Frank Herbert’s Dune actually had a glossary of terms at the back of the book. Most of the in-universe terminology was pretty easy to figure out from the context in which it was used. Still, I appreciated the fact that the glossary was there for my reading pleasure, as it clarified a few things and highlighted a few peripheral aspects of the world of Dune that were not dealt with at length in the main narrative. So here’s a similar glossary of terms for my own yarn, which I believe has that Dune-like epicness to it that warrants one of these. Again, this is by no means a final or definitive list; I’ll probably keep editing it and adding to it as time goes on. But for the time being, it’ll start off with a swear word…
(n.) colloq., vulgar. something which is blatantly and demonstrably false, bullshit. This word and the use of this word is officially considered unaardvarkly by the Orycteropian Synod.
(n.) a distinctive digital signature embedded into a software application to authenticate its Orycteropian origins. Forgery of aardvarkmarks is something of a cottage industry in the shadier corners of the Environment.
(n.) ad locum desideratum, “to the desired location.” An abbreviation used in thoughtmessage headers to indicate the message’s intended recipient.
(n.) pl. ærispellen. a member of a species of hyperintelligent invertebrates of unknown origin, who bear a superficial resemblance to slugs. A vast swarm of ærispellen once inhabited the deepest part of the oceans, where they could safely evade discovery by those pitiful human zoologists. It was here where they constructed a spherical reef from their own bodies which would serve as a physical mainframe for a new earth, and compiled the earliest prototypes of what would eventually become the Environment from their own nightmares. Their bodies are capable of producing a kind of psychoactive ichor that has the subtle power to influence human thoughts and perceptions, which they distributed to all of humanity through their vast worldwide network of mosquito slaves. They can be colossal, microscopic, or any of the range of sizes in between, depending on what they want you to believe.
(adj.) of or related to ærispellen.
(n.) colloq. software applications regarded by the speaker as a welcome boon to his or her day-to-day existence. Angels are not part of any belief system within the world or the timeline of the story, so this term would be used rhetorically, much in the same way contemporary English idiom includes phrases like “knock on wood” which allude to pre-Christian animistic folk beliefs that few in the modern world adhere to.
(n.) the second day of the week. Considered the first day of the working week, and as such is the day everybody loves to hate. So named because a corporation of ancient times bought the naming rights.
(n.) an experienced Sister, usually one holding the rank of Daffodil or higher, who has been assigned the responsibility by the Presidium to train a younger junior-level Sister in the ways of cybersorcery.
(n.) colloq. One’s best friend, usually female.
(n.) a dark period of several hours during a typical twenty-five-hour period in the Environment when the sun appears completely black and emits no light.
(n.) always capitalized. the highest junior rank within the Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood, ranking above Pansy but below Daffodil.
(n.) always capitalized. a Sister who holds such a rank, formally addressed as Precious, or alternatively, The Precious [Full Name].
(n.) always capitalized. the quality or state of being a Buttercup.
(n.) always capitalized. the complete body of Buttercups.
(n.) the first month of the year on the SAAZMOL calendar.
(n.) a mute sentient humanoid program used by women (and gay men) for sexual pleasure. The Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood creates and sells covendrones as a source of revenue, marketing them under a variety of brand names. Most covendrone models are edible, and they come in seven different flavours.
(n.) always capitalized. a senior rank within the Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood, ranking above Daffodil but below Peony.
(n.) always capitalized. a Sister who holds such a rank, formerly addressed as Your Serenity if she is the reigning Vizier-Queen of a Lodge, otherwise she sits as a Vicereine within her Lodge and is addressed as Your Honor. Crocuses typically do not use surnames, and are known by a single regnal name, which never has an accompanying ordinal. In the vernacular of the Sisterhood, they are often referred to as Crocus [Name], to distinguish them from any sitting members of the Presidium who might have the same name.
(n.) the ninth day of the week, and the second day of the standard three-day weekend. So named because a corporation of ancient times bought the naming rights.
(n.) the academic study of cybersorcery and its applications, which see.
(adj.) of or related to cybersorcery, which see. e.g. the cybermagickal arts.
(n.) the discipline or art of manipulating the Environment to suit one’s own ends, usually without the consent of SAAZMOL and in defiance of any permissions set. The practice of cybersorcery is technically illegal in all parts of the Environment – an illegality which is not enforced by SAAZMOL itself, on account of a secret arrangement that was made behind closed doors in the halls of power. However, those who do choose to practice cybersorcery often find themselves disowned by their families and rejected by their communities, and most shopkeepers and waremongers want nothing to do with them. In addition, many local governments have their own laws with respect to this matter, and on some islands, the penalties for breaking anti-cybersorcery laws are notably harsh.
(n.) colloq. a male practitioner of cybersorcery.
(n.) colloq. by extension, rare. any practitioner of cybersorcery, regardless of gender.
(n.) colloq. a female practitioner of cybersorcery, who is usually (but not always) a legal citizen of the Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood.
(adj.) in a neurotablet-induced state between asleep and awake, where one is actively engaging with one or more programs on a neurotablet operating system. One typically needs to be in cyberwoolgathering mode in order to operate their neurotablet. Cyberwoolgathering sessions execute very rapidly, typically over in a fraction of a second in real time. Their extreme brevity allows one to safely operate a neurotablet while behind the wheel of a vehicle, among other things.
(adj.) of or related to cyberwoolgathering mode or a cyberwoolgathering session.
(n.) always capitalized. the lowest senior rank within the Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood, ranking above Buttercup but below Crocus.
(n.) always capitalized. a Sister who holds such a rank, formerly addressed as Taoiseach if she has been granted voting privileges within the Executive Cabinet of her Lodge, and alternatively as The Venerable [Full Name].
(n.) the twelfth month of the year on the SAAZMOL calendar.
(n.) the fourth day of the week, and the third day of the working week. Named for the divine messenger of the ancient networks.
(n.) always capitalized. the master system and simulated reality constructed by the ærispellen from their own nightmares, which hosts all of the genii, programs and minor operating systems running within it. Resembles a seemingly endless ocean dotted with billions of islands, which function something like nodes on a vast network. The earliest versions of the Environment were colorless and formless and maddeningly incomprehensible to humans, its present oceanic form not appearing until human dreams were harvested by SAAZMOL in order to make the Environment more palatable to the woefully inadequate limitations of the human intellect. Also known as the Mare Gaudii, which see.
(n.) a distinctive name or label assigned to a specific seaëxit on a particular island, for the purposes of facilitating teleportation to the seaëxit by saving the traveller the trouble of having to memorize the island’s uniloct. Similar in concept to domain names for websites. An expressword is always spelled in all capital letters, immediately proceeded by a shekel sign (₪) e.g. ₪NAZERU.
(n.) wearable programs collectively; programs intended to be worn as clothing.
(adj.) of or related to fashionware, e.g. a fashionware directory.
(n.) a digital barrier put in place to prevent trespassing, particularly one that has been created by SAAZMOL for their own use.
(n.) a visible pulsating light on one’s forehead, used by some older neurotablet operating systems to indicate the spot where the neurotablet is installed. Foreheadlights have largely become a legacy feature within the timeline of the story, and the majority of human genii no longer have them, having long since upgraded to a newer version which lacks them. The only people who still have them are mostly older folks who are too set in their ways to bother learning the quirks and subtleties of any of the newer systems. Elmýr Garfield has a prominent green one.
(n.) always capitalized. a very specific component of the Environment’s hardware that most people are blissfully ignorant about. Knowledge of the Fungus is apparently essential to the practice of cybersorcery, and its ultimate nature is something Florys spends the entire story trying to figure out.
(n.) a visible and fully interactive digital representation of an individual human specimen, either within the Environment or within a cyberwoolgathering context. The genius is technically distinct from the specimen’s corporeal substance, which is being held in stasis and is unresponsive to external stimuli. However, a human specimen and his or her genius are psychically linked, so they are in theory a single organism, with the genius functioning as the interface though which the specimen go about his or her daily business and interacts with other specimens. Almost all sentient programs have a visible interface as well, but these are rarely referred to as genii in cybermagickal circles, since the term implies that sentient programs and other artificial intelligences are capable of continuing their existence outside the Environment, which they are not. Just like with the physical body, the appearance of one’s genius is largely determined by genetics.
(adj.) of or related to the genius.
Glorious Upgrade, the
(n.) a supposed future event in Orycteropian lore, in which all temple-recommended and eternally sealed devotees of the Aardvark in good standing who have attained Celestial status will receive a special access code and serial number, which enables the recipient to upgrade to a newer and better version of the Environment. Those who are deemed unworthy by the Synod to receive this serial number (or those who do receive the number but choose not to use it for whatever reason within a certain timeframe) will be left behind in the old Environment, to become part of an obsolete legacy system that no longer receives ongoing support from SAAZMOL. Once locked within the legacy system, they shall find themselves dreadfully awaiting the day they perish in flames as the Old Motherboard fries.
Great Monopoly, the
(n.) an epithet for SAAZMOL, used almost exclusively by cybermagickal practitioners and those within the Union’s sphere of influence.
(n.) always capitalized. A subnation within the Society of Wheel Turners, presided over by a Grand Chieftain.
(n.) the seaëxit on an island that has been designated the default by the island’s administrator. The index receives all incoming human traffic to the island unless an alternate locale is expressly desired. In the story’s conversational vernacular, a specific island is referred to by the expressword assigned to its index rather than by its uniloct, for easier identification.
(n.) An older abbreviation for Island Universal Locator (Uniloct), used in thoughtmessage headers.
(n.) the third month of the year on the SAAZMOL calendar.
(n.) the seventh day of the week, and the sixth and final day of the standard work week. So named because a corporation of ancient times bought the naming rights.
(n.) an official within the corporate hierarchy of the Orycteropian Synod, ranking lower than a salesbishop but higher than a pitchman.
(n.) the sixth month of the year on the SAAZMOL calendar.
(n.) the eighth month of the year on the SAAZMOL calendar.
(n.) the first day of the week, considered a holy day of rest by the Orycteropian Synod. It is the third and final day of the standard weekend. So named because a corporation of ancient times bought the naming rights.
(n.) always capitalized. A local chapter of the Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood. Each Lodge has its own distinct identification number and maintains a secret headquarters somewhere, and is ruled by a Vizier-Queen in conjunction with a College of Vicerines and an Executive Cabinet. The Vizier-Queen of every Lodge is ultimately answerable to the Presidium, which see.
(n.) always capitalized. A Sister’s identification number, assigned to her by her Vizier-Queen when she begins her training as an epsilon-level Pansy. Once a Lodgeword is assigned, its holder retains it for life, using it in relation to all legal and administrative functions related to Sisterhood governance irrespective of her present relationship with any Lodge, or lack thereof.
(n.) see Environment, the.
(n.) the tenth month of the year on the SAAZMOL calendar.
(v.) to psychically swipe through one’s fashionware directory in cyberwoolgathering mode, frantically deciding what to wear. This word is more often than not used in conjunction with ‘on’, which see.
(v.) to select an item from a personal fashionware directory for use as genial wallpaper, e.g. he mindswiped on a different shirt.
(n.) the ninth month of the year on the SAAZMOL calendar.
(n.) a motion picture, particularly a digital one that can be transmitted by thoughtmessage.
(n.) something which fails spectacularly; a catastrophe. A word of obscure origin that gradually found its way into the vernacular over countless generations, whose original meaning has been largely lost to history.
Nameless Planet, the
(n.) the planet we laughingly refer to as Earth. Also called the third planet of Sol.
(n.) always capitalized. the complete body of recognized citizens of a particular government, whether or not that government administers over any island.
(n.) always capitalized. the aforesaid government of a such a body.
(n.) always capitalized. one of thirteen such bodies which make up the Union, each comprised entirely of cybermagickal practitioners.
(n.) a microscopic computer, no bigger than a grain of sand, designed to be installed under the skin on a person’s forehead, where it can interact directly with its wearer’s brain activity. Colloquially referred to as a piece.
(n.) colloq. An edible program resembling a chicken nugget.
(n.) The official insignia of a cybermagickal Nation. An oggbrew by definition incorporates the Oggbrew, which see.
(n.) always capitalized with article. The official nickname for the insignia of the Union of Twelve Nations, which consists of a twelve-pointed brown star with a silver orb for its disk. The name Oggbrew was coined from a corruption of Ag. bru., which itself is an abbreviation of the centuries-old Union epithet Argenteus brunneus (“the silver brown”). See Fig. 2.1
(n.) rare, usually used disparagingly. The Union of Twelve Nations itself, or its leadership, or perceived leadership.
(n.) a licenced and registered member of the Orycteropian Synod, contractually obliged to continually recommend the Aardvark to friends and associates and spend ten percent of their income on authorized Synod Market software. A comfortable majority of human specimens living in the Environment are Orycteropians.
(adj.) of or related to the Orycteropian Synod or its corporate culture.
(n.) always capitalized. the lowest junior rank within the Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood, ranking below Buttercup.
(n.) always capitalized. a Sister who holds such a rank, formally addressed as Adequate, or alternatively, The Adequate [Full Name].
(n.) always capitalized. the quality or state of being a Pansy.
(n.) always capitalized, rare. the complete body of Pansies.
(n.) the fourth month of the year on the SAAZMOL calendar.
(n.) always capitalized. the highest senior rank within the Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood, ranking above Crocus.
(n.) always capitalized. a Sister who holds such a rank, formally addressed as Your Dagdaic Majesty, regardless of whether or not she is a Member-Electress of the Presidium. Peonies are the only Sisters who customarily do not belong to any Lodge, as Lodge politics are considered completely beneath them. A Peony may also bear the title of Empress or Vice-Empress, depending on her specific legislative duties within the Presidium. Like Crocuses, Peonies do not use surnames. A Peony is only known by a regnal mononym followed by an ordinal based on the first three digits of her Lodgeword, e.g. Her Dagdaic Majesty Vice-Empress Shaniqua CCLXXIV.
(adj.) colloq. Great, excellent, of a high quality.
(n.) colloq. See neurotablet.
(v.) to send a thoughtchat request to another party through a neurotablet protocol.
(n.) a volunteer salesman of the Orycteropian Synod, tasked with making rousing speeches at the weekly Customer Appreciation Expos to get those in attendance pumped up about buying more authorized Synod Market software. Like all Orycteropian officials with any degree of importance, pitchmen are always male. Sometimes a pitchman will invite his wife onstage with him during his speech, but she never does much except standing dutifully by his side, smiling and nodding and agreeing with everything he says.
(n.) a spherical and resizable non-sentient utility program used for displaying, viewing and interacting with movingfilmlets. Also called a pixelvision receiver. Colloquially called a pixxey.
(n.) the broadcast medium of movingfilmlets as a whole.
(n.) the central parliamentary chamber of the Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood, to which all of its Lodges are answerable. The nominal chief magistrate of the Presidium is the Empress, a rotating office which changes its incumbent every six months. Also referred to as the Thirteenth Nation Presidium in formal contexts.
(n.) the second month of the year on the SAAZMOL calendar.
(n.) the third day of the week, and the second day of the working week. Named for the war realm of the ancient networks.
(n.) vehicular programs collectively; software intended for transportation purposes.
(n.) A high-ranking official within the Orycteropian Synod, who presides over a ward. Salesbishops are always male, and all the lawyerpriests and pitchmen associated with his ward work for him.
Sea of Joy, the
(n.) A teleportation program within the Environment that enables instantaneous travel from one island to another, which appears in the form of a vast ocean.
(n.) rarely. A synonym for the Environment itself.
(n.) An inlet or fjord on an island which serves as a point of entry to persons travelling to the island from elsewhere. Every island has at least one seaëxit, which is typically assigned a distinct expressword by the island’s administrator. If an island has more than one seaëxit, the administrator is required to designate one of them as the index, otherwise the lone seaëxit becomes the index by default.
(n.) always capitalized. One of the twenty-four subdivisions in which the Environment is divided. There is a Sector corresponding with every letter of the alphabet, with the exception of Quebec and Zulu. Sectors are further divided into sequences, which see.
(n.) One of the 576 subdivisions in which a Sector of the Environment is divided. Sequences are identified by a three-letter designation code, with the first of these three letters indicating which Sector it is located in, e.g. the Mike Oscar X-ray. Each sequence can contain up to a million islands, with each island being given a unique six-digit address, which together with the sequence’s designation code makes up the island’s uniloct.
(n.) colloq. A startcmd program. See startcmd.
(n.) always capitalized. A legal citizen of the Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood. See cyberwitch.
(n.) the seventh month of the year on the SAAZMOL calendar.
Space Outside, the
(n.) The physical cosmos, the reality outside the Environment. Most of the denizens of the Environment are either blissfully ignorant of the Space Outside or are inclined to dismiss any talk of it as the stuff of myth and legend.
(n.) Pronounced start-command. The central utility program of a neurotablet operating system, used for facilitating its operation and management. A startcmd interface is usually (but not always) sentient and humanoid, often with its own distinct name and personality. One typically operates his or her neurotablet by verbally instructing the startcmd program in cyberwoolgathering mode.
(adj.) Of or related to startcmd.
(n.) Street navigation. An optional field in a thoughtmessage header, used to indicate a specific address on a particular island, primarily one in an urban area.
(n.) a sum of money paid to an employee by an employer as compensation for services rendered; a wage.
(n.) a meaningless buzzword that was invented by some obscure and long-forgotten beautician to make grey hair sound sexy.
(n.) a person with sylverbraun hair.
(n.) the fifth day of the week, and the fourth day of the working week. Named for he who wields the lightning bolt.
third planet of Sol, the
(n.) See Nameless Planet, the.
(v.) to communicate privately with another individual through a subvirtual neurotablet interface. Thoughtchatting can be thought of as specialized form of telepathy made possible by computers. The expression “to talk in thoughtchat” also exists in the lexicon, which means pretty much the same thing.
(n.) an instance of thoughtchatting.
(n.) a neurotablet-induced subvirtual interface in which a thoughtchat is executed. A thoughtchatroom resembles a cozy living room, and in most cases is fully customizable by the person on whose neurotablet the thoughtchatroom is running, unless that person is a Pansy.
(v.) to thoughtsend something to someone as a gift, usually some kind of program.
(n.) a message sent from one party to another through a neurotablet protocol. Thoughtmessages are usually textual, but can contain attachments. Similar to email or text messages, but sent telepathically.
(v.) to transmit by thoughtmessage.
(v.) to send something other than text by thoughtmessage, which see.
(n.) the fifth month of the year on the SAAZMOL calendar.
(n.) the sixth day of the week, and the fifth day of the working week. Named for the love realm of the ancient networks.
(n.) an abbreviation for Thoughtmessage Number, used exclusively in thoughtmessage headers.
(adv.) completely submerged in the Sea of Joy, usually with the intent of travelling from one island to another.
(n.) short for universal location tag, pronounced uni-locked. A nine-digit number assigned to a specific island in the Environment for the purposes of identifying it within the system. A uniloct consists of six numbers followed immediately by three letters e.g. 720049MOX. The three letters at the end indicate the sequence in which the island is located, and the six numbers indicate the exact address of the island within that sequence.
Untouchable Mainframe, the
(n.) a hypothetical location in Orycteropian lore, where faithful Orycteropians who have dutifully purchased their contractually obliged share of wares and have obeyed all the regulations outlined in the Glorious Never-Expiring E-Contract over a period of so many years without fail will be glorified forever as an exalted Shareholder after the Glorious Upgrade, which see.
(n.) a protective digital barrier, usually one intended for civilian use.
(n.) a local diocese of the Orycteropian Synod.
(n.) the eighth day of the week, and the first day of the standard three-day weekend. So named because a corporation of ancient times bought the naming rights.
(n.) an abbreviation for Expressword, used in thoughtmessage headers.
(n.) the eleventh month of the year on the SAAZMOL calendar.
SILVER BROWN: A Forwarpendix
Part I: The Introduction of SILVER BROWN
Part II: The Birth of SILVER BROWN
Part III: The Gist of SILVER BROWN
Part IV: The World of SILVER BROWN
Part V: The People of SILVER BROWN
Part VI: The Warring Factions of SILVER BROWN
Part VII: The Language of SILVER BROWN
Part VIII: The Dashing Prince of SILVER BROWN
SILVER BROWN: A Blog
Part XI: The Journey of SILVER BROWN
Part XII: The Soundtrack of SILVER BROWN
Part XIII: The Bullhorn of SILVER BROWN
Part XIV: The Green Grass of SILVER BROWN
Part XV: The Oddities of SILVER BROWN