Without thinking about it.
Intelligence, and sapience in general, are inevitable flukes, not
Life metabolizes. You and I, and anything else that eats and
craps, are just food sources for everything else that eats and craps.
That’s what we are. That’s why we’re here.
Life adjusts . . . gorgeously. Even on an artificially enhanced
asteroid like Elis Royd—slightly smaller and infused with a neces-
sarily rarer atmosphere than Earth—disparate beings over many gen-
erations found their muscles and vital organs adjusting by infinites-
imally subtle degrees. This holds true for all living things everywhere:
as long as there is sufficient oxygen, sufficient heat, and sufficient
metabolic material, life will eventually do just fine.
The laws of physics cannot be broken. But science fiction just
wouldn’t be much fun if the rules weren’t bent once in a while—even
with savagery. They simply mustn’t be ignored altogether. So artists,
whatever your medium, go ahead and animate the impossible—im-
mortality, invisibility, non-organic life, telepathy, the “living dead”,
God, ghosts, goblins and ghouls . . . something from nothing—just
take the necessary pains to invent a plausible backdrop before you
In all the galaxies I’ve studied, I’ve never encountered a life-
form (and there are gazillions) remotely resembling Homo sapiens in
character. This is because we are unquestionably the most advanced
species. Unquestionably. So heave a collective sigh, guys; we’re top
dog, head honcho, king of the mountain. This superiority comes from
social evolution (a herd phenomenon), not from intelligence (a very
personal experience). It’s how the million apply the one-in-a-million
that spurs growth, spends populations, and ultimately makes the world
Traits of selfishness, hypocrisy, and partisanship (all ists have
isms) are adaptive functions. Although they’re vilified by figures of
authority and the media (arguably the very critters most exemplifying
these traits), they are necessary, are imperative, are excruciatingly
important survival mechanisms—they are what makes us what we are
(not who we are). The system cannot be changed. Woe to the blade
ignorant of the lawn.
In many ways it was tough chronicling the rise and fall of Elis
Royd—not because it was confusing, but because it wasn’t. Turns out
civilizations, like the universe itself, have a blueprint. Everything,