Alien Races, Looking for feedback

I’ve been working on the alien races ( Sappers and Ghosts) that will be part of a story and I prefer to have their origins as plausible as possible. That being said, I welcome any feedback on them. Please pardon the length and choppiness as these are my personal notes.

The sappers:

Sappers are energy based beings whose discovery occurred as a result of humanities first serious attempt at the exploration of a gas giants’ interior. Sappers able to use the superconducting environment found deep inside the gas giant as the core of their ecosystem. Existing as easily in this medium as sea life exist in the oceans. Their “bodies” exists as sentient manifestations of the electromagnetic spectrum. As energy based lifeforms, the only requirement for their continued existence is a means to replenish their reserves of energy and a medium in which to exist.

Their home world can never be fully explored by humanity due to the immense pressures at the core of the gas giant. With their descriptions of it being truly alien with the ground being described as a mixture of super-heated solids of exotic matter surrounded by various layers of energy that can only exist inside the interior of a gas giant. These layers of energy are consumed as a food source of sorts with the Sappers themselves preferring to exist in the massive layer of superconducting metallic hydrogen in the atmosphere. They glide completely without effort around their world openly merging together with others of their own species as well as splitting upon will.

After first contact was made, human engineers created artificial bodies that could house an iteration of the Sapper consciousness. These bodies were created by humanity with internals composed of superconducting materials that allow for a Sapper to inhabit the artificial body. This allowed Sappers their first opportunity to explore beyond their home planet. Yet the idea of a singular existence is as alien to them as their world seems to us. When asked what it is like to be separated from the others of their kind, Sappers attempt to explain by saying we should think of them as individual copies of the entire Sapper race. Even though there may be millions of individual bodies inhabited by instances of the Sapper consciousness, they are exact copies of each other. As for individual experiences had by the individual bodies, they are immediately shared and synced with all other instances of the Sapper race when they come into contact with a White Point.

White Points:

White points are most easily understood to be portable, stable wormholes to another dimension or a point in time where the energy density of the universe was so abundant that a small siphon allows more than enough energy to power a massive starship. The radiation from the drive would easily kill any biological being but Sappers seem to thrive when exposed to their fields.

The ability of a single Sapper to duplicate the entirety of its species allows for the near instant colonization of almost any gas giant so long as it also supports sufficient layering similar to their home world. This also means that Sappers do not fear any type of individual death as they are essentially immortal with endless copies of their consciousness being housed around the universe.

Sappers welcome the opportunity to explore the universe hand in hand with humanity as this exploration is only possible due to the initial first contact.


Ghosts are beings of probability. They were discovered on a rogue planet that was ejected from its star system billions of years ago. Their discovery by humanity was nearly their extinction. Due to their nature, they can only exist when not directly observed. When directly observed, the particles that make up their body seem to phase out of existence and remain unable to return to their natural state as long as there is any observer. A simpler way of saying this is that if you look at a Ghost, it blinks out of existence until you look away.

They can affect their surroundings while not observed which is how they made their presence known. This resulted in a ban on any interaction with their planet until a system of communication could be setup.

It was discovered that Ghosts were beings who had evolved to exist with virtually no external stimuli. Since their planet no longer had a star to feed it energy, the life that once existed on the planet eventually froze and died off. As is so often the case with life though, something began to take its place.

It is unknown what Ghosts are made of exactly due to their nature, they are impossible to observe directly. It has been proposed however, that they are some type of sentient Bose-Einstein condensate. This is the closest we have come to explaining their existence based on our current understanding of physics. This is supported by the similar breakdown of the wave function of a BEC when observed.

When left to their own devices on their home planet, Ghosts have shown the ability to create points in space that absorb all known types of radiation. It has been requested that Ghosts do not create any of these points while onboard a ship and so far there have been zero instances of a Ghost point being created onboard any ship without it being requested first.

These points do not have the same destructive properties as black holes in that they do not draw in most forms of matter. However, it has been documented that all neutrinos in the vicinity of a Ghost point are immediately drawn in as well. It is unknown by what process they are able to manifest these points. It is also unknown if the neutrinos are used to create these points or if they are absorbed after the points’ creation. This has been the only known method discovered to date that allows for any significant interaction with neutrinos and has been the focus of many studies. It remains impossible to date to directly study any Ghost point due to the nature of their creation as any observance of the Ghost creating the points immediately collapses their wave function and thus terminates the Ghost point.

Significant spikes in Ghost activity occur after a Ghost point has been allowed to exist for a substantial length of time. The exact cause of this activity cannot be determined as of to date. It has been determined that whatever the activity may be, it does not seem to be hazardous to any of the three species nor any of the ships functionalities. When asked about this spike, Ghosts refer to it as a shedding and express an desire in leaving the immediate area for some unknown reason.

When asked why they accompany the other two species, Ghost often respond that they have a desire to understand where they come from and if there are any of their own kind in existence. It is made apparent that even Ghost do not entirely understand their own origins. Their intelligence is comparable to Humanities with obvious deficits in some areas and obvious overshadowing in others.

All human attempts at duplicating the creation of a Ghost point has yielded no results despite the Ghosts best efforts at explaining the process. They have explained that they manipulate certain forces and focus them into a single point.

Ghost do not use any obvious technologies and seem to have no known governing system. All Ghosts seem to act under their own accord with very few instances of any one individual being contacted twice even when requested. When it’s requested to speak to any specific Ghost, the response typically indicates a lack of knowing the one requested.

The estimated population of Ghosts onboard a ship at any specific time is impossible to determine. When the question of population is posed to a Ghost, they often reply with wildly varying answers ranging from one to several trillion.


Good to see aliens that are alien. There was someone a bit back that had aliens that at least weren’t cheap cultural analogies but they seemed to be going for supernatural beings which doesn’t seem right to me either.


I’m wanting to have fun with it a bit and trying to stay away from what passes as alien in most stories/movies/tv shows. Glad to see I’m headed in that direction. Thanks.


Sappers remind me of the novakid in starbound and the geth from mass effect, but I was wondering if they will eventually develop individuality assuming they get truly detached from what I would call the hive-mind, since even if they got the same start, their experiences will be different and as such they themselves will be different from each other. But maybe they still have a connection with one another and share such information? Also, can humans or other races touch them?

If Ghosts can see and interact with each other I’m surprised they haven’t taken a hostile position with the other races since they can make them stop existing, others would be like “if they can do that to us, we should eliminate them first to ensure our survival and spare only those that do not endanger our existance so easily, if such creatures really exist” I think a race like that would like to wipe every being that poses such a threat to them, at least that’s what I think but perhaps they just are a peaceful race that does not wish to bring conflict.

I like how they are now, but I was wondering these things.

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Hmm hmm, totally true alien species that are not humanoid.

They’re quite interesting, but I think I have some nitpicks with Ghosts.

So, a disclaimer, I’m not someone knowledgeable, especially in quantum physics.

So, in quantum physics, in nutshell, probability is described as “a state of an electron where they’re probably around here,” instead of “the electron is exactly discreet over here. Right, over, here,” (such as indicated by Mohr’s atomic model)

When this concept is derived as a trait of the Ghosts, I expected them to be, “yes, you can see the Ghost is there, but we’re not sure if that thing is a Ghost, over there.”

Phasing out of existence sounds too fantasy if you’re trying to create a hard scifi alien. Maybe you wanted to evoke the Schrödinger’s Cat paradox with this species, but the thought experiment resulted that “the cat is on two states: alive and dead, until someone open up the box, revealing the cat at either state: alive or dead.”

Of course you can keep the Ghost as it is, but if you wanted to be more scifi than fantasy, I’d recommend you to find a way to get rid the keyword “phasing out of existence.” In the end, existence is not a state of matter like solid, liquid, gas, superfluid, or BCE.

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Sappers themselves would likely kill any organic life that directly touches them, however, once inside the artificial bodies that humanity has created, they have a physical form that can be touched just as any other machine style body could be. As for their individuality, it is true that while they are able to experience individually, once they are able to interact with any other Sapper directly, they are able to share their individual experiences between themselves and the “individuals” they are interacting with. Throw in the White Points that power most ships and you have a method of syncing regardless of distance.

Ghosts and their origin will be one of the main focuses of the story. The general feeling of dealing with the Ghost as a whole is one of general apathy. While they generally agree to explore the universe with the other two races, they have a lethargic attitude when viewed as an entire race. It’s almost like you have a few great speakers over the generations in humanity, and those are the ones that represent the species in the story. The ones who choose to be more than the rest of the species. However, as it is revealed in the story, it’s virtually impossible to be able to speak to the same Ghost more than once due to their nature of existence. Think of it as static on a tv and trying to see the same pixel of static more than once. As far as eliminating the threats to their existence, They’ve existed for billions of years on their rogue planet, completely unobserved all that time. They have never had a reason to think their existence would ever be threatened. After all, how long would you prepare for a hypothetical attack and maintain your defenses for? A hundred years? A thousand? A million? Surely the idea of defense would wither away given long enough.

I find myself wanting to give out more information on the Ghost than I planned. So I’ll hide it as a spoiler.( This will be a quick copy paste of my own notes with no formatting or cleaning up.)
Ye be warned:

The Ghost are revealed to have been a civilization quite like our own except one that occurred billions of years ago.

The Ghosts were originally beings with incredible psionic powers. At the peak of their civilization, their civilization was attacked by another sentient race. The weapons deployed against the Ghosts are never completely explained however it is shown that the only defensive measure the Ghosts had against them were to create what are now called Ghost points. These points would nullify the destructive effects of the weapons being used against them completely. However it is discovered that the destructive potential of the weapons weren’t the only effect. Due to the weapons nature and their interaction with Ghost points, the planet began to phase out of time with the rest of its solar system. The efforts of the hostile race culminated in a global attack. With all Ghosts creating points around their entire planet, this caused a temporal shift resulting in the planet being deadlocked in space long enough for their host star to drift so when the planet came out of deadlock, it was doomed to be ejected by the gravitational forces of the other planets in the solar system. This resulted in the Ghosts scrambling to colonize another planet in their home solar system. This story plot may be triggered by something the reader does. Resulting in the discovery of a planet with inhabitants displaying psionic abilities. The architecture found on the Ghost home world may indicate some tie, or maybe a ghost somehow makes the connection.
Either way, the shedding would likely be a reset of sorts. Where the combination of psionic energy and the temporal deadlock are repeated. This would allow the possibility of the ghost points nullifying radiation and neutrinos. This would account for a virtually limitless pool of ghost to communicate with and explain why most would not know others. With ghost points acting as beacons to other ghost and interchanging the ghost randomly every time a ghost creates one.

It could be discovered that the Ghost are truly a one off anomaly in the universe and that in some way the previous civilization they come from did continue to live on. Billions of years ago where they were able to live out their lives and maybe even venture to the stars.
The Ghosts now know their history and you discover the origin of the Ghost points. Giving the Ghosts closure on what must seem like a tortured existence and a new hope that part of their history lives on somewhere in the stars.
*** possible reward in the form of a psionic shield ability for your Ghosts or a Psionically enhanced drive system to better aid in exploration due to their collective hopes of finding more of their kind ***


The names could use some punching up but that’s it otherwise great job.


Now you revealed the secret, I am become enlightened. I can see where you’re going with it, I’ll say go ahead.

And feel free to ignore my previous comment about quantum thingy ._.

Sorry for my previous assumption that your theme will include hard scifi :sweat_smile:
The use of various scientific terms excite the little nerd inside me, and I can’t help to raise an eyebrow when a story starts to drift away from their original theme/genre.

On the other hand, this was an interesting topic. I hope my comments help you in any way you see appropiate. I can imagine how both humanity and Ghosts having their super awkward first-time contact :laughing:

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@Szaal :slightly_smiling_face: Thanks for the kind words, I would actually like to keep to as hard of scifi as possible, however unless i have the perfect unified field theory, its true that any hard scifi story I write has to have some “Applied Phlebotinum”.
As for the nerd inside, take a look at The wavefunction of the collapsing Bose–Einstein condensate. This gives a bit of info on where I developed the idea of a breakdown of the wavefunction of a being composed of BEC. I too have a little nerd inside me and very much enjoy the banter to be had when discussing the real world possibilities and applications of almost any field of science.

I appreciate the comments and continue to welcome any you want to contribute.

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@GenecoInheritor I rather like “Ghost” as a name for the second race, given their ethereal feel in the story, but am far from set on the “Sappers”. I’d welcome any ideas or suggestions you’d like to share on either of their names though.

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The Ghost physics went straight over my head.

Regarding Sappers, I’m not sure I’m understanding them.
Are sappers made of light (aka electromagnetic waves) or electrons? Or are they interchangable between two forms? If they’re made of light, they should be contained in reflector systems/optical cables/wave guides, not superconductors. And they should have no problem propelling themselves through empty space since light does not require a medium.
If they’re made of electrons … technically electrons are physical matter (though it does gets complicated when quantum mechanics gets added in).
Also, by what mechanism do they lose energy? As mammals we expend it to perform chemical reactions and emit body heat. A light-based / electron based species… defies the understanding of my poor mammalian worldview.
If they thrive on radiation, why not live in stars instead? (Or is that too much of a good thing)

But this is SciFi, and not all questions can be answered. Really cool ideas, hope their minds will be as alien as their bodies.

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@sljzz Thanks for pointing this out. It appears I’ve given contradicting information and should clarify my intended meaning. Sappers themselves require a medium to exist in. Which EM waves do not as you’ve pointed out. So that would make them akin to living energy what would have to take the form of living electrons. As electrons movement in various mediums and other variables including resistance of the materials each play a role in creating EM waves, the EM waves that are a byproduct of their existence would depend those variables. Pass electrons through a filament in a light bulb, you get light and heat ect ect, (*edit Upon further thinking on this topic, I rather like the idea that the mediums they exist in are which create the various entities of their race (read frequencies). If they are living electron currents, this would not limit them to being able to only create a specific frequency and would instead allow them to create every frequency possible if given the right medium, coinciding and even supporting the idea that any single entity would be able to propagate the entirety of their species.) What do you think about that m8? I’d love to hear your response)

Also keep in mind that the core of their environment is based on the idea that metallic hydrogen indeed exist inside some/most gas giants and that it truly acts as a superconductor. All still technically theoretical but plausible based on our current understandings.

As far as consuming radiation, I’m not sure I’m going to break it down as specific as what their actual sustenance is composed of. But if I HAD to come up with something, I’d think it was some type of yet to be discovered exotic energy.

On the living in stars, while a gas giant may be “stable” or “calm” enough to allow various layers to settle, my understanding of the inner workings of stars lead me to believe the fusion reactions at its core and the immense heat cause such turbulence that the layers aren’t able to separate sufficiently to have the same layering as in a gas giant. Maybe it would be akin to trying to allow crops to grow inside a hurricane. But hey, like you said, scifi lol so maybe???

On the topic of their sentience, we may be able to cause electrons to flow down a conductor, but the electrons being sentient is quite far fetched. It’d be as equally far fetched to think that just because we can create the basic elements of biological life, we can cause them to become sentient in the same right.

Oh and on the loosing energy question, while a superconductor should be able to conduct electricity with perfect efficiency, impurities would most certainly exist in the environment. Also the cost of sentience is also going to be the expenditure of energy. In biological sentience, glucose, mitochondria and untold other components all play their own vital role in our own sentience as does the production of waste. This energy comes from chemical sources and we are chemical beings. It would make just as much sense to have some sort of energy “food source” required for energy based beings. As all life as we understand it produces some sort of waste, I carry this idea on to the Sappers, it would hold true that if waste is generated in some form, some sort of initial consumption would have to exist as part of the cycle as well.

The Magnum Opus, to judge all alien races by is, “Can we procreate together?”.
If not, WAR!!!
Yes? It is a pleasure to meet you and your magnificent species.


These are some really cool concepts! I’m not sure what I could suggest but maybe a word they use to describe themselves in their own language? When something sapient gives itself a name, it feels more real, at least to me.
What I mean I’d like how if an alien decides to call us ‘terrasians’, we probably wouldn’t call ourselves that, we’re known to ourselves as ‘humans’.


@Theguyfive_Jbra I don’t follow you on the Magnum Opus part but I think i get your general meaning. As far as the idea of procreation being the deciding factor when it comes to hostile intentions, I think I’d disagree. While humanity as a species definitely has shown indifference towards and even actively assisted with the extinction of some species, I do not agree that it was based off the ability to procreate with them. It could be argued that quite the opposite is true as the main species we actively pursue war with is the ONLY one we know of that we can procreate with, ourselves. If I’ve missed something please let me know.

@Rulien It’d be cool to have the Sappers name themselves however I’m having a tough time though as they are beings of energy and would likely not even use sound waves to communicate. I like the idea of them naming themselves, I’m just not sure how they would in any way that a human can duplicate.

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So are sappers (or, at least, their physical bodies) electron clouds, or the EM waves specifically caused by electron movement? When you said frequency, are you referring to the frequency of light, or wave-particle duality of electrons? Or more artificial waves like alternating high/low voltage?
Does each single entity occupy one frequency only? I had pictured them as somewhat along the lines of brainwaves, each consciousness being a unique signal.

‘pursue war with’ implies we view them with a certain equality. Otherwise we just hunt, harvest, do population control; I suspect we kill more animals in a day than we’ve killed people across all of history.
Since we haven’t met any other communicable advanced society yet, this point is moot, but in general people are a lot more inclined to have diplomacy with beings that are similar to ourselves. As evidenced by there being more inter-country, inter-racial, or ideological wars (cold war) than civil wars.
Also as a species in general we are faintly terrified by true AIs even though we created them ourselves (and strictly speaking haven’t made them yet).

Unless we find some measure of common ground upon first contact, these will be either ‘annoying pests that are living on a planet we want’ or ‘fascinating resources that belong first in our labs and then in our factories’.

As long as the race isn’t hiding anything from us I don’t see why we would go to war with them unless they turn out to be scumbags of some kind (not literally. I wouldn’t mind working with aliens like that despite the smell).

If they’re something adorable I might let my guard down… and hire someone to keep their guard up for me. If they’re intimidating too I’ll want to date them even if we can’t procreate.

The problem is that we are scumbags when we find a group that is different from us. It might not be war; if they’re weaker than us, we are naturally inclined to be bullies. Think spanish explorers and the aztecs, european settlers and indians, and other cultural first contacts.

I mean, scumbag is a very subjective description; for example, what would you think of a society whose funeral rites consist of cannibalism? Or, there are at least two (real life) species for whom the female killing their mate after sex is normal behavior.

I’m thinking people are focusing on the specific reasons of wars ect ect. Something that I think has been over looked is the ability to wage said war.

Remember, Sappers are near infinite in number and are quite at home in an environment that even our most advanced machines would likely not be able to survive in. The interior or a gas giant is thought to be hotter than the surface of the sun and the pressures inside are enough to squeeze hydrogen nuclei so close that that become a superconducting metal.

There aren’t many ways for us to be able to wage a war on entities such as this as it’s almost impossible to even send a probe let alone a bomb or any other device into their native habitat.

As far as what there is to gain. The way the story reads, grand scale space exploration is only possible with Sappers maintaining and manipulating the fields of White Points. ( If you missed that part, read the original post). Not to mention that since Sappers not only manipulate but also use these fields as a method of sustenance and most likely would be able colonize the other side of the White Point. Given that the radiation of a White Point would kill a human, we really have no viable means of eliminating them. Nor would we really want to since our joint venture is mutually beneficial.

They have entirely different needs/desires than humanity does. So far removed that it would be senseless to compete with them as even if we did eliminate them completely, we would strand ourselves in space ( they make white points usable) and we would never be able to use their natural resources as we have no way of even accessing their environment. The same could be said about our elimination on their part, as they have no need for our resources and have no means of reaching/existing in our natural environment beyond the artificial superconductor bodies we have created.

So the elimination of either species would ultimately be pointless.


“Not in front of the tourists please.”

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