No matter how wide and far neumann and exploration swarms scour through deep space, there will always be worlds and regions they miss. And these will be inhabited by civilizations and cultures that have - through accident or design - become cut off from the main Terragen empire and developed in isolation, some for many thousands of years. Some believe the Gods encourage this, in order that these regions may develop their own independent civilization, in order to add to the galactic diversity when they are discovered. Some say it is just part of natural ecology of the galaxy. Whatever the reason, these are the Isolates, the heterocivs, the outers, the foreigners. They are not part of the Civilized Galaxy, and in some cases they have no wish to be. Often however they embrace discovery and either join one of the great empires, or continue as independent cultures but engage in trade and exchange of information and travellers.

Isolates are not necessarily the same as hiders, although it is not unusual for hiders to be isolates, and isolates hiders. Even hiders who are not isolates may associate with isolates, and vice-versa. But generally a xeno is distinguished as an autonomous civilization, with its own distinct and unique phenotypes, memetics, tech, culture, etc, and often many centuries old. Such a civilization may span thousands of star systems. Or it may be contained in a single computronium nugget a few centimeters across.

For sentients who have never known anything other than the Civilized Galaxy, isolates can exert a fascination surpassed only by that inspired by aliens. In fact, for many clades and phyles, no distinction is made between terragen isolates and aliens - in any case the term xenosophont, widely used to refer to "alien" - shows the association. However, we have followed the Eden Institute here and distinguished Isolatesphonts (aliens) from Terragen Xenocivilizations

Isolates can be of any race or species or clade, any toposophic, and memetic or noetic, or any combination. They can be mind-bogglingly diverse. But even the largest xeno civilization is much smaller and less diverse that that of the Civilized Galaxy as a whole.

Contact with the rest of the galaxy sometimes leads to a deterioration of xeno uniqueness. The xeno sentients, as eager to experience novelty as any other being, too often are swallowed up in the overwhelming diversity of Terragen society. For this reason, both terragen powers and xeno leaders themselves, are often very concerned that contact be managed properly, and none of the richness of the original xeno heritage is lost.

  • Amerindian Worlds, The  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Human baseline worlds discovered along the Terragen peripheral regions, each with re-created pre-Columbian civilisations.
  • Echir-{n}  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    A-life civilization in the Feinstein 1 cluster.
  • Equalizer Civilization  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    An infamous highly expansive human empire that attempted to implement true equality among all humans and human derived civilizations by a regimen of nanosurgical mental modifications, ubiquitous and perhaps ridiculously ambitious attempt at a surveillance (over interstellar distances!) and massive agent software networks.
  • Gerkletoss  - Text by Anders Sandberg and M. Alan Kazlev
    Multispecies utopian civilisation that developed in the Black Acropolis dyson swarm.
  • Lost Colonies  - Text by Somes Jung Hallinan with additions by Steve Bowers
    Colonies that have been totally isolated from the remainder of Terragen civilization for a long period of time.
  • Neosemperism  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Neosemperism is the general name for the many survivalist movements that are spreading across known space. It is somewhat derived from the pre-Version War semperism, but less ideological and more practically directed. In the wake of the fragmentation of the empires, the rise of the "barbarians" and the emergence of chaos, many groups prepare for the worst. The overall view is that at best things will soon change unrecognizably, so it is a good idea to be prepared for drastic changes.
  • Virtual Haven  - Text by John Snead
    Virch clade and phyle found on over 200 worlds.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 07 September 2001.