Reticulan Civilization

When I read the script for ANOMALIES, by Dave Thomas, for the umpteenth time; I started obsessing about the future civilizations engaging within: Earth and Reticulus.  Let me share the obsession, a little.

Future Earth was easy to visualize.  Having an optical physicist father, I was weened on Verne, Wells, Asimov, Anderson, Clarke; and a collection of pulps dating back to the early 1950’s.  Solid nourishment came in the form of Irwin Allen sic-fi, Outer Limits, Twilight Zone; and this show featuring a “Captain Hornblower” and his dour, pointy-eared first mate that went “… where no man has gone before,” every week!  In 1972, my father took me to see a rereleased “2001: A Space Odyssey.”  I think we both cried.  At nine years old, I had the ingredients to a well-balanced “sci-fi” meal featuring the future of humanity.

In my teens, I had decided to be an artist.  I went to my local Carnegie library to stare at art folios by Chesley Bonestell, Don Davis; and Paolo Soleri’s “The City in the Image of Man” for arcologies.  These futurists posed solutions for the future in their art and philosophies.  Then, in 1981…

Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner!  I was a huge fan of Syd Mead’s designs.  Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, Margaret Atwood, and George Orwell were added to the buffet.  They offered me a warning.  Ambivalence and complacence are a recipe for destruction for mind,body, and environment.  Sound familiar?

In drawing the future Earth of ANOMALIES, I grazed from all the above at the “sci-fi” buffet.  I’ll be getting “seconds” as ANOMALIES unfolds.  Now, let’s go to …

Reticulus.  “UFOlogists” are no strangers to Zeta Reticuli in the constellation, Reticulum!  That’s the home of those pesky, bug-eyed, “gray” aliens who abduct us for … well, you know.  But, for  ANOMALIES, I did not explore  “UFO” lore  much.  A chunk of this story is 10,000 years in the future, after all.  However; my physicist/sci-fi father’s influence shows in some hard science, that follows.

Zeta Reticuli is a wide, binary star system approximately 39 light years (lys.) from Earth.  They are only 2 billion years old according to astronomers.    The two stars orbit each other about 3750 A.U. (approx. 350B mi.) apart.  Both are yellow suns.  Both are similar in mass and size to our sun.  Zeta-Reticuli II (Z2,) the larger star of the pair, was my springboard.  It has a massive epistellar Jovian, “hot Jupiter,” in a “tidally locked,” clockwise orbit:  Reticulus Alpha (Za.)- Note: Astronomers thought there was a planet orbiting Z2, initially (’05).  However, they have since determined there is not (’11).

Za., is made up of water vapors, heavy metals; and has a superdense, molten, diamond core.  It is a fraction larger than Jupiter, but with almost three times the mass!  Did you see James Cameron’s “AVATAR?”  That’s what Za. looks like: a blue Jupiter! Approximately 550K miles out orbiting Za. is a binary planetary system:  Reticulus Beta & Gamma (Zb. & Zg.)   Zb. spins clockwise on its axis.   Zg. is in a clockwise, “tidally locked” orbit around Zb. at about 270K miles out.  A “tidally locked” orbit is defined by one side of the orbiting body being visible at all times (i.e. Earth’s moon.”)  Apologies for the late clarification.

Zb. is where this gets “science-fictiony.”  Zb is the seat of the Reticulan Mercantile Oligarchy in ANOMALIES.  These lupine merchants harvest  gems, crystals and precious metals for a galactic economy.  I decided to make their civilization more advanced than future Earth.  The future Earth of ANOMALIES possesses molecular manipulation; atmospheric control; portable, safe fusion; anti-gravity; genetic manipulation; and practical, interstellar travel.  The Reticulans possess all the aforementioned, plus distinct advances in certain areas.  Their major cities float above the unstable surface of Zb. with superior, anti-gravity technology.  Interstellar travel is crystal-based which is manufactured according to need (Hello, Trekkers!) Their ships are very “clean” and elegant.  Though rarely possible in practice, Reticulans possess time travel.   Read ANOMALIES for how that unfolds.  No spoilers, here!

The worlds of ANOMALIES are full of promise and caution.  I can imagine arcologies; relationships with stellar neighbors; and political tensions within those relationships.  However; economics in ANOMALIES are not as farfetched.

I’ve been following the adventures of Geoffery Notkin, co-host with Steve Arnold on the award-winning METEORITE MEN on Discovery networks (Season Three on Discovery UK.)  He’s more than a guy with a metal detector.  He is an advisor for Deep Space Industries ( among other efforts relating to our future in space.  Harvesting raw materials from asteroids is a viable, future industry that leads to other future industries (i.e. medicines, new alloys, space habitats, etc.)  Reticulans would be proud of Geoffrey and Deep Space Industries; but they wouldn’t like the competition!

All this “geeking out” by a few lines in a script.  This is my first blog for Danger Comics Corp. and thank you for the  continued support of ANOMALIES. – Karl Ottersberg  P.S. Click that little “?” at the top of the article if you want to see how much I “geeked out” and got “techno-babbly.” -K.