This guest article was written by Eric Holland, writer of the Dan’s Voyage webcomic. We featured several of the alien races from Dan’s Voyage during Alien August, and Eric wanted to tell us a little about how he developed the universe they share.
I am writing this article to tell you all of a theme hidden between all of the alien races found in my webcomic Dan’s Voyage, but first I am going to have to have to explain something about aliens and speculative fiction.
Every time you get a group of science fiction fans together, and have a big discussion seriously considering the possibility of alien life and whether or not its “out there” someone will say something about the “Drake Equation” or “Drake’s Law” or whatever it’s called. Now I don’t know enough about the Equation to judge its viability, but to me it has a little to much supposition in it.
From my understand there are actually a few theories on similar subjects, but the basic idea is that sapient life forms are inherently self-destructive, and that the time between the various races of the universes evolution means that most races would be extinct.
I don’t know how many sapient species the Drake Equation says there should be currently living in the galaxy, I have heard people say between 0 and 20, but I do know that the theory is kind of depressing. So depressing that I mostly ignore it when writing, but for Dan’s Voyage I took a different approach.
I didnt create Dan’s Voyage, Alex Hamrum did and you should totally check out his deviantart (scottahemi.deviantart.com) but he brought me on as the writer to help make his universe work. So when it came to aliens I decided to do something special, to build in a work-around to these theories of extinction and civilization lifespan.
There are actually only three races living in the Orions Arm by the time humans master space flight, the Zaefer, Humans, and the Imeran. The Zaefer are a race that existed near the end of its civilizations lifespan, only surviving because they were able to integrate into human society. Humans are in the middle of their civilizations lifespan, but they varying star-nations make it so other nations can survive the fall of others. And finally there is the Imeran, a race that is at its very beginnings.
Then there are the other organic races. The Titans and the Minervettes are both extinct species, but they escaped extinction in unique ways. The Minervettes escaped extinction because of the compassion of humanity, being cloned back into existence. The Titans escaped extinction because of their own technological cunning. There is other extinct races in the Orions Arm which have not escaped extinction, and probably wont.
There is also the Eeda, which are the only race to come in from outside of the Orions arm, in fact they come from a different reality all together. Because of this they are outsiders and thus are an unnatural phenomenon in the universe. The Titans used extra-dimensional travel to escape their extinction so they have similar outsider status.
There is also racial variation amongst all of these species that contributes to the diversity. There are three Zaefer Races, a couple of Minervette Races, and three races of Imeran. This racial diversity helps contribute to the diversity of alien life in the universe, even though they technically aren’t different alien species.
And finally, there are the artificial races. Only one of these exists so far, but there are more that will be revealed in the future. So far you have probably all seen the “Rovers” a race of robots that lives upon the surface of Mars. There are other races of robots that are planned for future stories, but do not exist yet. But it isnt just robots, there are genetically engineered species, mutants, and other types of post-human (or post-alien) beings.
It may not make a lot of sense, but for each and every race I carefully consider a different way for them to avoid this strange bit of scientific criticism. And ultimately I think that it has produced a unique feel to the Dan’s Voyage universe, and raises the subconscious question about new alien races, and not just what they will be but where they will come from.
Article by Eric Holland.
Artwork by Alex Hamrum.
Eric Holland and Alex Hamrum are the creators of the sci-fi webcomic Dan’s Voyage. Read the comic free at future-bound-entertainment.com