Many of my stories are set in this “galaxy far, far away,” Polm. Although I endeavor within each story to provide context for the unfamiliar “sci-fi” words, a glossary may be entertaining for those who like that kind of thing. It certainly has entertained me in the course of building it over a span of time as I developed the characters, places, and technology of Polm, a barred-spiral galaxy with two major “Arms,” the inner and outer. None of my stories contain every one of these words. For example, only one story features an Achromian among the cast.
~(UNDER CONTINUOUS CONSTRUCTION)~
Devices, Materials, Terminology, and Technology
Achromian: a bioloid race lacking pigment in skin, hair, and eyes; a color-morph variant.
Adrene: a stimulant drug.
AFV (atmospheric forces vessel): a transportation vessel capable of withstanding gravitational and atmospheric conditions while landing on and escaping from habitable-type planets. Types of AFV: SC (sample and cargo), PT (personnel transport), SP (sensor probe).
Antiglas™: a light, strong, transparent aluminum alloy with a proprietary production method.
antigrav lift: an “engine” consisting of a large (super-cooled) mass of superconductive material spun at high speeds, which produces negative gravity antimatter, thereby allowing a ship to rise from the surface of a planet without applying mechanical thrust. The size of the engine restricts its use to mega-ships.
antipod: small, flying, atmospheric craft, usually with two seats, with an antiglas dome, may be boxed or boxless (see black box below), may be equipped with a limited AI or piloted by a passenger.
beamer: focused-energy emitter; a black box (see below) gun, usually a cheap and occasionally lethal weapon. Slang variants: fray gun, billy, effer, pulser, stippler, E-beamer, focalizer, frayer, photon gun, feamer, feem, wasp, wasper, dogrod, flea, flea-shooter, flea-flicker, etc.
betr (biological entity tolerance rating), environmental rating applied to planets and other potential habitats, i.e. spaceships; extremely rare utopian planets rate 1, the highest environment rating; common hellholes rate 12, the lowest survivable within a protective enclosure.
biolectric: The combined charge and biosuggestion generated by the cellular functions of living organisms.
biological unit (BU)/biological entity: A living unit assimilating energy counter to the natural direction of entropy, can react to stimuli, reproduce, grow, and maintain homeostasis; may or may not be sentient though often implied.
bioloid: another name for biological unit (see above), including proloids (see below) and derivative races.
biosuggestion: the biologically-specific component of biolectric (see above) modulating the application of cellularly-generated electromagnetic potential. On some planets, colloquially known as a “wish.”
black box: power cell containing a microscopic singularity harnessed within a brs-doped (see below) metallosilicate, providing sufficient containment for minuscule anti-grav effects; energy source for a plethora of devices and vehicles.
brs: a gas mined from the atmosphere of Galen, important in the metallosilicate industry.
carboflex™: a carbon-based flexible material often used for seat coverings, sleeping pads. Less often for boots and clothing.
choco: food substance derived from choco beans grown on the planet, Visily (betr2). Ground, sweetened, and used in drinks and desserts. Not to be confused with coffee.
Color-morphs/Chromians: individuals (bioloids) with vivid skin and hair pigmentation, e.g. blue, green, yellow. Persecuted on Peril V; genocide was attempted to eradicate color variants in the Color War.
crystal rifle: an energy rifle with a metallosilicate housing and mechanisms; issued, for example, to Jenik Tal mercenaries and various planetary military elites.
cellojel: a malleable, polymeric substance.
cryolite: 1) a mineral used in light strips to produce optically yellow light 2) any artificial light source with a yellowish cast.
dynacon: a data processing device small enough to attach to a belt.
EGM (electromagnetograph machine): a medical measuring instrument with a broad range of use.
emnode: the point at which energy can be accessed for use by various devices, either to supply or consume power.
emtab: a tab, snap, or latch, etc., secured by electromagnetic force.
emtech: generally or collectively, any or all technology activated or operated electromagnetically and without use or limited use of physical contact or mechanisms.
emc (electromagnetic containment): energy field used to replace many types of fabric or materials when energy is abundant, available, and cheap.
emject: an injection via EM transmission in which the EM wave acts as a carrier, penetrating the skin, of various substances in the form of molecular aerosols.
Field Fold Manipulator: an HCE (see below).
Gaar: a furry race of bioloids adapted to the freezing environment of Banga Beta.
geetra: a feline apex predator in the jungle of the planet Gale, not to be confused with Galen, a desert planet.
handfree: describes a device or control switch operated solely by remote means, usually by biolectric, usually lacking any visible, external indicator lights, displays, or markings.
HCE (hollow cube exchanger): also field fold manipulator; a large device that allows the exchange of universal properties, for example, time for force. Most commonly used to reconcile time discrepancies accumulated with high-speed travel.
high-EM: civilizations or societies utilizing emtech; lo-EM, those using little to no emtech.
holovid: projected images that predate slips (see)
jasmine: a vaporous drug producing elated highs; slang variants,Y or Yi, pronounced “yee” or, simply, spray.
Jubilee’s Fix: A biolectric technique for repairing wisp switches damaged by EM surges, named for the engineer who developed the protocol.
“Most of the material of the atomically-layered plate was charred, and the product deposited onto the switch. Neither Mik nor Krix could penetrate this burned layer of non-receptive atoms with biolectric, and the spen readings were blocked. After seeing through the ash, I scraped away the layer biosuggestively with charge and found just enough intact, atomic-scale material to activate the instrument. With time, had the switch been destroyed, I might have rebuilt it. Yet, I still had trouble buckling my seatbelt.”
lifepod: an emergency craft with limited navigational capability, designed to function in a survival situation in space, capable of withstanding atmospheric entry of planets rated betr1-9. (If the pod survived a betr10 landing, no one opened the hatch.)
light shower: an emitter, either enclosed or in an open, designated area, from which forced air and em-waves combined to remove a microscopic layer of external biological dermis, funneled down an air drain.
lucex: a translucent, biolectrically resistant, synthetic material possessing the strength, ductility, and flexibility of a metal. An alternative to variflec (when adjustable opacity wasn’t required) or antiglas (when biolectric shielding was desired, esp. in military and medical applications).
medipoxy: a polymeric matrix used to seal cuts and abrasions that significantly speeds tissue regeneration
medspen: a medical-specific spen (see)
metallosilicate: metal/glass or metal/ceramic alloy doped with various compounds to produce specific and desirable properties.
organometallic: metal alloy doped with various organic substances to produce specific and desirable properties.
ossifier: a medical device used to treat cracked or broken bones by significantly stimulating the rate of bone regeneration.
pcp (post-coital pill, procap): a morning-after contraceptive, available in capsule, i.e. procap (on lo-tech planets and communities), or via emject, i.e. provap.
polyinsulon: a fibrous, insulating material spun of polymerized amphibolites.
proloid: a plesiomorphic race of bioloids from which other races derive. On some planets, proloids assume a superior, racist attitude toward derived races, e.g. Banga Beta, Peril V. This racial attitude is not supported genetically nor shared galactically.
radoculus: an instrument for localized remote viewing, especially through layers of biological tissue and fluids.
radogram: the procedure performed with or the slip produced by a radoculus (see above).
rho (P): a powdered chemical drug that produces malaise and forgetfulness, highly addictive.
shill: hard currency of a small denomination on planet Tipoli
silver vein: wip
slip (simulated light-image projection): surface-independent three-dimensional image; slipset (slip synthesis and emission tool): the device, stationary or portable, that produces these images.
span: a calendar unit of ten days
spen: hand-held wand-like device that emits a focused pulse of EM, producing an “echo” for collection of the returning information, often routed to a dynacon (see).
SPGT or SPG time (Standard Polm Galaxy Time): the accepted standard calendar for the outer spiral arm of the Polm Galaxy based on the atomic emission of caesium at absolute zero.
star pistol: an energy sidearm with a metallosilicate housing and mechanisms; issued to Jenik Tal mercenaries and various planetary military elites.
STS (ship-to-ship): suitable for flight in open space, refers to a type of vessel vulnerable to extreme, exterior forces like those on many planets, stars, black holes, etc.
survival/shelterfilm/foil: lightweight, waterproof sheet of polymeric material that either reflects or retains heat, depending on the difference between atmospheric conditions and body temperature. Used as a blanket or shelter, also as survival clothing in extreme conditions.
synchronization ring: wip
UAC (universal atomic code): a code produced by plating individual atoms in significant configuration, used throughout the Polm Galaxy, especially in spaceships traveling between star systems that encounter alien languages, readable via spen or biolectric.
variflec™: metalloceramic alloy with adjustable, variable reflectivity, used as windows in buildings, vehicles, personal protective gear, and flying craft.
vetrification: the process by which vetrillium (see) vapor seeps into porous materials and/or coats surfaces and precipitates with the result of hardening and encasing the material; vetrification occurs in/on both inorganic and organic materials, including bioloids (vetrillium poisoning); esp. vulnerable are soft organs, i.e. lungs, brain, and liver.
vetrillium: element, metal; symbol: Ve; color: silvery-gray; melting point:-17.7°C; boiling point: 82.2°C; Vetrillium Sea: a sea of molten vetrillium on Tipoli, a planet in the Polm Galaxy.
vetrillium poisoning: overexposure to vetrillium metal that produces vetrification (see) of soft, organic tissues.
vitalift: compound initially developed to treat erectile dysfunction, later abused on many worlds to rape and subjugate males; illegal on most planets, slave planets being the major exception
vylon™: a cheap facsimile of winspex
wicweave/wicwear: ultra-soft, breathable, elastic fabric, equally efficient at heating and cooling when used as clothing, often used for undergarments, smalls and tees.
webtex: a low-tech, woven, fiber swatch; a cloth, towel, bandage, napkin, which functions in primitive situations, undesirable in space for various reasons.
winspex™: strong, malleable fabric used for portable shelters, footwear, and outer clothing, resistant to chemical corrosion and a range of ionizing radiation.
wish: n. (see biosuggestion) and v., the act of focusing biolectrical to activate em/wishtech.
wishloc: a latch that opened and closed with wishtech (see).
wishtech: more properly emtech, a mechanism (switch, latch, sensor, trigger) activated by biolectrical energy.
wist (when in serious trouble) vapor/wistmix: vapor ingested in the same fashion as Y vapor from a slender, metal gas cylinder with a “nozzle.” The mixture, wist, contained a palliative for pain, an anti-inflammatory, a calming agent, and a fourth proprietary compound with undisclosed properties.