equivalent to (or even below) standard interplanetary space faring in Hard SF, Cyberpunk, and Transhuman SF, but seems to be an example of Godtech in cheesy space opera (when did you last see nanotech in Star Wars for example),