Saturday, 28 January 2012

About XGT

On the scale of hard to soft sci-fi, Universe XGT is probably somewhere in the region of ‘just about spreadable’. Yes, we have faster-than-light travel and extremely advanced medical-regenerative technology (so we can hardly claim to be hard sci-fi), but you’ll find no mystical forces or headless monks around here (so we’re not too squishy either).

To continue with the butter analogy: UXGT has been churning slowly in the warped brains of Matt Colclough & Tim Johnston & Sarah Johnston since the summer of 1998. It began its life as a series of games played with Lego characters, including a few that readers / viewers of our previous works might recognise, e.g. Murkum and Forkley. Various other non-Lego bits joined the cast, and then we got carried away adding completely imagined characters, worlds and back-stories.

A brief summary of the geography of UXGT, beginning with a map of the universe (yes, map of the universe; one does exist!):

Most of the habitable galaxies lie in a flattened area across the centre, while stars outside the middle plane tend not to be stable enough to support life. The exact nature of the intersection between UXGT and the universe that we perceive is uncertain, although it is sufficiently stable to have been crossed on numerous occasions.

The ten most important galaxies, from a political standpoint, are probably (in no particular order):
  • Vomo – the political and economic centre of the universe, home to several of the most populous species and the wealthiest planets. It has several habitable worlds (both natural ecosystems and terraforming projects) and multiple native species including the essentially-human Festof, and the not-too-far-from-human Iquahlians.
  • Sardastian – second galaxy of the universe, and held by many to be the cultural capital. Has numerous naturally-habitable planets but just one native sapient species.
  • Drav – home of the Grud race, notorious for their no-frills mindset but valued by the wider society for their technological know-how and their usefulness in the security trade. They have occupied over 30 planets in their galaxy, naming every single one of them ‘Dabox’, with numbers to tell them apart.
  • Arpathia – centre of an empire which ruled much of UXGT between the late 15th and late 17th centuries. Predominantly ruined and abandoned following the fall of the empire. Most of the survivors, a group calling themselves the Axurions, took up residence in a nearby galaxy and named it Axuria.
  • Todamaddaga – the centre of extra-legal trade in the universe, home to three races: the Todma, the Maddag and the G’Hon.
  • Wreaine – original home galaxy of the Rem, a cultured race who have led a nomadic existence on board ‘cityships’ following an ecological catastrophe on their native planet in the mid-late 12th century.
  • The D’Antarran Spiral – home galaxy of the molluscoid S’Anonh, and multiple races of sentient machines who the S’Anonh created. D’Antarran itself, the galaxy’s one notable inhabited planet, was destroyed by Arpathian forces in 1633.
  • U’Quonan – the first of the three machine races created by the S’Anonh were given their independence, and settled in this distant galaxy, naming after themselves.
  • Gortheal – home of the Bocnal, a species forced to adapt as cyborgs in the late 15th century, who now hold the distinction of being the least populous race in UXGT, with just six known survivors.
  • The Tharryk Cluster – a whole galaxy (admittedly a small one) which has been turned into a colossal, utterly impregnable prison, with entire planetoids often serving as individual cells.

Our plan is to run some pieces going into more detail on various races and places, as a scene-setting exercise, before we start publishing any narrative per se. Check back soon…

- Tim Johnston & Matt Colclough (on behalf of ourselves)