What the Heck is the Dryden Experiment?

Hey all,

Our old post “Welcome” wasn’t really helping folks get to know us and what we are about.  Here instead is bit of a more useful explanation.

Most of the time, we all hang out at our author’s and artists page on Facebook:


and to reach us about pretty much anything try:


Okay on with the introduction:


An unbounded Science Fiction Universe available under Creative Commons 4.0 BY-SA for development by authors, artists, game designers, and other creatives.


To foster creative development in a mutually supportive environment of art, writing, music, film, games, and other materials is such a way that, while all participants own their respective materials, they share those materials, promotional efforts, and mutual support so that all persons interested in creative endeavor are put in a position of self-empowered, personal development.


The Dryden Experiment is a science fiction universe built by many creatives and made available for general use by the Creative Commons 4.0 BY-SA license.  Anyone is welcome to use any materials from the universe for their own creative projects on two conditions.

  1. They must identify that the materials they are using are from the Dryden Experiment. Where reasonable, they should identify the individual who did the original work.

(for example,  in the Universe there is a race of cybernetic whales called Ile Soltaire.  The original work on this race was done by Charlotte Garneau.  If reasonable, anyone developing the Ile Soltaire should identify not only Dryden but also Charlotte.)

  1. Anything locations, environments etc. created using Dryden Material must also be made available under the Creative Commons 4.0 BY-SA license for use by others.

(For example, Gavin Revitt created an alien species called the Technoprey.  The Technoprey appear in Joel Stottlemire’s book “Alder’s World.”  While both of them still own their works, this “cross pollination” is acceptable because Gavin and Joel placed their materials under the CC 4.0 BY-SA License.)

(For another example, Gavin still owns rights to the original images of the Technoprey, however, another artist would be free to make their own images of the Technoprey provided that they made those images available under license as well.)

Adding Materials:

Dryden Experiment strives to be available to as diverse a cross section of creative endeavor as possible.  As new material is added to the universe, every effort is made to balance that material with the need for continuity.

(For Example, the faster than light travel method used by humans in the early centuries of space flight is well established in the Primer.  When a different, human designed alternate method of faster than light travel was presented by Greta van der Rol, it was decided that this was a later point in history.  This allowed Greta to fully explore the civilization she was developing, with the technology she was interested in while preserving the existing material’s integrity.)

The belief is that, with 10 billion stars in the Milky Way alone, and millions of years ahead of us, Dryden can accept and develop many many many perceptions of the future. In practice, it is the experience of the Dryden Experiment, that about half of the materials presented are new environments and the other half are further explorations of previously presented material.  It is hoped, as the universe continues to grow and evolve, that sections of time and space will become canonical parts of galactic history while always leaving more space and time for other authors with other visions.  The rough description of the eras established so far looks like this:

The Primer:  From tomorrow – 2600.  From the resource wars on Earth through the rise of Interstellar Corporations, this is an era of hard scifi and cyberpunk.  Humans and their troubles predominate though some aliens and other species are present.  The technologies are fairly well established and consistent.  (Think: 2001, Blade Runner, Mad Max, Alien, Pitch Black, Songs of Distant Earth, Stainless Steel Rat)

Belle Epoque (The Age of Beauty): 2600 – 40000.  The central planets in human space are taken over by the Ile Soltaire and the European.   Humans who are outside of the space taken over, develop their own civilizations and technologies often in isolation from each other.   Aliens are more common and the technologies more exotic.   (Think: Star Wars, Jupiter Ascending, Battle Beyond the Stars)

The Dark: 40000 – 50000.  The rise of the Technoprey from their long slumber in gas giant planets is followed quickly by the rise of the Scourge.  Virtually all technologies and civilizations are destroyed.   This is an era of nightmares and abominations (Think:  HR Greiger, Cthulhu, Dead Space)

CODEX II:  50000 – .   New and exotic species arise around the galaxy.  This is the wild frontier of Science fantasy.  Exotic space faring creatures, strange technologies, psyonics; if it’s space and its fantasy, we have a vast tapestry waiting for it here.  (Think:  Elfquest, Yes album covers, Outlaw Star, Xenoblade, Thunder Cats)

The best way to get your material recognized as part of the universe, is to contact Dryden founder Joel Stottlemire at drydenexperiment@yahoo.com.  He can not only help you place your materials, he is also happy to put you in touch with others working on similar materials, help you find a publisher or editor if needed, and recommend promotion strategies.

You are not obligated to work directly with the Dryden Experiment or one of the publishers associated with it in order to use the materials.  As long as you honor the license, you can publish how and when you choose.  Do to our cooperative nature, most people choose to befriend at least a few of the existing members and work with them to develop projects.  This both fosters development and allows us to cross promote each other’s work.  We can’t support you if we don’t know you’re out there!  Currently the best way to meet other Dryden creatives is to join the Dryden Author and Artists group on Facebook.

Parting thoughts:

The vast changes in the availability of technologies and markets has broken down the boundary between those who create science fiction and those who love it.  We don’t wait for agents to call.  We don’t send our materials away to get lost in slush piles.  We do the work we love in the way we love.  If the fans love it great, if not, well, doing it ourselves was better than waiting.  If you’ve read this and the idea of sharing your material didn’t appeal to you, that’s great!  You’ve got your style and you should go with it. On the other hand, if working cooperatively to build and promote and awesome, vast universe built on the talents of dozens of artists, authors, videographers, game designers, and others creative types, sounds pretty amazing, then join the Dryden Author and Artist page on Facebook or contact Joel at drydenexperiment@yahoo.com and let’s get started today.  Welcome home rebel.

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Description of Worlds from the Dryden Primer

We’ve had a request from Charlotte for some physical descriptions of planets in the Dryden Scifi Primer.  I thought I’d put them here for anyone else who was looking for inspiration:



Mere Ocean: -10,-20,155 ~3

Mere Ocean is the homeworld of the Ile Soltaire.  It is a large water world more than twice the mass of Earth.   Mere Ocean’s home sun is a blue giant and was far too hot for colonization when first discovered.  By placing many thousands of miles of reflective sheeting into low orbit around the planet, they were able to effectively reduce the surface temperature of the planet to near Earth norm.

Today, the millions of square miles of ocean on Mere Ocean are home to vast sprawling, largely underwater cities.  The construction is vast and largely boggling to humans.  Cities with walkways, and facilities for humanlike Ile Soltaire give way to underwater causeways wide enough for the passage of blue whales.  The ocean is more than a hundred kilometers deep and the depth of the sea are filled with ice 7.


There are also vast shipyard/breeding grounds here, where Ile Soltaire space creatures develop before they are ready for space.   Particularly stunning is the sight of one, two or a dozen cetacean living spaceships erupting from the ocean, headed for the stars.

The Jupiter Cloud Colony 0,0,0,~5

One of the most beautiful and longest lasting human colonies in the Primer is the Jupiter cloud colony.   The colony is a technological marvel.  It requires, massive gas chambers to keep it aloft, depressurized domes, and inverted gravity wells to keep the humans from being crushed, cooked or irradiated.  But what a view!  The swirling winds and vast storms of Jupiter assure that the sky is a never ending sea of color and madness.

Skeelar’s Star 15,58,178

Skeelar’s Star is an unremarkable.  What is remarkable is that Syrch Corp. is secretly working to build a Dyson Swarm there.


The local planets are being disassembled and re-engineered as sun facing platforms that Syrch plans, in coming centuries, to link together into a single giant ring around the planet.  This process is being fed by dozens of mining colonies in nearby systems.  The widespread environmental destruction caused by this project is one of the main drivers behind Ile Soltaire’s decision to take control of a large portion of human space in 2600.

Su Fin: 99,40,50 ~5

Su Fin is probably the most massive terrestrial planet colonized by humans.  It is nearly twice the mass of Earth and, likewise, much more gravity.  While it looks much like Earth, it is noteworthy for several reasons. The architecture tends to be low to the ground and heavy to support the weight.  The humans who live there are adapted for the environment, having short, stout bodies with broad chest.  Many off the life forms that evolved their naturally are also squat and thick legged.  A notable exception is the flying creatures of the planet which have taken advantage of the thicker atmosphere to grow to remarkable sizes.

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Dryden Corporation Quiz

Nic Moll of Owlman Press, who is designing the Big Damn Dryden Role Playing Game, struck gold with this awesome quiz.  What Primer Era Corporation do you work for?


So much awesome!

Thanks Nic!

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Project Page for the Dusky Lady

Don VanAusdoll is working on a video of a story set in the Dryden Universe. His first sample is here:

This is his project page. Fire away Don.

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Timeline of the Dryden Experiment

2047 – 2049 The Extermination War Simmering stress caused by over extended resources results in a short-massive war with extensive use of and chemical weapons. Ends in a limited nuclear exchange. Much of North America and Eurasia depopulated. Some areas remain uninhabitable for centuries.

2050 – 2051 Events of “Armageddon it On” take place.

2056/1/24 1st permanent lunar colony founded by Chinese. The base is named “Qin.”

2099/11/4 1st Mars Landing China.

2106/4/22 First Venus Landing “New American Federation”

2110 1st Mars Colony “International Space Association”

2108 – 2117 2nd resource war. Original “Qin” moon base destroyed. Rebuilt,named “Er Qin”

2118 – 2175 Period of global depression following 2nd resource war. Referred to as “Earth Twilight” because Earth’s resources past peak.

2175 Gravity well generators invented.They make inexpensive ground based space launches possible as well as providing gravity for long distance space flight. Trade across planets within the solar system commercially feasible for the first time. Dawn of regular spaceflight.

2180 – 2210 Period of rapid expansion within the solar system.Venus settled 2184, 1st Europa Colony 2188, many asteroids settled, Jupiter Cloud colony founded 2210.

2184/5/13 University of Antarctica GradStudent Lachmi Dryden publishes Doctoral Thesis titled”The Effects of Natural State Frame Fluctuations on Massed Objects.” which outlines the principles for moving an object from one point in space to another without passing through the points in between,effectively allowing faster than light travel without violating e=mc2. The paper receives little attention.

2208/11/28 Events of Star Dust take place.

2211 Er Qin purchases a majority of Mars,Venus, and several asteroids, becomes first extra-terran mega corp.

2212 Terra Corp formed joining Earth the majority of Terra’s economy, Europa, several asteroids, Mercury, and the Jupiter Cloud Colony. Earth is effectively one economy.

2215/7/9 Er Qin tests the PTB 94, a prototype framing drive, in deep space. While the engine’s failure is visible across the solar system, results indicate that the device “jumped” between points 2.3 light seconds apart before destroying itself. Media invents term “Insanity Crystal” to describe the diamond and nano tube lattice at the heart of the device.

2216 – 2223 Terra Corp. and Er Qin race to develop stable framing drives. Both claim success in 2223.

2219/12/4 – First reported contact between cetaceans and researchers at The University of Antarctica.

2240 Captain Othall of Er Qin successfully pilots the Hai ou (Sea gull) from Mars to Earth and back using the Framing Drive. While his average “frame to frame” jump is only 3.6 light seconds, he completes the journey in 84 hours hundreds of times faster than conventional ships.

2243 Threat of war forces Er Qin off of the moon. They reorganize on Mars as Lin Corp.

2247 Undersea Ocean on Europa reached for the first time. Intense pressure and extreme temps. slow exploration.

2250 – 2296 Intense competition between Terra Corp and Lin Corp. occasionally boils over to open combat.

2253/2/20 – First space flight by a cetacean.

2297/1/1 Lin Corp stuns solar system by announcing that it has colonized 4th planet in Proxima Centari system and has explored 3 other system. They reveal a secret base on “1st Stone” a 100 km wide object in the Oort cloud from which they have built and launched ships capable of travels at speeds up to one light year per 500 hours.

2298/12/21 – Departure of “Ile Solataire” from Earth.

2305/1/4 Theiana Mason born, in the city of New Paris on Mars, to Derrik Markowitz and Patricia Mason. Markowitzis a hydroponics engineer. Mason is a classical musician. The young Mason is trained as a musician. However she is captivated by the discovery of life on Ninus 7 and enters the Sea of Tranquility University on the moon as a biologist with a specialization in Exobiology.

2315/3/3 Lin Corp. announces the discovery of a life bearing planet in the Ninus system. There have been three previous life bearing planets found. Ninus 7 is the first bearing complex multi-cellular life.

2317/8/6 Terra Corp. announces colonization of Tennus Star system.

2320 A series of nuclear “accidents” on Mars, Terra, and the Ingus asteroid result in Lin Corp. relocating tovnewly colonized Romeo, second planetvin the Lingmi System. This change effectively gives Terra Corp. control of the Sol system.

2325/7/4 Tennus system declares independence.

2325/8/16 Parmer Chartered by Pim Corp.

2328/9/11 First recorded contact with The Eurpoean. An organism living in the depths of the ocean on Europa. It is first clearly sentient exo-species.

2330/5/19 Events from Revenge takeplace.

2338/6/30 – League of Planets formed

2341/2/19 – Contact lost with colony Olive i-4. Later investigation reveals that a form of Terran Flu virus usually carried by canines infected the local environment. The virus was able to infect all organisms on the planet destroying the ecosystem and the atmosphere.

2341/3/11 – Theiana Mason and others form the Interspecies Defense Fund IDF. Initially, the goals of the IDF are entirely peaceful. They establish protocols for the identification and protection of life bearing worlds.

2341/9/27 – League of Planets granted full control of Parmer 2 planet renamed League Prime

2346 – League of Planets launches series of deep space exploration craft. Among them is the legendary LOP Duster.

2355/10/1 – Syrch Corp. founded on Papen’s World.

2358/2/14 Genrith System Chartered by [Lin Corp.]]

2360 – Events from “Alder’s World” take place.

2370/4/14 – First sighting of a “Ile Solataire” spaceship in deep space.

2380/2/27 – Group of IDF activists sign “The Charter” allowing for the use of violence to protect alien species. Theiana Mason does not sign.

2391/5/03 – Dr. Turrelen, founding member of the IDF and namesake of the Turrelen catalog of protected alien species, assassinated.

2391/6/18 – Mason signs “The Charter” The vanishes from sight.

2398/11/22 – First recorded attack by Mason’s ship “The Moth.”

2410/10/7- Events from Dark Side of Iapetus take place.

2435 – Events from Threshold take place.

2436 – Construction of the Opie Line begins.

2466 – Events from Sport take place.

2503 Start date of “The Dryden Experiment.”

2600 Having concluded that it will not survive the ecological changes brought on by humans, the European creates a fleet of biological weapons and ships. It forces humans off of Europa and takes control of the Sol system. Ile Soltaire, who have also been concerned about human expansion, fill many human star systems with ripplers, effectively ending humans ability to leave their local planets. End of “The Primer.” Belle Epoque begins.

~BE 40,000 Technoprey wake and begin their swarm. End of Belle Epoque beginning of The Dark.

TD 88 The European fuses Technoprey technology with human and European technology. Birth of The Scourge.
TD 96 First appearance of Scourge species not created by the European. The European has lost control of the Scourge.
TD 654 First appearance of the Blood Scourge.
TD 1200 Last humans retreat into hiding inside of Sol. End of The Dark.

CD 0 Codex 2 begins an unknown amount of time later.

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Ile Soltiare

le Solitaire were inspired by and partly designed by Charlotte Garneau

Flying Whale

One of the most unusual Earth Colonies in space is the “Ile Solitaire.” (Lonely Island) The colony traces its history back directly to The University of Antartica’s isolated Ice Sounding Station on Scott Island.

In December of 2219 a young, male Bowhead Whale appeared at the station. This was immediately interesting since Bowheads are confined to the Northern Hemisphere. This whale showed a particular interest in the station and its researchers. It was frequently seen nosing around underwater equipment and took to following boats and divers. University Researcher Daniel Roberts, who had nicknamed the whale “Fido” because of the way it followed him when he dived, is credited with first suggesting that the whale was attempting to communicate with the team.

Biologists from the University were dispatched and it was discovered that Fido was emitting subsonic”thumps” that formed a simple binary code. Roberts and the biologist quickly recognized “Up,” “Down,” “breathe,” and a number of other key phrases in Fido’s vocalizations.

Ice forced Fido away from the station by May of that year but Roberts and a small crew from the University followed him back to his Northern Hemisphere home waters. During the next 9 months, Roberts and the other researchers were, “introduced” to Bowhead Whale culture in the North Atlantic. The language quickly developed to more than 900 hundred words, and the researchers were able to respond to Fido and a growing number of other Bowhead whales using speakers lowered into the water.

It was clear to the team from early on that whales and other cetaceans knew a great deal about human culture and had chosen not to respond to earlier attempts to communicate. It also became clear that the Bowhead whales had become concerned enough about their own extinction to initiate contact with humans. Fido reported, as the communication continued to improve, that Bowhead Whales had first decided to contact humans more than a century before but human thinking was so unlike whale thought that it had taken a very long time to develop a set of shared concepts and a communication method. He, (Fido)explained that he had been chosen at birth to be the pathfinder. Rather than learning the songs of his species, he had spent his youth learning all that was known about humans and their ways.

Communication was very difficult. Whales’ sense of self was radically different from humans’. The researchers often found it difficult to tell if the whales were referring to themselves individually, to whales in general, or to other classes that ranged from “all things in the sea,” to something that translated roughly as “the middle of everything.” Likewise, while the whales were excellent navigators, they had nothing resembling a numbering system or measures of distances. Objects, and their relationship to other objects was regulated by a complex sets of emotional responses. The translations for locations seemed hopelessly indecipherable. A literal translation would look something like, “By the small sadness, where glad happened to another whale because the ancestors took comfort on passing before excitement and mating.” This was compounded the ever changing nature of the responses. If a whale was struck by a ship at a location, within months all the Bowhead Whales would have learned a new name for that location, but the new name would be different for different whales based on their relationship to and feelings about the struck whale. Without an in depth understanding of whale society and relationships, communications about locations was virtually impossible.

By the time Fido moved back into the waters around Scott Island,in November, 2220, it was clear that the whales understood that they were vulnerable to human technology and as much as they needed human help, were terrified of what would happen if the general human population learned that they were capable of communication. They found humans violent and unpredictable.

The University of Antarctica agreed to work with the Bowheads in secrecy.

In 2225 Richards, by then the project lead and fast friends with Fido, announced that he had identified two previously not understood terms. Both phrases were lengthy. He reduced them to “Lonely Island” and “Warmer Ocean.” He explained that “Lonely Island” was the Earth, or more generally any planet, and that “Warmer Ocean” referred to space. The whales understood that Earth was one of billions of planets and their decision to speak to humans revolved around the idea that they were not going to be able to stay on Earth much longer but believed that humans could help them into space.

Within months of Richard’s announcement, the whales stunned the University’s mathematics department by solving the “Frame Shearing”dilemma associated with framing drives as described by Lachmi Dryden. Intrigued, the University opened a secret research facility in Lake Vostok, Antarctica. There hidden under kilometers of ice, the University and their cetacean cohorts secretly entered the space race already happening across the solar system.

Life in the under-ice facility was difficult, especially for the cetaceans, several of whom died in the first years. Eventually a total 16 marine mammal species were incorporated into the project. Included in this number was the Baiji or Yangtze River Dolphin extinct since 2006 and resurrected in Vostok from surviving DNA.

First space flight by a cetacean was achieved in 2253, when a bottle nose dolphin, “Hides in Ferns” successfully piloted a cargo ship to and from orbit.

There was some talk of using cetaceans to explore the recently reached ocean of Europa but the cetaceans were adamant that exploration should only happen on uninhabited planets. They refused to participate.

By 2270 life in the Vostok station had become unlike human or cetacean life. The numerous species had developed a unique, shared language,and the combination of human and cetacean thinking had produced a set of ideas and beliefs strange to human and sea creature alike. While still genetically different species, they had come to refer to themselves as “IleSolitaire” an entity different from the University and whale societies.They had also become a highly “cybernised” population. Through the use of cybernetics, they had created communication devices capable of using the common language, water lungs for the humans, and other devices that allowedthem to work together. In June of that year, they requested and were granted formal independence from the University.

On June 9, 2298 radar, telescope, and other sensors detected the launch of a massive spaceship from the ice above Lake Vostok. Two days later,the ship, having traveled to a point well away from the Earth, engaged its framing drive and vanished from known space. Crews sent to Vostok found thefacility abandoned. There was very little evidence that the station had ever existed. It appeared as thought the inhabitants managed to enclose their entires tructure inside the ship and launch themselves, as a whole, into space.

Nothing was heard from the ship or crew until 2370 when the crew of the Pim Corp.’s ship “Braired” recorded a “whale like ship.” observed in orbit around a star system 40 Light Years from Earth.

Little is know about Ile Solataire in 2503. In a terse message to humanity as a whole, delivered to the League of Planets headquarters on League Prime, they declared several hundred star systems between 50 and 200 light years from Earth generally in the direction of galactic center to be off limits. There have been only a few known incursions into those systems. Syrch Corp. attempted to settle several of them but has lost all contact with all crews sent into those systems within a few months of the crew’s arrival.

Their home planet is called “Mere Ocean” (MotherOcean.) They are known to use free flying whales, cybernetically adapted to space as well as other unusual spaceship designs. They are curious and are sometimes seen exploring new systems. They seem to only colonize systems that have no life bearing worlds and appear to leave only research colonies on life bearing worlds. Their motives and lifestyle are largely unknown.

While “Flying Space Whales” and other aspects of their civilization are sometimes popular on Main Run planets, most of humanity view them as boogy men or fairy tales. Their existence is never mentioned on some company controlled planets.

Cyber Whale

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The Technoprey

The Technoprey were designed by Gavin Revitt.

The TECHNOPREY are a life without form in the conventional sense,their natural state being a body of homogenous energy. In much the same way as ourselves, they emerged from the primordial soup over many millenia. Their homeworld is a gas giant, orbiting an old and unremarkable star. The planet itself is several magnitudes that of Jupiter in size, brimming with energy as a result of both the locally rich elemental system, and volatile electromagnetic interactions with its own parent star. This precarious stellar interactivity created the perfect conditions for a highly unique form of life. Strings of chemicals, exposed to the intensely electromagnetic environment formed chains,not of a DNA analog but instead, patterns that more resembled the chemical matrix found inside electric batteries. Their evolution was not without a certain similarity to our own; random interactions in the hazardous soup of their atmosphere. It was a long time even by evolutionary standards, but with almost infinite patience something did eventually emerge – chemical and energetic pathways of increasing complexity adrift in a vast field of chaos,until a spontaneous transmutation triggered the first examples of what we might recognize as the life forms which inhabits their world today.

attachment (1)

Tremendously stable after their long evolution, the “birth” process (akin to cellular division) is a very rare occurrence – only ten percent of the population transmute every one thousand years. Still, it was only a matter of time before their numbers flourished, and the entire planet became a vast nursery of thriving energy; a giant,interconnected community struggling in a gaseous hive, instinctively learning a brutal co-operation to maintain their existence.

As they began to move past their birth planet, the harshness of the environment outside the nursery world forced them to develop the means to create artificial shells, to encase and sustain their relatively delicate forms.


The different physical caste systems we see in their society were simply derived as a logical function – for example, if a class II Technoprey is needed then there is nothing hierarchical to determine which creature will inhabit that shell. Indeed their society acts as an anarchic community; an organized rational consensus where necessity is everything. The presumption of a hierarchy and status are irrelevant in their primitive perception.

As they became more inquisitive about the universe, it was recognized early on that they would have to chart a very careful path through the void around them, almost imprisoned as they were by their need for matter and energy to sustain them. They lack anything akin to faster than light travel– it’s not in their sphere of awareness or technology to think in such terms.  Instead, they identify a likely energy source, and move en-mass toward it.Often traveling in the dark void for hundreds or thousands of years.

Locomotion is created by the generation of small peaks and valleys in the fabric of space time. Technoprey “fall” into the valley in front of them building up momentum gradually over weeks and months.

Like a slow moving steamroller the Technoprey who have left their home world continue inexorably towards the next beacon in front of them, and it is always unfortunate for those in their path. They often select inhabited worlds because of the relatively large energy signatures those worlds give off. Although the Technoprey are motivated by a sense of curiosity, they do not appear to recognize organic life forms. They are wholly unsympathic when they arrive at an energy bearing planet. They scourge it, drain it of energy and move on.

It’s easy to understand why there is so little opportunity for conventional species to learn about them, under such conditions of engagement.This fundamental nature of consumption/assimilation almost assures they are perceived as belligerent, yet they are only acting for survival as we do, when we have to eat.

They roam with a nomadic instinct among the stars, trying to understand, but consuming and traveling with a primitive perception of the universe as a cold sea, littered with islands of intense energy. It is unclear whether they are even capable of perceiving conventional organic life forms as sentient. It’s more likely that at their present point of evolution, they simply see us as forms of energy more complex than dust, yet still fit for consumption.

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Human Cosmology in the Primer

By 2503 humankind’s understanding of the universe is fundamentally different than it is in the 21st century.

In 2503 it is generally understood that the Universe we perceive is a hyperdimensional sphere.  While we perceive that we look out into space in straight lines, we are in face looking around the surface of a sphere that we can’t perceive.  One way to understand this is to image that we are standing inside the skin of a soap bubble.  Due to limitations in our perceptive ability, we can’t look into the center of the bubble, we can only look out along the skin.  If we were able to see far enough around the surface of the bubble, we could eventually notice a figure (ourself) that seemed to be the same distance away from us everywhere we looked.

This is exactly the way we perceive the universe.  While we perceive that we can look out in all directions in a straight line back to the big bang, we are in fact looking around and around the surface of an expanding sphere.  While the movement of galaxies across the surface of the sphere makes it difficult to identify its exact size, the unique signature of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, pulsars, and other long lived objects have allowed scientist to identify many object one full circumference and sometimes a many as six circumference’s ago.  In 2503 it is generally understood that the universe is an expanding sphere currently about 1.2 billion light years across.

The human understanding of time is also very different.  In addition to fundamental particles that can positively or negatively interact with the Higg’s Field or the Electromagnetic field, there are particles that interact negatively with the the time field.  It is a part of the natural entropy of the Universe that particles move back and forth between states in a predictable manner.  The Dark Matter and Dark Energy of the the 21st Century are recognized in the 26th century as various counter-time particles.  While they still exert gravity and have some other impacts on our positive time universe, they are in most other ways only responsive to each other.  The current time, some 15 billion years after the Big Bang, is an era when most of the matter in the Universe is experiencing counter-time, therefor we perceive most of the universe to be composed of dark matter or dark energy.

This has led to the startling conclusion that, while we perceive the big bang as the beginning of the universe, it is in fact, the moment known as the “Baden Event” when a sufficiently large percent of the Universe was in the counter-time state that it cause a collapse of the Counter Time field, dumping, for a few fractions of a second, all of the matter in the universe into the positive time space.  It is assumed that there is a point some 100 billion years in the future when the positive time field will collapse under the weight of the material in it and the counter-time field will experience a big bang.   From this perspective, the whole universe can be seen as a torus with positive time particles sliding up the outer surface while counter-time particles slide down the inner surface.  Both surfaces are permeable and the total gravity of the Universe can be understood as the sum of the masses of particles on both side.  The hyperdimensional sphere expands in positive time when most of the matter is in counter time and expands in counter-time when most of the matter is in time.

In the laboratory, particles have been artificially changed into their counter-time state.  This has not led to any cross time communication or travel however as those particles are unlikely to re-enter positive time until the Big Bang.

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Samples of Primer Era Spacecraft

Hey all.  Some of the very coolest work being done in the Dryden Universe is around space ship design.  Here are some of the designs that our really talented artist laid out:

This is the very first Dryden Spaceship ever drawn.  It’s “The Moth” as drawn by Gavin Revitt.  The Moth is Seli Dryden’s ship and is typical of light spacecraft design in the 2400’s.  The Insanity Crystal is left wide open to account for Frame Shearing Events and the crew mostly live near the nose.   This ship is powered by a nuclear reactor in the rear section.  Although it was originally designed as a light transport ship, Seli has converted it to suit her eco-guerrilla agenda.

While not technically a spaceship, participants in the sport of Grav Pod racing leap out of otherwise healthy space ships in suits like these and free fall into the atmosphere of local planets.  The scoring is simple.  The first one to reach the ground alive wins.

Another grav pod suit.  These designs are by Joel Bewley.

Another not exactly a space ship.  Joaquin Garcia designed these full powered, space worthy environment suits worn by Terra Corp’s Geist Marines.  The Marines appear in “Songs of Distant Stars” by Daniel Hunt.

Our very newest design comes from Don VanAusdoll.  This is a big human ship from sometime in the Primer.  It’s got the open structure around the insanity crystal but then a big ring.  I’m not sure the scale here but Don tells me the small ships are “Slipshots” which are small ships that ferry goods from low orbit to waiting interstellar craft.  This makes sense because the flattening of space time near planets makes impossible to operate a framing drive within one or two light minutes.  It seems logical that there would be fleets of these smaller service vehicles ferrying people and goods back and forth.  Great work Don.

And last, but not least, my very favorite Dryden spaceship.  This is Charlotte Garneau’s flying space whale.  I love this image.  The Ile Soltaire are human cetacean hybrids who explore and live towards the galatic center from Sol.  This image was the inspiration for them.  You’ll notice that this creature/ship is using a framing drive with a ring but, since Ile Soltaire have solved the frame shearing problem, the insanity crystal is fully inside its body.

For more on star ship design in the Dryden Universe, check the spaceship design video:


Hope this gives you somewhere to start with your own spacecraft design.  If you have something you’d like me to post, email me at drydenexperiment@yahoo.com or PM me on Facebook.

ps. I’m Joel Stottlemire

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Story Stub from Don VanAusdoll

Hey all.  I got a first peek at the project Don is working on.  It’s just a tickler but its a good tickle.  I think this will become a comic or video.  Enjoy!

Mikki sat cross-legged and leaned against a support of his wickiup. He wore a loincloth and chaps. His bright red hair was shoulder length and curled outward just below the ears. His bangs were cut neatly flat across his forehead. He used a small strip of leather tied in a bow in the back. If someone were to tell Mikki that this was a girl’s style from the mid-twentieth century, he would have been much more excited that the style was worn on ancient Earth, than upset by the fact that it was for girls. Gender identities on a planet settled only four generations earlier, are not too clearly defined.

At the moment, Mikki’s biggest concern was that the lengthening shadows and dimming light meant that bedtime was approaching. Now that Mikki found scary. Not that he was afraid of the dark or of something dire happening to him, he just always thought that sleep meant he was missing out on other things going on. He set his mind to pondering how to stall.
Suddenly a dark shadow fell on the doorway, and the flap that served as a door flew back. The smiling face of a bearded, elderly man poked through the entryway. “It’s time for bed, Mikki.”
“After a story,”, was Mikki’s immediate response.
The man crawled in, for the center of the dome was only some four feet tall. He looked once at Mikki and sighed. Soon they would have to build a bigger shelter. The boy was growing fast. At least the low ceiling offered an excuse to sit. Something he appreciated more than he had in his younger days.
As the old man took a breath to begin his story, Mikki blurted out, “Grandpa, can you tell me the story of how the world began?”
They had played this game before, so Grandpa would play along. The complete story was a long one, and he knew when Mikki was stalling. “In the beginning, men fell from the sky…”
Mikki scrunched up his face, “Grandpa. you’re starting in the middle.”
Grandpa sighed, “Okay, but if you’re going to get the long version, you’re going to have to lay down.”
“Aww…”, Mikki harrumphed but went over to the pelt that served as his bed, He semi-reclined, leaning on one arm. “I’m ready.”
His grandfather frowned, “All the way down.”
Mikki gave in and laid down on his stomach, propping his head in his hands. “Is this good enough?”, the young boy asked, kicking his feet.
His Grandfather gave him and arthritic thumbs up, “Good enough for government work.”
“What’s gov-un-ment work?”, Mikki fumbled with the unfamiliar word.
Grandfather laughed, “I asked my grandfather the same thing. All he ever replied was, ‘It doesn’t!” So your guess is as good as mine. I did figure out it meant, not really, but I don’t feel like doing the work it takes to make you do it right.”
“Now, where was I?”, Grandfather asked.
“In the beginning when man was trapped on the Garden of Earth,”, Mikki said.
Grandfather shook his head, “Your mother would strangle me if I went that far back, but if you put your head down and lay still, I’ll start with when my grandfather left Corporate Space.”
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Dryden Experiment Logos and How to Use Them

Update:  There’s a new video about branding:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Shb_slwt92Y

Hey all.

The amazing Gavin Revitt has given us a Logo.  Like everything else in Dryden, it is free to use under the Creative Commons 4.0 BY-SA license.  The core logo is a stylized “D” for “Dryden” that can be superimposed on to indicate the era or series.  Gavin has started us off with the “D,” a standard Dryden Experiment logo, and specialized logos for all of the eras.  This functions differently than a trademark.  You are free to put this symbol on anything you produce in universe that is under the Creative Commons.  The idea is for people to be able to identify Dryden Universe materials even if the work did not get published by me.  For example, Nic Moll who owns Owl Man Press writing our RPG “Big Damn Dryden.”  It would be completely appropriate for him to use one of these logos.  In fact, It would be cool if he used the D and then also his trademark.  This is an identifier not a trade mark.

The jpg versions are here on fb.  Gavin has hosted the other versions including ones with a clear channel Here:


For more info on appropriate use, check out the youtube video:


Many thanks to Gavin!!!!  Please don’t hesitate to ask questions about appropriate use.  Send the question to drydenexperiment@yahoo.com and we’ll get you squared away.

Posted in business stuff, Information | Leave a comment