Simulacra Navigans

Home Downloads Cyclica Promise Project Meet the Crew Who am I anyway? Links & Neighbours

“The horizons of human experiences will change forever: for the first time, our species will see Pluto with its own eyes and come back to tell the tale.”

- Mateusz Wilczynski, Frontier CEO

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Simulacra Navigans Book Cover: a geometric composition of white squares and circles on a deep space background; Neptune sits at the center.

Inspired by Stanisław Lem's Solaris, Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora and Ursula Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness, Simulacra Navigans is a story of community, conscience and adaption to space and time.

Four European citizens are selected by Frontier, the leading space exploration company of the late 21st Century, to join the Promise Project and venture into the farthest reaches of the Solar System aboard the lossless spaceship Cyclica. While their 120-years long endeavor begins as a luxury space vacation, the crew will have to face themselves and each other, their own changing bodies, the hostile deep space environment and even Cyclica itself. Flyby after flyby, planet after planet, their adventure becomes a discovery of self and the renewed awareness of what being together means.

Core themes: Transhumanity, space survival, collective action, hivemind

Length: 🇪🇺 76k words

Started writing in: June 2023

Latest version: December 2023

Special thanks to Urban Alchemist for the updated cover design!

Check the Navigation Menu to explore the setting in the meantime!

Welcome aboard the Generation Ship Cyclica.

My name is Cyclica, and I will be both the vessel of the first Promise Project and the on-board Advanced Personified Spaceflight Assistant.

Allow me to give you a quick tour of my environments:

The blueprint of the spaceship Cyclica, with size comparisons, room labels and various measurements

I am a small spacecraft designed for multi-decade interplanetary travel. I consist of a central backbone of roughly 150m in length named Core Spine, at the ends of which are installed the main control cockpit and the fusion reactor. You humans won’t need to worry about either: as a piloting assistant, navigation operations will entirely be under my responsibility.

Attached to the Core Spine are three Lifts, each named after one of the seas around the European continent (humans love their homeland, or so I am told), which lead to the Inner and Outer Rings. The Rings are two concentric cylinders of 46m and 50m radius respectively, rotating around the Core Spine with an angular velocity of about 0.419 rad/s. This speed is kept constant in order to have an acceleration that corresponds to roughly 0.89g in the Outer Ring and 0.82g in the Inner Ring. This lowered gravity should be enough for humans to maintain their bodily functions minimally impacted.

Both Rings are hermetically sealed to preserve the simulated atmosphere inside them and allow the crew to live inside without wearing a spacesuit. Around 17'500m2 of water are contained in two reservoirs, a swimming pool and a pond. Humans also love water, beyond their biological needs.

More small thrusters are installed around the Outer Ring, mainly used for steering and decelerating in case of emergency. Due to the nature of the Promise Project, its fuel tanks are very limited in capacity, allowing only for minor changes of course or velocity. The complete route has already been planned along the Second Grand Planetary Tour, and there will be minimal need for course changes.

“The longest project ever undertaken by humanity.”

The Promise Project is the first large-scale space program conducted by Frontier Corporation. Taking advantage of a particularly favourable configuration of planets at the end of the 21st Century, the Second Grand Planetary Tour, it features the outward travel and return of the spaceark Cyclica and its crew.

Testing Interplanetary Travel

Cyclica’s first mission is a tentative run of a generational ship, in order to test the frontiers of technological development and space travel before venturing into other star systems. Most of the equipment inside the ship has been built with the purpose of sustaining human life for several decades, from basic needs to entertainment and mental wellbeing.

Testing multiple anchor brain supports

The Simulacrum Protocol technology for conscience transfer to new, synthetic bodies (the simulacra) has so far only been tested on isolated individuals and for limited amounts of time. In order to avoid generational issues, such as forcing the crewmates’ offspring to live in an environment they didn’t choose for themselves and would have no way of opting out of, the mission involves multiple anchor brain supports operating at the same time. The Hatcher is the room designed to host them.

Testing extraliving conditions on human subjects

Due to the Simulacrum Protocol, human consciousness is allowed to exceed the life of a single body. The consequences of this practice are largely untested, and the Promise Project aims to study the effects and changes of a single conscience spanning across multiple bodies. Funding for this area of research has been provided extensively by the Everlonger Foundation.

Meet Humanity’s Flagbearers.

“Make them sound good. Epic, inspiring, you know? Or at least not desperate.”

- Leaked Frontier internal communication

Over ten thousand candidates from all over the European Union enrolled for the Promise Project, of which only four were chosen. These heroes will represent humanity’s enduring willpower, extending its reach to the edges of the Solar System.

Luis Alvarez Goya (74, cis) - Linares (Andalusia)

A former civil engineer from Southern Spain, retirement never stopped his desire for adventures. Spanish deserts and mountain ranges were not enough to challenge this veteran strongman, and interplanetary void was the only peak left for him to conquer.

Fiadh McEachan (38, cis) - Inverness (Scotland)

Microbiologist professor at the University of the Highlands and Islands, Dr. McEachan is the scientific mind of the crew. After lending her expertise to exposing one of the biggest scandals in the British Isles (ever heard of FerMeaty?) the superstar Scottish scientist chose to further her groundbreaking research by monitoring the multidecade evolution of human-associated bacteria in extreme isolation. Best of luck, Professor!

Miray Bulut (27, trans) - Aydin (Aegean Turkey)

The hallmark transhumanist technologies on board require similar levels of courage, curiosity and boldness. Nicknamed "genderdevil", she embodies (quite literally) the multidimensional extent of the Promise Project: not only to the edges of our Solar System, but of our own selves.

Jaagup Xassan (19, cis) - Pärnu (Estonia)

The youngest member of the crew, Jaagup helped rebuild his city's high school after the Great Baltic Flood of 2088 and graduated in no time. He brings a fresh and unfettered perspective to the crew, and will be the first cosmonaut of African descent on a European spaceship.

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