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 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:

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 and we’ll get you squared away.

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Rise of the Europan Project Page

Hey all.  This is the project page for “Rise of the Europan.”  This is a first try at  putting up a project page.  I’m going to lay out some formatting and then we’ll modify as needed.  The idea is for everyone to make comments below and then I’ll move information up to the working page as we go along.  That way you all can connect with each other without having to go through me but, at the same time, I can provide some coordination.

The Project:  “Rise of the Europan”

Here’s the video that started the project:

The Rise of the Europan is short story collection set in the year 2600.  The single intelligence that evolved on Eruopa decides at that time to rise up and evict the humans who have been living on the moon for about 200 years.  It also takes over a lot of the local star systems.

The Europan “grows” biological weapons and spaceships.


Tracy Vincent is developing a story about a planet that the Europan visits after it leaves Europa.  Using panspermia, the Europan has been sending its genetic material to the stars for many thousands of years.  Although the humans on this world don’t realize it, it was actually colonized first by the Europan.  There is a woman on this planet, who, due to the circumstances of her birth, is able to “hear” the life on the planet and learns that the Europan is coming.

Don VanAusdoll is working on a story that may be about the events that lead the Europan to decide it was time to attack.  He also provided this image with the following description:


“I was actually thinking this was called a Mothershio or a Life Bomb, depending on who you talk to. The clear gell with which it is filled is raw genetic materials. The tentacles are paralytic stingers that then sample the DNA of the paralyzed creatures. When enough data is collected, the gel is converted into eggs for a genetically designed alpha predator for the area, which it then spews out it’s top. releasing thousands of little tadpole like creatures in a matter of hours.”

Eugene Kelly is working on a story from the perspective of the Europan army and has asked if anyone would like to write the counterpoint story from the human perspective.  It’s a pretty cool idea.

Damian Roache has said he would like to write about the failed human resistance, which is maybe a good tie in for Eugene.  Maybe?

Gavin Revitt has developed this image as a possible cover image.  Wow!:


Background info:

I asked Dan Hunt for information that he had developed on Terra Corp and the Sol system for us to use as background here.  He sent me this very long, very cool description.  Thanks Dan!!!

Terra Corporation has its major Naval Station, Callirrhoe Station, tucked on 90377 Sedna.  It is in a trans-Neptunian object located in the Oort Cloud. It is a dwarf planet that has solar concentrators in orbit to warm it.  It has been terraformed and now has two open seas.  Homes on the dwarf planet are domes.  It is highly defended.  There are only a few lanes of allowed traffic (ripplers in effect) to get within framing distance along pre-determined fields of fire.  You would also find firing platforms and defensive systems along those lanes on other objects in the Oort Cloud.  Being in the Oort Cloud slows maneuver of incoming ships, making them easier targets.  Of course, that is a two way street that you could exploit a bit.

Sedna has three moons, Cynthia, Selene, and Diana.
If the Europian (in my novel I spelled it this way vice European as my editor wanted to know why I was suddenly talking about a European (are you talking about a specific European?  A German, Frenchman?  – just to give it some spelling distinction) jumped off Europa, it would be going straight into the teeth of the the largest human navel force in known, human space.
They would definitely use the Geist Marines if the battle fell back or started as a ground war on Europa.  Geist Marines are nearly super-human, modified through the use of Juice – a generic term for modifications made by ingesting nanobots that are programed to augment human biological systems.  While you can get some cheaper Juice, the stuff used by the Geist Marines costs hundreds of thousands of credits and really only governments and corporations can afford it – otherwise there would be augments all over and we didn’t want to have a Marvel-type universe.  That said, the Geist Marines are 4-5 times stronger than average olympians, heal faster, and have super-quick reflexes.  They are the best aguments around.  Because of the investment, once a Geist Marine, always a Geist Marine.  Terra Corp will never let you go.  Most Geist Marines are experienced fighters, and are between 27 and 35.  There are a few older ones, but they do a dirty job and, even though they are really good, they die often.
Terra Corps military headquarters is called the Defenders Division.  Think of it as the Joint Chiefs of Staff controlling forces through their Combatant Commands.  I don’t think I pin-pointed its location. I always imagined it on Sedna.  It would not be on Earth as there is a power rivalry between Earth’s government and Terra Corporation. (You can probably exploit that too.)
The only other Terra Corp station I mention is Narious Station:  A refueling station owned by Terra Corp in the Luyten system where the ship Symons’s Dream was destroyed.
I think the time of the Rise of the Europian is at the end of the power of the Corporations and I think my stories take place more toward the height of their power.  I like that part of the Primer and write mostly in that time frame.  You could easily update weapons.  For example, I talk about Mark IIs.  You can talk about Mark Vs.
I am working on my final short story for my second book.  Both Threshold and Revenge will be featured in it.  At the end of the book will be a list of people, tech, places, and things.  I am putting some of it below to help you put sprinkles in your story.

Weapons and Gear

ARG-L35s:  Ship-based Argon lasers.

Combat Packs:  Transport devices dropped from low orbit that contain large pieces of equipment like Scouts, Mark IIs, etc.

E-670-D Automated Artillery:  Robotic artillery used by Terra Corp Marines.

IR-10 actuators:  Remote controlled devices that when activated ignite whatever explosives are attached to them. 

Jump Chute. A rectangular, near full body device that allows for low orbital jumps for troops.  Colloquially called JC’s.   Once on the ground they provide tactical logistic support by carrying gear and have small caliber automatic weapons, ARG-P5 (argon-based pulse weapon).  In that configuration, they are normally referred to as Dogs. 

K-90s:  A ship-based weapons system.

KNR Flechette Rifles:  High capacity rifles that fired iron needles at ultra-high velocity with very little recoil and provide significant firepower.

Mark IIs:  A particular type of robotic Scout favored by Geist Marines.  They resemble spiders and were capable of providing close air support. 

Montgomery Pulse Tanks: Pulse-laser, heavy tanks used by Terra Corp Marines.

Nebula torpedoes: Torpedoes that used frame drives, dropping into normal space just before hitting their target.

Pony:  Also known as a “military pony” it is a tracking device that latches onto an enemy ship and periodically drops off ponies which Frame back to friendly forces and provide location intelligence. 

Ram 592s:  Sniper rifles with laser-guided smart munitions.   They fire supersonic munitions that adjust their flight trajectory as they go and almost never miss.  They are precision weapons and do not carry many rounds.

Ripplers:  Space mines that cause disruptions in the fabric of space.   They create a gravity well that replicates the wells of large celestial bodies, like planets, which prevent Frame Drives from functioning.  They “Catch” enemy ships and torpedoes and force them to use in-system engines, slowing their movement.  The artificial wells are known as Flat Spots.

Scouts:  Robotic battle units that specialize as remote, advance scouts.

Sheet Lasers:  Lasers with a broad breadth that were used to counter mass orbital jumps by hostile infantry.

Sentinels:  Robotic battle units that specialize in defensive actions. 

Tungsten Pole:  A cylindrical device that replicates the impact of a large meteorite on a planet or moon causing an explosion similar to a nuclear one without any radiation – it relies on kinetic energy.

Star Ships 

Ark Royal:  The Terra cruiser captained by Captain Cole.

Arrow Hawk:  A Terra Corp luxury yacht used the Administrator of Echo Mine.

First Hope:  The name of the first ship sent to Mars.   The journey ended in tragedy as Dr. Werner, suffering from hallucinations, slaughtered the crew. 

Firthjof:  An Admiral class Battle Cruiser captained by Trillian Naismith.  It is a Linn Corp ship. 

Pintado:  A Terra Corp jump ship.

Revenge:  A stealth ship sent from Linn Corp in the First Trade War against Terra Corp in a retaliatory attack in the Barnard’s Star system.

Symons’s Dream:  The ship that was destroyed as it refueled on Narious Station in the Luyten system.

Battle Task Force

Strike Ship Group

Monarch:  A capital class battleship it is flagship of Fleet Admiral Mehra of Terra Corp.

Avenger:  A heavy cruiser.

Eos:  A heavy cruiser.

Nornen:  A destroyer. 

Rover:  A destroyer.

Skipjack:  A frigate.

Warbler:  A heavy assault ship.

Blockade Group

Scorpion:  A heave Cruiser.  It is the flagship for Admiral Molouf.   Linn Corp.

Valor:  A cruiser.  Linn Corp.

Lightening:  A destroyer. Lin Corp

Attack Group

Natsek:  State-of-the art heavy battle cruiser.  The flag ship for Admiral Oduya.  Syrch Corp 

Chung Mu:  A destroyer.  Syrch Corp.

Avalanche:  A heavy cruiser.  Terra Corp.

Alliance:  A destoyer.  Terra Corp.

Fiske:  A cruiser. Terra Corp.

Asteroid Assault Group

Ailanthus:  A frigate.  Terra Corp.

Grampus: An Assault ship.  Terra Corp.


Communication Drones: Drone ships that used framing drives to pass information between systems by emitting high burst transmissions to communication buoys.

Communication Buoys:  The backbone for interstellar communication.  Drone frame in to a system in designated Drop Spots where they exchanged information with Communication Buoys.  They drones then frame to the next system and repeats the process.

Frame Drive:  The engine that allows for interstellar space travel and is powered by Insanity Crystals.

Electromagnetic Wave-Shield:  An early form of protective shield for interstellar ships that created a pocket of protective energy around a ship.

Insanity Crystals:  Crystals that allow for Framing and is the backbone technology for all interstellar space travel.  It could only stop small objects.

Juice:  A drink of tiny nubots, little nucleic acid robots generated in septic free-fall laboratories.  They rebuild muscle tissue, bones, eyes, and enhance their function.  Lin and Terra Corp make the most effective Juice.  High end Juice is very, very expensive.  

Kirlov Radiation:  Radiation caused by use of an insanity crystal when a ship’s shields displace objects at the destination point of a frame drive jump.   It is recognizable as a faint glow around ships that are framing through space.

V-Tanks:  Full-body tanks that isolate the body and create sensations to make virtual worlds nearly realistic.  They were developed for early space travel to keep people stimulated on the long journeys but after the invention of the Frame Drive, they were used mostly for entertainment purposes.  Too much “v-tanking” is known to create psychotic episodes.  (Revenge)

Please ask questions, propose stories etc. below.

Thanks everyone!  This is an exciting project!

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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  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 and let’s get started today.  Welcome home rebel.

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For those of you who know us, the website we were hosting was getting cumbersome and hard to maintain so we’ve gone lightweight here at WordPress.

Join Today

For those of you who don’t know us, hi there!

We’re the Dryden Experiment.  We are an  indie publishing house.  We might publish just about anything but our cornerstone project is the Dryden Sphere, a Sci-fi universe shared under the Creative Commons 4.0 BY-SA copyright.

What this means, is that while and individual author or artist owns the work they publish with us, anyone can use those characters, story lines, etc. to expand the universe whether they publish with us or not.  We provide a general history, technologies etc. and you develop which ever way you want to develop.  We’ll promote it whether we publish it or not (there are minimum quality requirements.)  If we like it, we’ll add it to the canon of history.   Even if we don’t make it official, you can still put our name on it as long as you honor the CC 4.0 BY-SA rules.

We’ve got a lot of projects and tons of history available.  This page is just to get us started on WordPress.  The old website we had was too big to maintain so we took it down.  For now, meet some of our projects:

The Dark Abyss:


Daniel Hunt’s Short Story collection is currently in development on Kickstarter.  Visit it there, fund it, love yourself more.

Flash Master:

Flash Master

Joel Stottlemire’s short story collection is currently for sale on Amazon, IBook and elsewhere.  Here you will find the origin stories that existed before there was a Dryden Experiment.

Sky Goddesses of Dryden:

Sky Goddesses

Our first try at graphic story-telling by Author Laura Konrad and Danielle Evert is now in print and Kindle.  Get it here:  Amazon

Turning Point:

Turning Point

This gritty, hard hitting graphic novel by author John M. Berg and Artist Joel Bewley is no doubt the best cyber-noir ever released, if we could get it released.  Aaargh!!!  First we lost the original artist, then the author, then Bewley got himself a job in Hollywood doing this stuff for big money.  Still, we funded it on Kickstarter and we will see it through…eventually.

Technoprey: The Hunger:


Based on Gavin Revitt’s Technoprey, Technoprey:  The Hunger is an app based game that let’s you play a hoard of hungry aliens as the swarm the galaxy munching human colonies wherever they may find them.

We have several other projects, DrydenRP, our role playing game, the novel “Alder’s World” etc. that I’ll write more about later but they to early in development to say much more about here.

Okay.  That’s who we are.  If you’d like us to consider publishing something of yours, write us at  Heck just write us there to say hi.

Check back for our timeline, technologies etc. all coming soon.

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