I sat down with a copy of Frank Herbert’s Hellstrom’s Hive this morning, and I immediately identified the following:

Words of the brood mother, Trova Hellstrom.I welcome the day when I will go into the vats and become one with all of our people. (Dated October 26, 1896)

I immediately thought of Sheng-ji Yang from Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri:

It is every citizen’s final duty to go into the tanks and become one with all the people.

Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, Ethics for Tomorrow

It immediately became clear, the ways in which SMAC’s creators were fans of Frank Herbert. Some of the signs were obvious from the beginning: the xenofungus especially brings to mind the ‘Jaspers’ from The Santaroga Barrier and the kelp from The Jesus Incident; the Human Hive is clearly inspired by Hellstrom’s.

The subtle influences are only now crystallizing in my mind.

TGGP, you really must acquire SMAC.


2 Responses to “Revelation”

  1. I remember dwelling on SMAC for a time years ago, though I never actually played it. I did download a pirated copy of Civ 2 later, but never got around to playing it for more than 10 minutes. I stopped playing video games period a while back and lost all the ones I had downloaded when my harddrive failed. I did promise V.D I’d buy Age of Decadence when it comes out, and just checking now it appears there’s to be a combat demo in 3 months or so. I might have to buy a new computer. I’ve just started a several days old RSS feed now and I’ve got some books to finish so I don’t know how I’ll fit games in. I shudder to think of the reduction in time to fritter that would occur if I actually had a life.

  2. The factions are clearly meant to be somewhat archetypal. But after having read Hellstrom’s Hive, it’s clear that a lot about the Hive faction was inspired by it.

    Now I’m wondering what science fictional influences are hidden in the other factions…

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