Aug 21, 2009
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A Note on the Saturday Sci-fi Story

Friday, August 21, 2009 - 09:08 PM

- Every time we encounter a new species, we'll also have an accompanying entry from the imperial Enciclopedia Xenobiología (see adjacent blog entry). When and if we reach a book-length story in a few years, those entries will be included as well.

- (I'm just noticing, though, that my blogging engine is having trouble with Spanish hopefully they're showing up all right for you as you read this.)

- Our true "story-story" should begin in about two weeks, after we're done with this prologue.

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The Continuum of Makers

Friday, August 21, 2009 - 09:05 PM

Enciclopedia Xenobiología: The Continuum of Makers

Species: The Continuum of Makers

Homeworld: Unknown

Size: Average 2.10 m tall, 135 kg

Color & Markings: Though comments regarding physical differences have been witnessed in the presence of Makers and pre-Makers, the human eye has immense trouble discerning them. There is, however, a noted tendency towards highly individualized dress, presumably as it is "Spirit-like".

Reproduction & Development: The Continuum reproduces asexually, budding over a two-day term within a semi-buried, silica-based cocoon. (See attached holograph.) Offspring emerge with a surprisingly large racial memory that includes basic language, mathematics, and physical abilities. After division, offspring in the Continuum go through two developmental and sociological stages: Adolescent "pre-Maker" stage, and the adult "Maker" stage. It is theorized that new offspring in the Continuum undergo a roughly 300-to-400 year developmental period before their coming-of-age to "Maker" status. Lack of genetic diversity within the Continuum is considered to be the root cause for their complex animistic religion, which expresses individuality, right-of-passage, and socio-religious heirarchy through one's technological inventiveness: Literally, what machinations ("spirits") you have brought into the world. (See Mackey, Robert L. "Makers and their Spirits", Imprimátur del Imperio, 2388.)

Diet: Unknown.

Lifespan: Unknown. Presumably in the 500-to-600 year range, based on autopsies performed at the Centro Imperial de la Xenobiología.

Language: Highly complex. Translation A.I.'s have postulated that up to 30% of text translated from the Continuum may be incorrect or lack key subtleties.

Social Structure: Hierarchy within the Continuum is based solely on the Spirits one has "birthed." Manual labor, grunt warfare, and menial tasks are left to pre-Makers; while administration and command are left to Makers. References to a third, ruling class known as the "Colegium" (presumably, upper-level Makers) have been recorded on two occassions. However, no member of the Colegium has ever been witnessed by a human being.

Intelligence Rating: Untested. Presumed in the Kilo-Lima range for pre-Makers, and possibly as high as the Victor-Whiskey range for Makers.

Interaction with Humans: With two key exceptions, every interaction with the Continuum has been hostile to the point of violence.

Historical note: (Claims to "Spirit-theft") ------ -- ------- --- --------- --- -- ---- ------ -- ------- --- ------ -- ------- --- --------- --- -- ------------- --- -- ---- ------ -- ------- --- --------- --- -- ---- ------ -- ------- --- --------- --- -- ---- ------ -- ------- --- --------- --- -- ---- ------ -- ------- --- --- -- ---- ------ -- ------- --- --------- --- -- ---- (Redacted: Imperial Censor MJK:29 [Clase "La Familia"])

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Ad Homonym Attacks

Friday, August 21, 2009 - 08:31 AM

We've learned something today, friends. We've learned that Dave can get his homonyms mixed up with this homophones and his homographs and his heteronyms and his hemoglobins.

I'm editing the original strip to reflect the correct usage of "homophones", with a doff of the cap to my various professors who e-mailed me. (It's like I'm back in grad school! They keep pulling me back in!)

Here's where my mind went astray. For some reason, I thought that "homonym" was the umbrella or catch-all term encapsulating both homophones and homographs. The Greek suffix "-nym" being "name" I *thought* put it as a classification encapsulating "-phone" ("sound") and "-graph" ("writing"). But alas, my supposition would earn me no supper tonight. Turns out I'm just a moron.

So! To my former professors, a kind thank you...and you shall get no more language classification jokes from me for a while. :)

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