Transhuman Space

Transhuman Space ( THS ) is a role-playing game published by Steve Jackson Games as part of the “Powered by GURPS ” ( Generic Universal Role-Playing System ) line. Set in the year 2100, humanity has begun to colonize the Solar System . The pursuit of transhumanism is now in full swing, and more people struggle to reach a fully posthuman state.

Transhuman Space is one of the first role-playing games to tackle postcyberpunk and transhumanist themes. citation needed ] In 2002, the Transhuman Space Adventure “Orbital Decay” received an Origins Award nomination for Best Role-Playing Game Adventure. Transhuman Space won the 2003 Golden Grog Award for Best Role-Playing Game, Game Line or RPG Setting .


The game assumes that no cataclysm – natural or human-induced – swept Earth in the 21st century. Instead, constant developments in information technology , genetic engineering , nanotechnology and nuclear physics . Plagues of the 20th century (like cancer or AIDS ) have been suppressed, the ozone layer is being restored and Earth’s ecosystems are recovering (even thermal emission by fusion power plants poses an environmental threat-albeit a much lesser one than previous sources of energy) . Thanks tomodern medicine humans live biblicaltimespans surrounded by various artificially intelligent helper applications and robots (cybershells), sensory experience broadcasts (future TV) and cyberspace telepresence . Thanks to cheap and clean fusion energy humanoid HAS power to fuel all thesis wonders, restore and transform icts home planet and we finally settle other heavenly bodies.

Human genetic engineering has advanced to the point that anyone-single individuals, same-sex couples , groups of three or more-can reproduce. The embryos can be challenged naturally, or they can undergo three levels of tinkering: 1. Genefixing , which correct defects; 2. Upgrades , which boost natural abilities (Ishtar Upgrades are more attractive than usual, Metanoia Upgrades are more intelligent, etc.); and … 3. Full transition to parahuman status (Nyx Parahumans only need a FEW hours of sleep per week, Aquamorphs can live underwater, etc.) Another kind of human genetic engineering , far more controversial, is the establishment of bioroids, fully feel slave races.

Political map of Earth in the Transhuman Spacesetting. Yellow = Chinese Block , Beige = Allies of China, Purple = European Union , Blue = American Bloc, Light Blue = Allies of the USA, Cyan = Pacific Rim Alliance, Pink = Indian Bloc, Brown = CaribbeanUnion, Black = South African Coalition , Dark Gray = Allies of the SAC, Transpacific Socialist Alliance = Orange , Red = Russian Block, Green = Islamic Caliphate , Light Gray = Unaffiliated.

People can ” upload ” by the content of their brains on computer disks . The individual becomes a ghost , an infomorph easily confused with ” sapient artificial intelligence “. HOWEVER, this technology HAS Several problems have Solely the available “brainpeeling” technology is fatal to the original person,: has a significant failure rate and the philosophical questions regarding personal identityremain equivocal. Any infomorph, regardless of its origin, can be plugged into a “cybershell”, or a biological body, or “bioshell”. Now, the individual can illegally make multiple “xoxes”, or copies of themselves, and scatter them throughout the system, exponentially increasing the odds.

This is also a time of space colonization. First, humanity (specifically China , followed by the United States and others) colonized Mars in a fashion resembling that outlined in the March Direct project. The Moon , Lagrangian points , inner planets and asteroids soon followed. In the late 21st century, some Saturn’s moons have been settled as a planet for Helium-3 scooping operations.

Economic map of Earth in the Transhuman Space setting.Green = Fifth Wave (Memetics, Nanoengineering, and Artificial Intelligence) Blue = Fourth Wave (Biotech) Purple = Third Wave (Information Age)

This is no utopia , however: several problems have arisen from these beneficial developments. The generation gap has become a chasm as lifespans increase. No longer do the elite fear death, and no longer can the young hope to replace them. While it seemed that outworld settlements would be made, they are being replaced by genetically tailored bioroids and AI-powered cybershells. The concept of human cyberspace and reality (in the form of infomorph-controlled bioshells or cybershells).

And the wonders of high science are not universally shared – some countries struggle with informatization while others suffer from nanoplagues, defective drugs, implants, and software tested on their populace. In some poor countries high-tech tyrantsoppress their backward people. And in the outer space all the way out of modern crime thrives, barely suppressed by military forces.

Publication history

After the initial set of GURPS books qui included GURPS Lite in ’em, later publications Such As Transhuman Space by David Pulver Were Labeled “Powered by GURPS ” without including ” GURPS ” in the book title, Primarily to make it easier for fans to find the books at mass-market retailers. [1] Transhuman Space was developed by an extensive game line, and was the first major produced by Steve Jackson Games in 15 years. [1] The books inclusion of posthuman characters GURPSsystem, which is something that Pulver would address soon thereafter. [1]


  • Review in Vol. 20, No. 1 of Prometheus , the journal of the Libertarian Futurist Society .

See also

  • Eclipse Phase
  • Hard science fiction
  • Orion’s Arm


  1. ^ Jump up to:c Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons . Mongoose Publishing . p. 111. ISBN  978-1-907702-58-7 .

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *