Inscrit le: 19 Sep 2009
Dim 18 Oct - 14:37 (2009)
Well, here we are at the end of the book. It’s been a long ride for me; this whole thing started quite a while ago and I’ll be happy to see it in print. I can’t finish without saying a few words recognizing those who helped me along the way:
• Dan DiTursi and TauCeti Deichmann, for running playtest campaigns and putting up with major rules changes in the middle of them.
• All the folks who played in my own playtest games, especially those who bent the rules and pushed the limits of the system.
• Everyone from my playtest and others who gave their advice to future players. I really appreciate it, and so do they.
• The people who joined the development journal late in the game, giving me valuable feedback before the final version.
• The folks over at Story Games, for giving me tons of suggestions and inspiration, and some major critiques when they were needed.
• Quentin Hudspeth for his constant commentary and encouragement.
• Emma White, my wife, for her willingness to listen and her support.
Here are a few of the books, movies, and other sources that inspired Sufficiently Advanced. Hopefully these can provide stimulus for your own game sessions as well.
Singularity Sky by Charles Stross. A great example of what happens when a pre-singularity culture attacks a post-singularity one. Entangled data transmission, black-hole driven starships, and plenty of nanotech behind the scenes. Also, one can make a good compare & contrast exercise between the Eschaton and the Transcendentals. Its sequel, Iron Sunrise, works almost as well.
The Golden Age by John C. Wright, and its sequels (The Phoenix Exultant and The Golden Transcendence). You want humanity in a thousand variations? Technology so extreme it creates entire new societies just by its very existence? Giant piles of drama? Right here.
The movie GATTACA could fit nicely into the timeline of SA, roughly 10-20 years before the nanotech wars (and thus thousands of years before the game’s default start date).
The Collapsium by Wil McCarthy, and its sequels (The Wellstone, Lost in Transmission, and To Squeeze the Moon). This is the primary source for the Replicants, programmable matter, and the technology that makes most Stringtech possible. In fact, everyone in this series is basically a Replicant.
Dune by Frank Hebert is a great example of humanity enhanced without the aid of computers. If you’re wondering what high Metatech and Cognitech can do, take a look in here.
Hyperion by Dan Simmons, and its sequels (Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, and Rise of Endymion). The AIs here and the Transcendentals make for another good compare/contrast exercise. The web of worlds was too good an idea not to borrow, and the Ousters are completely awe-inspiring. Highly recommended.
Bloom by Wil McCarthy and The Diamond Age by Neil Stephenson are both excellent examples of what one might do with nanotech. If you’ve read Diamond Age, the nanotech in SA is much closer to Seeds than to the Feed. Diamond Age’s franchised nations are also a very catchy idea.
Engines of Creation by K. Eric Drexler is a mustread for anyone involving nanotechnology in their works, though Drexler himself has said that some of its predictions (especially grey goo) are a bit extreme.
Foundation and its myriad sequels, by Asimov and others, and Psychohistorical Crisis by Donald Kingsbury. These are the only books I’ve seen that tackle the idea of highly advanced social science. Crisis’ “fam” technology is a good analogue to the netural meshes in this game.
It has been pointed out to me that many episodes of the original Star Trek series make for surprisingly good S.A. plots, especially those dealing with first contact, skirting the Prime Directive, or technology gone bad.
Vernor Vinge’s A Fire Upon the Deep influenced not only the group-mind society, but the Aia as well. Good primary source for these two odd groups, and an excellent book as well. It and its companion, A Deepness In The Sky, are excellent references for comprehensible non-human activity as well.
Greg Egan’s Diaspora is an example of what this game’s Stored might some day become, and where the cultures of Sufficiently Advanced might one day go. The humans still living on Earth are also a great example of how a Heterolinguist civilization might hold together, though they weren’t the original inspiration
for that society.
If the Union were a group-mind and ran Mars, it would look like the webcomic A Miracle of Science, at http://www.project-apollo.net/mos/
As this book began with a quotation, I think it will be appropriate to end it with one from the same author:
“The truth, as always, will be far stranger.”
--Arthur C. Clarke