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Image from Chris Shaeffer

Scientists, Futurists, and Writers who have inspired the Orion's Arm Scenario
(along with some reference material)

"If I see further than others, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants"
- Sir Isaac Newton, Mathematician and Physicist

"Science fiction builds on science fiction"
- Donald Wollheim, The Universe Makers, New York 1971 [cited in Brian Aldiss The Billion Year Spree 1973, p.257)
The list of science fiction writers, futurists, thinkers, and visionaries who have inspired elements of the Orion's Arm universe through their own work , and continue to inspire and influence us, is great. Orion's Arm would not exist were it not for these trailblazers.

Here then is a partial list of those who have inspired this setting upon which we, the writers and artists, can build.

Note, the following list is still very much incomplete.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions of the various persons listed here, whether as expressed in their works or in any other fashion, do not necessarily reflect those of the Orion's Arm Universe Project or setting.

In alphabetical order:

2000 AD (comic) - Home of Judge Dredd; demonstrates that even dystopias can be fun.

2300 AD (role playing game) - early interstellar colonization, use of brown dwarfs.

Poul Anderson (SF author) - coined the terms sophont and sophontology

Isaac Asimov (scientist and SF writer) - for robotics, the Foundation series, and of course the original Encyclopedia Galactica

Dr William Sims Bainbridge - whose work on 'personality capture' - using preference or personality quiz information to generate a model of the answering person - something he believes to be a prequel to uploading...

Richard Baker (OA contributer and all-round expert) and David Dye - for Ad Astra which provides a guide to the earlier to middle stages of space colonization (Information and Interplanetary Ages), and is perhaps the only developed speculative ultra hard SF worldbuilding scenario on the web. Thanks to both Richard and David for graciously allowing us to incorporate pages from that project in OA

Iain M. Banks (SF writer) Culture novels - benign ai-cratic utopias and rule of AI Minds in general

Stephen Baxter (SF writer) - Nauri (greatly modified from original "Gaijin")

Paul Birch - astronomer who originated the concepts of orbital rings and dynamic compression members as well as constructs arising from these such as supraplanetary shells

Nick Bostrom - Director of the Future of Humanity Institute, notable for his Simulation Argument

Robert Bradbury - extropian; originated the concept of the Matrioshka Brain

David Brin (SF writer) - author of the Uplift novels and the inspiration for OA concepts like Provolves, the anglic/anglish language family, and sophontology

F.M. Busby (SF author)

John W Campbell - for giving us hard SF and single-handedly establishing SF as a proper genre

C.J. Cherryh (SF author)

Arthur C Clarke - for hard SF in general, for Clarke's Third Law :-) aka clarketech, and of course for ai (Hal)!

Charles Darwin - for the theory of evolution by natural selection

Richard Dawkins (Darwinist) - memes which enables us to arrive at further (post-Dawkinsian) developments and concepts like memetic engineering, which provide an explanation whereby some minds and factions are able to manipulate others

John Dollan (OA contributer and web author) - for the Planet Classification List and kindly allowing us to incorporate his planetology in the setting

K. Eric Drexler (futurist - nanotech) - Engines of Creation and other material - nanotechnology; perhaps the single most important and significant technology and insight in creating this scenario, and its innumerable ramifications

Freeman Dyson (Astronomer and Visionary) - for Dyson Spheres and Dyson Trees, and a vision of the universe transformed and optimised as a home for life

Greg Egan (SF writer) all works - various important themes, especially involving virtuals, and ultra hard SF in general

Paul Di Filippo (SF writer) - author of Ribofunk, and of the term and concept of splices

Gary William Flake, - author of The Computational Beauty of Nature - Computer Explorations of Fractals, Chaos, Complex Systems, and Adaptation. See the on-line glossary from the book. Brief and very technical but very pertinent to the early stages of ai (some will still apply to current era) Some good informational science material that helped fill out a number of EG entries

Martyn J Fogg - Author of Terraforming: Engineering Planetary Environments and several articles and papers about planetary environments and engineering

Robert L Forward (Scientist and Visionary) - for many important concepts

Robert Freitas (nanomedicine visionary) - for giving us a good idea what the future may be like

Hugo de Garis - (AI researcher) for many important concepts involving AI, as well as ideas such as Scale war and assorted neologisms. See also Technical Terms Coined - some great terms and concepts, some of which have been adopted here and included in the OA glossary and the Encyclopedia

Robert J. Hall (RPG author) - Science Skills for Hero - a very comprehensive listing that provided the inspiration and foundation for many professions listed in the setting

William Gibson (SF author) - The father of cyberpunk

Ben Goertzel - expert in the philosophy of artificial intelligence

Glenn Grant - for the Memetic Lexicon and further development of Dawkins' meme theory

Joe Haldeman (author) - The Forever War - relatively hard science fiction about interstellar warfare

Aaron Hamilton (OA contributer) - author of the superb The Hamilton Encyclopaedia of Exopaleontology - Historical Atlas, which he kindly allowed us to include in our setting, thus providing the basis for a history of galactic races

Peter F. Hamilton (SF writer) - author of Night's Dawn with its wonderful conception of bioships and biohabitats

Frank Herbert (SF writer) - author of Dune which helped inspire the Great Houses

Homer, and other great mythopoets - who were writing their own brand of "science fiction" more than two and a half millennia ago. And what are the archailects and baselines of OA but the scientific update of his gods and mortals?

BJ Klein - The Immortality Institute

Ray Kurzweil (AI researcher) - The Age of Spiritual Machines and other material deals with AI and presents a persuasive argument for the Hard AI hypothesis - - encyclopedic coverage of topics relating to artificial intelligence, posthumanism, nanotech, and more. Some only applies to the early Information Age, but there is also material on nanotech and other neat things.

Ursula K LeGuin - SF and Fantasy author

Stanislaw Lem (SF author) - Author and visionary. Much of OA's ideas re toposophics, transapience, and singularity, it owes to Lem

H.P. Lovecraft (fantasy and SF author)

George Lucas (Film Director) - for nice special effects and showing that space opera can look cool (even if his storylines are basically fantasy)

Ken Macleod (SF author)

George R.R. Martin (SF author)

Marc Miller and co-workers - for the Traveller role playing game; with its vast setting and detailed galactography it provides a predecessor/ soft/medium SF prototype for OA. Also the Traveller Library has inspired a number of neat ideas for the Encyclopaedia Galactica

Marvin Minsky - ai researcher

Syne Mitchell (SF author)

J.R. Mooneyham (futurist) - ideas on the Information and Interplanetary ages, and Early Digital Communities

Hans Moravec - roboticist and ai researcher

Dr Max More - extropian, who discussed many concepts that were later incorporated into OA

Linda Nagata (SF author)

Larry Niven (SF author) - Father of the ringworld concept and lots of other cool ideas

Jeff Noon (SF/magical realism writer) - various works - Madverts (well it's a great name, but the meaning in OA is completely different), Dog Splices/Uplifts (again, completely different here)

Gerald K. O'Neill (space enthusiast) - author of The High Frontier for telling us that a planetary surface is not the best place to build an advanced civilization. His work has been the inspiration for the Orbital Habitats and space based civilization of our setting - Island One Society

Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction - more densely detailed and less systematic, use in conjunction with the Eric S. Raymond's SF Glossary. By Jeff Prucher.

Frederick Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth (SF authors)

Jerry Pournelle (SF author) - Author of numerous science fiction stories and science fact articles

David Pulver and Co.. - for GURPS Transhuman Space, an ultra hard SF role playing setting which features very important and realistic ideas on early Interplanetary Age spacecraft, biotech, bionano, microbots, etc.

Eric S. Raymond - SF Glossary a good and easy to read page that gives the original authorship and meaning of most common SF words. Use with Science Fiction Citations for the OED.

Robert Reed (SF author) - mind-stretching ideas

Mike Resnick (SF author)

Alistair Reynolds (SF writer) all works - relativists (very different from Reynolds' exotics) - Dawn Hunters (analogous to Reynolds' Inhibitors), various themes

Kim Stanley Robinson (SF author) - for The Mars Trilogy and its vision of what terraforming in the solar system might entail

Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek) - for paving the way

Rudy Rucker (SF writer) - author of The Hardware/Software/Wetware series, which introduces and features the "moldies", the inspiration for the erotoginii of this setting

Anders Sandberg (Transhumanist and OA contributer) - author of an astonishing and encyclopaedic transhumanist web site, as well as Big Ideas, Grand Vision with useful material on individual development of interstellar colonies (Interplanetary age and Interplanetary dark age); compiled Transhumanist Terminology from the Lextropicon Max More and others

Pamela Sargent (SF author)

Marshall T. Savage (visionary) - author of The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps - perhaps no other single written work can so inspire the concept of a space-faring civilization and colonizing the galaxy!

Birgid Schlindwein, author of A Hypermedia Glossary of Genetic Terms - an excellent reference that is very useful in view of the importance of biotech and gengineering in the OA setting

Karl Schroeder (SF writer) - cycler (beamrider) network / Deeper Covenant, brown dwarfs

Kevin Self - for the "2600 edition" "GURPS" Encyclopedia Galactica, the original (albeit much smaller) seed and inspiration for the present version of the OA Encyclopedia Galactica.

Trent Shipley (web author) - whose Galactic Library (based on David Brin's Uplift saga) helped serve as an inspiration for our Encyclopedia Galactica

Dan Simmons (SF writer) - whose Hyperion Cantos features such important concepts as AI Minds and something similar to the Wormhole Nexus

Joan Slonczewski - (SF writer) whose Elysium Cycle novels examine nanotechnology, gengineering, and godhood. Very OA relevant.

Olaf Stapledon - who imagineered so many things so long ago artificial worlds and genetic engineering being prime examples.

Benjanun Sriduangkaew - (SF writer) Her Machine Mandate novels and novellas bring her AI-led Post-scarcity societies and LGBTQ+ characters to life through poetic prose. Very OA relevant.

Brian Stableford and David Langford - SF writers and futurists, and authors of The Third Millennium

Bruce Stirling (SF writer) - Schizmatrix - clades, Genettekers ("shapers"), Jovian League, Orbitals, various other concepts

Charles Stross - (SF writer) author of a variety of works from post-singularity adventures to dark Lovecraftian romps.

Michael Swanwick (SF writer) whose book Vacuum Flowers includes great ideas on Wetware, Dyson Trees, and differing Clades

Alan Turing - the first person to conceive of AI

Vernor Vinge (SF writer and Mathematician) - author of A Fire Upon the Deep and The Coming Technological Singularity who gave us concepts such as the Singularity, and Singularity Levels (which he presents as "Zones of Thought" but are here reinterpreted as true Toposophic grades), the Known Net, and rule by AI. Without him, there would never have been an Orion's Arm worldbuilding project.

Jordan K. Weisman and others for the Battletech/Mechwarrior universe, a vast role playing / computer gaming setting that in part inspired the idea of neofeudalistic/aristocratic Great Houses

Scott Westerfeld (SF author)

Martin Whiteside - author of The Science in Science Fiction - A Guide to the Physics Governing the Star Trek Series - Part astronomy and physics encyclopaedia, part Star Trek, and even if the latter elements are not very pertinent to Orion's Arm, this is still a great resource

Jack Williamson (SF writer) - Terraforming

Walter Jon Williams - Voice of the Whirlwind and other works

Sean Williams and Shane Dix (SF authors)

Robert Charles Wilson (author) - Various works that explore transhumanist ideas and concepts

John C. Wright (author) - The Golden Age trilogy, which is set in a civilization similar to parts of OA

Humanity Plus (formerly the World Transhumanist Association)

Eliezer Yudkowsky - extropian and author of some important papers on building a post-singularity ai

David Zindell (SF writer) - author of Neverness and sequels which helped to inspire the conception of the Archailects, as well as other ideas