SciFi Ideas Podcast Episode#8

A special Alien August episode of the podcast, in which we discus our favourite entries from the Alien August competition.


Dan’s Voyage webcomic:

The Ktlitans by Steven Lyle Jordan:

The Zherdany by Vincent Tellez:

World Seed by Chris Kentlea:

The Camogi by Vanessa Ravencroft:

The Shaill by Vanessa Ravencroft:

Sibranthi by Ruth de Haas:

The Clouds of Azani by Hannah Givens:

The Kutalii by John Reiher:

100 Alien Antiques:

This podcast is also available on YouTube.

  • John H Reiher Jr

    Great podcast guys. The Kutalii culture isn’t the first time I used the Matriarchal clan structure. I did a similar culture for the RPG Fringeworthy called the Huichi. They were sentient marsupials on an alternate Earth.

    I did mention that individual Kutalii have different jobs:

    “Life is good for most Kutalii, living in the communal residences, working on clan farms, in factories, or in resource extraction, everyone is gainfully employed at improving the clan’s lot.”

    And I did mention that some specialize in in the entertainment profession:

    “Culturally, there are Kutalii who specialize in creating entertainments: Music, art, narratives, plays, and other entertainments.”

    The Kutalii are a race that isn’t very human, but understandable, as they have elements we recognize, but the concept of a highly altruistic species is kind of foreign to us.

    As for the Clan vs. Tribe concept, I go with Clan, as the clans are formed around a historical matriarch, sometimes one of the original 12. There are daughter clans and sister clans, so relationships between them can get complex. Sometimes clans will merge, mainly for survival in hard times, and sometimes a very large clan will “spawn” a daughter clan.

    But one thing is very true about every clan: They are exogamous. That is, they do not allow males born within the clan to mate with females in the same clan. So the trade in males is more for genetic diversity than anything else. And since there are three males for every female, there’s always some to trade.

    Sound like I should write a couple of story ideas for the Kutalii. 🙂

    • Thanks John. We should have read your alien profile more thoroughly before we started. So many aliens to talk about though! I wish I’d had something more intelligent to say about them, but recording this ep was a bit of a marathon.

      Story ideas about Kutalii society? Yes please!

      • With so many aliens to remember I think we did quite well. Although I did feel quite bad asking so many questions about them. I did read them all, honest! Just so many to get muddled up!

        • What kind of pod cast would it been if you did not ask questions? I think it was all good

        • Vanessa Ravencroft

          David: “Hey Mark lets talk about the Camogi”
          Mark: “I know all about them.”
          David.:” I have no questions either.”
          Mark:” How about the Shaill?”
          David:” Nope no questions.”
          Mark:” Dan’s Voyage webcomic?”
          David:”No questions.”
          ….5 minutes later.
          End of very boring pod cast.
          I didn’t mind any of the comments…With exception of “Ms Grumpy pants” perhaps.

  • 1) A little more on the Camogi:
    The Camogi are sentient because a cell cluster of billions of a neuro synaptic analog processing information might at one point simply process “Cogito Ergo Sum” and thus raise intelligence to awareness.
    The flow I mentioned is a “generation conveyor” where new Camogi come into existence by controlled nuclear chemistry ( A chemical process set in motion has a monolinear direction of these stages: Core state , introduction of reactants. reaction, end of reaction) Simple example of the process: Pile of Paper , Match, Core State . Match ignites and touches paper, introduction,.Paper burns (reaction) all consumable product has oxidized and fire dies (end) unless new paper is introduced in a steady pace ( Flow ) While fire burns it is “alive” it consumes, it reproduces and expands ( Fire meets many criteria of life (not all)) The Camogi are like that they are the “individual flames” while the cluster is the fire,
    Your brain cells are individually neither intelligent nor sentient, Your entire brain however is sentient and if no one objects also intelligent. I am just seperating these concepts as individual non exclusive conditions.
    There is an interesting theory of Japanese origin, that individual computers are just intelligent but not sentient, but that the internet keeps growing and might eventually reach the sentient level. Yes a self aware global internet. These Japanese Software engineers released a self replicating virus into the net that simulates a bacteria (in 2006) and it is still there and it is in a sense evolving far scarier than sci fi…because it is not “Fi”
    The Camogi do not need the humans they have existed for a long time just fine without extra camogi contact. As a matter of fact the first contact failed beause their was no common ground and the base conditions were too alien to find a base line upon which to build communication that is meaning full to both sides.
    But with intellect and awareness comes the wish to explore and learn more.
    Camogi contact was established by another Union species that is home on the surface of a Sun, the Non-Corps. using the universal language of mathematics and having a common ground (similar environments and needs) conversation could be established. Once Communication is possible information and concepts can be exchanged. The Camogi are still learning to define concepts such as air, solid, night, day and have a hard time doing it,While it is nearly incomprehensible for a human to understand the intricate corelations of super exotics that make up the subatomic conditons of a Helium atom.

    Okay you wanted the science and here it is:

    Physicists have created blobs of gaseous plasma that can grow, replicate and communicate – fulfilling most of the traditional requirements for biological cells. Without inherited material they cannot be described as alive, but the researchers believe these curious spheres may offer a radical new explanation for how life began.

    Most biologists think living cells arose out of a complex and lengthy evolution of chemicals that took millions of years, beginning with simple molecules through amino acids, primitive proteins and finally forming an organised structure. But if Mircea Sanduloviciu and his colleagues at Cuza University in Romania are right, the theory may have to be completely revised. They say cell-like self-organisation can occur in a few microseconds.

    The researchers studied environmental conditions similar to those that existed on the Earth before life began, when the planet was enveloped in electric storms that caused ionised gases called plasmas to form in the atmosphere.

    They inserted two electrodes into a chamber containing a low-temperature plasma of argon – a gas in which some of the atoms have been split into electrons and charged ions. They applied a high voltage to the electrodes, producing an arc of energy that flew across the gap between them, like a miniature lightning strike.

    Sanduloviciu says this electric spark caused a high concentration of ions and electrons to accumulate at the positively charged electrode, which spontaneously formed spheres (Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, vol 18, p 335). Each sphere had a boundary made up of two layers – an outer layer of negatively charged electrons and an inner layer of positively charged ions.

    Trapped inside the boundary was an inner nucleus of gas atoms. The amount of energy in the initial spark governed their size and lifespan. Sanduloviciu grew spheres from a few micrometres up to three centimetres in diameter.

    Split in two

    A distinct boundary layer that confines and separates an object from its environment is one of the four main criteria generally used to define living cells. Sanduloviciu decided to find out if his cells met the other criteria: the ability to replicate, to communicate information, and to metabolise and grow.

    He found that the spheres could replicate by splitting into two. Under the right conditions they also got bigger, taking up neutral argon atoms and splitting them into ions and electrons to replenish their boundary layers.

    Finally, they could communicate information by emitting electromagnetic energy, making the atoms within other spheres vibrate at a particular frequency. The spheres are not the only self-organising systems to meet all of these requirements. But they are the first gaseous “cells”.

    Sanduloviciu even thinks they could have been the first cells on Earth, arising within electric storms. “The emergence of such spheres seems likely to be a prerequisite for biochemical evolution,” he says.

  • 2) The Shaill are as described about 200 cm long, The Hover sled interface is (as the article mentions) implanted at birth as the Shaill do not have dedicated Nerve clusters that can process visual data or acoustic data in an analog way (as our brain does it) There are no natural nerve clusters for hands, or appendixes, but there are those brain regions interpreting smells , feeler tactile information and muscles that contract and detract for locomotion.
    The interface implant converts these neural information into Shaill physiology compatible impulses and vice versa. Slugglings learn to use the new senses and the hover sled for the first 3 years of their live , the same way you learn such basic functions as walking or crawling and using your hands or talking.
    Trust me your first attempts of conversation were very wet, and only your mother was able to understand that Brrgtft guggu diddi grnf meant something.It took considerable practice and learning to say “Trihexo-ammino Chlorid Dyphenyl” because your brain was a pretty empty place at first and all those neuro pathways had to be burned first. At the age of 4 a Shaill no longer feels the sled, its part of the mollusk and it thinks as much as you think about walking when using it.
    I did describe reproduction and their lack of sex and gender diapology and its effect on their society.
    The Shaill Perfumes and Pheromone compounds are one of the hottest and illegal products sold on the Black Market. Shaill are not immune to money, corruption and crime.


  • Here is a “Post – Alien August Entry”
    Non Corps

    aka Non Corporals UnionMember Species – Society – TL before Union Contact : 0 AL: 5 Expansion : 1 Star , Home System: Bright Star – Spinward Sector Union Member # 3447


    The Non Corps are among the most unique life forms known to Union science. For all sense and purpose they are energy beings living in a Sun. It is believed that the Non Corps were the result of experiments of a very advanced society[1]. Other suggested that a trans-dimensional rift occurred in the very center of that star was responsible for giving rise to sentient Superheated matter – [2][3][4] aka plasma[4] beings. While the origin and history of the Non corps is basis of much debate among scholars, their very existence had caused much discussion in the scientific community and gave birth to a very new science called : Astrophysical Biology.

    (Also : Dusty , Camogi, Nebula Drakis , Sinks )

    Since the accidental discovery of the Non Corps by a Union / Wurgus Solar Research ship 351 years ago , much research has been done that led to the development of the Non Corp Suit allowing Non Corps to leave the surface of the sun and interact with other solid beings. It was the expressed wish of the Non corps to get a real city and thus one of the most unusual Cities was coneived and build. Thanks to the Wurgus and the experience Terran engineers had building Sol Castle a city was built that actually floats on a Gravometric cushion on the Chromosphere of Bright Star.


    Non Corps have no body or defined shapes and are a shapless mass of plasmic gas that is kept around a denser center of degenerated matter . This center is the ego center and is able to store information in electromagnetc patterns arranged into synaptic amalgams of neurological patterns an create omni directional path ways thus creating a synaptic analog for concious thought and awareness. They have no physical senses but can process any neuro electrical signal. The physical mass of the plasma matter is between 1000 -2000 grams (under 1 gee) and can be safely compressed to a volume of about 12 cm3 and extended to a volume of about 20 m3 greater extension and the Non Corp looses coheison and fades . The constant loss of energy to the environment and photon creation leads to an average life span of 80 -100 standard years, after which a Non Corp dies and coverts into a tiny mass of Neutrons of a few nano meters. (Neutronium ) Non Corps see and hear via the entire electro magnetic spectrum and have omni directional sight, percieving the environment in a spherical abstract.

    Non Corps have anacoustic language but also communicate using fine tuned electromagnetic wave patterns. They have learned to use Sonoluminisence to communicate with acoustics. They have no names and instead use mathematical expressions to denote an individual. Non Corps come together and concentrate a new Non corp into existence by donating superheated matter ( Nuclei) and energy into a new ego center and then two or three Non Corps “concentrate” for six to eight month and a new Non Corp is born, The energetic cohesion that holds the matter nuclei together is deteriorating as soon a Non corp comes to be and eventually fades and a Non Corp dies.

    Non Corps can and must consume energy and can do so by converting any matter via controlled fusion. (1 liter of water for example yields all the energy a Non Corp needs in its life time but they can absorb convert additional matter to utilze extra energy as weapon beams , wave creation and other energy expenditure.

    Non Corps can exist in virtually any environment but temperatures above the 100 Million degrees threshold fuses the plasma synaptic clusters and thus will kill a Non Corp.

    While no standard weapon could harm a Non Corp, very strong EMP pulses or Energy syphon measures can be harmful or fatal.

    The average Non Corp simulates between 10 and 20 million synaptic nodes similar to a human brain and of similar intellect and capabilities.

    Non Corps are immune to Psionics as they can see and manipulate psion energy, but they do not have the capability to controlled tap into the Psion spatal level in order to use psionics. However they can use the channeled energies of Psi talent and redirect them.


    The Non Corps are in love with “Solid things” and prefer to stay in the City than in the Star. The protection suits were made “Humanoid” for simplicity and because that was the form the Non Corps chose but it could be any form.

    The Suits are made by SII and have permanent force field barriers with fail safe systems, allowing Non corps to interact with the Solid world.

    Non Corps can be found everywhere in the Union and in all social roles.

    They have an almost unsatisfiable hunger to participate in what they call “Solid Activities”. Among their most favorite activities is to sleep in the suit and on a bed. Or watch water flow. Some Non Corps have learned to leave their suits in almost any environment and they are teaching others as well. But they are so brilliant bright that staring at them will cause Eye damage.

    Non corps can manipulate nearly any known Energy form and after understanding Higher Physics they can see ParaDim Energies. Non Corps are able to “see Quasi Space”.

    Perhaps the most famous Non Corp was Captain Two-Three , who started his career being part of the USS Tigershark crew .

    Here are the Science references this life form is based on:

    [1] Evidence suggesting that most if not all known Quasars of the Universe are not natural but have been made or “created” by an advanced species or entity is growing. The Wurgus are chief among the supporters of theStar-Markers theory.

    [2] Mysteries of the Omniverse – Dr. Nathan Hegil University Press New Cambridge 3455 (Ott)

    [3] Rifts and Einstein Rosenbridges to Somewhere else . Professor Yellowdoor , Springer Scientific Publishers.University of Titan . 3556(OTT)

    [4] Hive of Minds – Natural Transspatial Phenomenon Conference Sept 12, 4003 (OTT)

    [5] Professor Stephen Hawkins – Pre Astro Earth 2011 “Lecture on alternate forms of life”

    [7] In 2007, Vadim N. Tsytovich and colleagues proposed that lifelike behaviors could be exhibited by dust particles suspended in a plasma, under conditions that might exist in space

    Computer models showed that, when the dust became charged, the particles could self-organize into microscopic helical structures capable of replicating themselves, interacting with other neighboring structures, and evolving into more stable forms.

    [8] Similar forms of life were described in Fred Hoyle’s classic novel The Black Cloud .


    [10 Physicists Discover Inorganic Dust With Lifelike Qualitie s Date: August 15, 2007 Source: Institute of Physics

    [11] Could extraterrestrial life be made of corkscrew-shaped particles of interstellar dust?

  • ralok

    I wish I could have said more about the Eeda, it was fun to explore the concept of a biology that could not evolve in our universe with our laws of physics… yet was capable of surviving in our universe.

  • Lol “Unforseen technical difficulties” you mean you forgetting to switch the correct mic on! 😛