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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