14 January 2014

Our Enemies: Space Tigers

In the first of a new blogpost series, Our Enemies, FWS will be exploring the common enemies of humanity in science fiction, and in this case, killer space tigers. Frequent readers to FWS will know that I am a cat lover. Yep. It is true. Around my house, the only pets we have are cats, specifically Tortoiseshell cats. I have always enjoyed and been mystified by the dual personalities that cats have. One minute, they are soft and loving, purring away. However, watch them outside with a prey animal, they transform into ruthless hunters, trained to be one of nature's most badass killers. I have respected for their nature, and being the cat lover I am, I am acutely aware of the trend in science fiction that features killer alien tigers from outer space as our future enemies.

Why are Hostile Alien Space Tigers Popular Foes?
Fear. It is plain as that, and it is rooted in our common experiences as a species with tigers and lions that extends even through today. At one time, prior to culture, metal tools, or even Starbuck's (the horror!), mankind lived among animals that killed and ate them. Wolves and tigers/lions were among the beasts of murder, and this even continues today. It has been estimated the nearly 400,000 humans have been killed by tigers/lions from 1800 to present day. When I lived Anniston, Alabama in the early 1980's, a mountain lion was loose on the mountain where we lived, and the while the police hunted for the beast, we gathered the five cats, and waited for the all clear. This crystallized in my mind that mother nature was still a bitch, and she will kill you with the right tools. One of these tools of mother nature is her Tigers and lions.
They are one of the prime predatory species on this planet and are designed (like sharks) to stalk and kill their prey with speed and stealth. Ever watched a cat stalk a bird in the backyard? Imagine that little bird is you, and that little fuzzy warm kitty is hundreds of pounds larger with five inch claws. Welcome to being murdered....Given all of these factors, the genesis behind killer alien tigers from outer space seems logical. Like all alien species born out of our imagination, they inhabit our collective fears. In the case of our space tigers, they are a manifestation of our fear of the darkness and the creatures that live there, and wait for us to fuck up, and then it's claw-and-blood time. Even my beloved cat Ginger would pull her "ninja assassin" routine when she was alive, by waiting in a darkened room, and then attack when my back was turned...if she had been one of Siegfied & Roy white tigers...well, you know that story.

The Human-Tiger Connection
As a whole, Homo sapiens are assured of their place
on top of the food chain. However, that was not always the case, and even to this day, people are still eaten by species that are man-hunters. One of the most murderers of man is Felidae biological family.   Since before our species had formal language or art, we both celebrated and damned the nature world around us. Animals and natural events that terrified early man, also inspirited us to wonder on a world unseen. One of the hunters of man, besides ourselves, was (and still is) the tiger, and our ancient ancestors were very aware of these beasts and their frighting abilities.  Some 40,000 years ago, humans living in the Hohlenstein-Stadel cave curved a zoomorphic man-tiger figurine that is about 11 inches tall and discovered by modern society in 1939. While we can only guess that the meaning behind the lowenmensch, it does translate to a genesis behind sci-fi's love of the space tiger.
Tigers are a symbol of power, fear, and sheath, while early man was afraid of these abilities, they also wished to harness these abilities hence the Lion Man of the Hohlenstein-Stadel. Humans incorporated tigers and lions into their primitive gods, like Mut or Aradia. While most of the world as whole as migrated away from worshiping animals (I think my mother still worships the cat), the power of the tiger and their hold on the human common imagination is still very much alive and transcends culture and religion.

Are Aggressive Alien Tigers Even a Possibility?
When you look up at the night's sky, and wonder on if someone is staring back at us, could they really be aggressive space kitties ready to kill and eat us? The real question is, does life replicate itself in similar patterns that could give rise to lifeforms that we are familiar with here on Terra? Science is divided at the moment about if alien sentient life would appear like us, however most believe that their behavior would be similar if they evoluted along similar lines and developed a civilization similar to ours. When it comes to if the aliens will resemble Hobbs or Mr. Spock, it seems highly unlikely. For that scenario to be plausibly, biological evolution would have occurred along the exact lines as Terra, with exact environmental conditions...fat chance on that! We also have to remember that any sentient spacefaring ET species we met, will be like us...top of the food chain with big brains to out-think other native predatory species. Humans evolved brains to overcome our lack of claws and fangs, tigers and lions all have those tools of the killing trade...that may preclude them from evolutionary intelligent developed to the level of us, the mostly hairless thinking ape.
Some believe that we have already been in contact with an alien feline race, the Lyrans. According to UFO theorists, these ET Lion people are from the star Vega that lays 25.04 LYs away from Sol or even the Lyra constellation. In the distance past, the Lyrans were benefactors of early man, and could be the origin of the rash of feline gods and goddess in ancient mythology. Some "sources" on the internet say that the Lyrans were driven out of their star systems by other ET species, and Terra was a layover for other interstellar destinations. There is no agreement on the appearance of these outer space kitties...some say they are small with fur, others say they are more like Mr. Bigglesworth.

The Social Structure of the Space Tiger
Often sci-fi creators and authors develop their vision of the space tigers around the terrestrial Felidae species This creates the prides social structures that populate the fictional space tigers. Much like Lion Prides, there is an alpha male on top of a family. Creators often use these prides to develop some sort of monarchy, normally based around an emperor or even a queen-mother figure, as we have seen with the Kilrathi or the Tavitans from Dynamo Joe comic. Often these space tiger monarchy is divided along blood-lines, and some of the royal broods that often formed the core of the felinoid military elite and commanders. The Man-Kzin Wars novels focus on these social structures and difference between the Terrans and the space tigers.

The Space Tiger Warrior: The Killers of Man
Packs often come up in the space tiger social structure, and pack hunting is used as a basis for the felinoid military tactics. Stalking, taking an enemy when they do not expect it, and from an angle not expected, along with raid tactics are all hallmarks of the warrior felinod. They also attack either the weakest or the strongest assets of the enemy This alien martial culture also worships loyalty, honor, and victory. Often leading these packs are the royal family members of the monarchy of the felinoid social structure, much like the British nobility leading their officer corps. This was seen with Kilrathi, where their top space fighter aces were nobility. If one off-shoots of the nobility achieves honor via victory in combat, than they would curry more favor with the monarchy, and some creators have used these angle.

If They Existed...Why Would We Fight the Space Tigers?

Would we fight space tigers over the Vega sector as depicted in science fiction? Why would fight these Felinoids when we push out from the Sol system? Let us assume that on some other world, tigers have evolved to the point of intelligence on par with homo sapiens and achieved interstellar spaceflight without wiping themselves with nuclear war. Just because they are tigers instead of jelly fish or bumpy-headed humanoids does not inherently translate to aggression and space wars. As stated before, any species that it the dominate form of life on their planet is going have experience with combat and hunting, and any spacefaring race will be industrial, requiring resources, and other worlds besides their own. For course any notion of aggression, leading to interstellar warfare would also greatly depend on the government, religion, and history of our intrepid felinoids. I think there could be a possibility that because the space tiger developed from a naturally predatory species could lend some credence to these aliens being more aggressive and  could fuel wars or conflicts.  

Science Fiction and Space Tigers
Battlecats from outer space are nothing new in the realm of human imagination. Long before there was the Kzin or the Kilrathi, there was the Egyptian Sphinx, the Goddess Bastet, the Chinese Li Shou, The Hindu god of Narasimha, and the Polish Ovinnik. This trend is even older than those mythological beasts. In 1939, a zoomorphic lion-man statue was founded in Germany dating back 40,000 years ago to the Aurignacian culture, demonstrating our species long held love-hate relationship with the feline. The idea of using felines for aliens that are both friend and foe has no certain genesis, however, we can seen space tigers in the pages of Flash Gordon in the 1930's with the character of Prince Thun along with other types of "tiger people".
By the 1960's, there were felinoid populating pulp sci-fi magazines and comic books. This trend of feline aliens was firmly established with literature works like The Wanders by Fritz Leiber and the Kzinti stories of Larry Nicen beginning in the . ET space felinoids as became popular in the emerging RPG and video games of the late 1970's and 1980's, like the Wemic from TSR's D&D, the Fteirle from GDW's Traveller, and the Tabaxi from TSR's Forgotten Realms. Science fiction creators and authors would gift our space tigers with monarchies, clans, prides, and at times, a taste for human meat. Science fiction swings both ways on the felinoids, some are aggressive, empire-minded killer space tigers that hunt in packs, and wage ware for fun. Other times, sci-fi has visions of gentle felinoids with an eye for art, government, and environmental living. One of the reason for the number of felinoids could be that a majority of authors keep cats, this one included, and they draw on the age old tradition of felinoids as both and foe. One unsettling element that I came across during my research was the amount of art that depicted sexualized felinoids...there are some really sick people in the world with fantasies of fucking space tigers instead of Orion Slave Women.

The Kilrathi from the Wing Commander universe

In the Wing Commander universe, the main foe of the Terran Confederation is the Empire of Kilrah, composed of aggressive space tigers called the Kilrathi. Since the original computer space fighter simulator dropped in 1990, the Man/Kilrathi War was the focus of the series. According to the back story, on March 15th, 2629, an Terran Confederation exploration is destroyed by the Kilrathi. All attempts at communication are refused, and two years of raids by the Kilrathi are answered by a full-scale war. For 11 years, the Empire and Confederation engaged in a bloody war that ended when the homeworld of the kitties was destroyed by Christopher Blair. After the war, the various clans of the Kilrathi organized themselves, and attempted to keep the tense peace with the Terrans.
The Kilrathi society is constructed along lines of clan and status. Much like ancient Terran societies, the nobility on Kilrah ruled over the masses of lower-born, and only the ruling classes could endeavor within the arts or creative efforts. The values that run throughout the bulk of Kilrathian society is honor and loyalty. These traits are often credited to the 10 million year developed cycle of the furballs from pack hunting felines to spacefaring imperialist space tigers.Unlike the Terran Confederation, the Kilrathi have a warrior class that direct and fight their wars. These wars are not just isolated to the Terrans. Prior to that conflict, the furballs were engaged in a long struggle with the Mantu that ended in a stalemate. At the time of the Man/Kilrathi War, it is believed by TC intelligence that a low-level conflict still brews with the Mantu. They have subjugated other races, like the Varni, and the TC used these races against the furballs. The depiction of the Kilrathi evolved over the various video games. By the time of the Full-Motion-Video Wing Commander III, the Kilrathi were people in costumes, and over-sized hairless puppets for the beyond shitty 1999 Wing Commander movie...oh yes, FWS will be talking about that "movie" soon...prepare thy self!

The Kzin from Larry Niven's Known Space universe
On a cooler world orbiting the star known to humans as 61 Ursae Majoris, some 31 LYs away from the Sol system, evolved an 500lbs feline race known as the Kzinti. During the Kzin iron age, aliens known as the Jotok landed and uplifted the space kitties to be used as interstellar mercenaries. The Jotok got more than they bargained for...the Kzinti revolted and enslaved the Jotok, and even ate them. This started the ball rolling on the five Man-Kzin wars. The Kzinti have a royal family, and their whole society is based on the superiority of the males. Honor and being heroic populate the Kzin mindset, and they live under a marital honor code...sound familar...yeah the Kzinti are some sort of alien samurai space tigers. The female Kzin are breed to be stupid, and any female showing signs of intelligence is killed. Lovely.In the 1960's, one of the great minds of science fiction, Larry Niven developed the Kzinti, the warlike and bloodthirsty outer space tigers. They would make their first appearance in 1966, and from 1988 to 2013, 11 volumes of the Man-Kzin Wars volumes were printed. The Kzinti would influence generations of sci-fi writers and creators to include their own take on the felinoid.    

The Dilgar from Babylon 5
During the first season of Babylon 5, the ninth episode exposed us fans of B5 to the felinoid race of the Dilgar from the planet Omelos. When the Centauri Republic weakened, the Dilgar made their move on the other races, who the Dilgar regarded as mere slaves, and would serve the Dilgar. In the 2230's, the League of the Nonaligned Worlds and the Dilgar were locked in a bloody war. By 2231, the Dilgar were winning and committing war crimes and medical experiments, causing the Earth Alliance to join the League and fight the Dilgar back to their home system. One of the reasons for the Dilgar aggression could have been linked their home system's star going nova shortly after the war ended in favor of the League. The Dilgar could not escape the supernova with their jumpgates blocks and were completely extinct in 2232 save for one. Interestingly, the Dilgar aggression would thrust Earth into the galactic stage, and allow for the critical Earth-Minbari War.

The Y'Kin from The Hunters of Man 
Around 2010, I was watching my tortoiseshell cat, Ginger, hunt a bird in our backyard. To me, my little kitty was family, who loved us, purred at the slight of me, and slept with me nightly. But now, Ginger was a hunter on the prowl for a victim. Within a second, she went from motionless dark spot in the grass, to claws and teeth. That fucking bird never had a chance. Of course, Ginger presented the bird from my approval of her hunting abilities, and after the went to finish off her snack, I ran to the computer, and typed the opening pages to The Hunters of Man. It was also around this time I was reading the book The Man-Eaters of Tsavo, and decided to write my own spin on killer alien tigers from outer space. The Y'Kin are based on my observations of cats over the years, from feral cats to fat lazy house cats, the Y'Kin embodied all of pussy that I've been exposed to. I originally was going to discuss the Y'Kin society is some depth, but I decided to forgo that...cannot give away all of my best ideas! Hopefully, one day, a publisher will see the promise in The Hunters of Man, and decided to give it a go. Let us hope...would make a great movie and a line of action figures! Call me Hollywood.

The Kzinti from the Star Trek universe
As we've read above, the "Kzin" was originally developed by Larry Niven, well outside the web of the Trek universe, and became a major feature in Niven's Known Space universe for decades and an icon of the sci-fi literary world. However, these aggressive space tigers did appeared in the 14th episode of the Star Trek Animated Series, as an old foe of Terra. The Kzinti were transplanted from Niven's stories with consent of the author, and he as been quoted as saying he wanted to see what someone else could do with the concept of these alien outer space cats. So, Niven's 1967 short story, "the Soft Weapon"
Despite the hundreds of Trek episodes, the Kzinti would never made an live-action appearance, however they were mentioned a few times, and their homeworld would appear on "official" maps of the Trek Milky Way galaxy. Interestingly, there were no less that two attempts to bring the Kzinti into the live-action Trek universe. During the proposed Star Trek: Phase II TV show that would have marked a return of the original crew to the air-waves on an Paramount TV network around 1978. This new Trek series would have been the keystone show of the new network...which happened with UPN and ST: Voyager in 1995. One of the original unproduced scripts of Phase II involved the the Kzinti. The second time that these Niven-creatures space warrior cats would been seen is if Enterprise would have continued into their 5th season.The Kzinti would have been introduced in the episode entitled "The Kilkenny Cats", and most likely would have been a faction in the Earth-Romulan War of 2156-2160. There are pieces of production art of this stillborn episode of ST:ENT floating around the internet, some showing menacing space felinoids with some design elements from gorillas, and their spaceships.

The Caitian from the Star Trek Unvierse
During the run of the Star Trek: Animated Series in the mid-1970's, there was a sexy female bridge officer Felinoid name Lt. Shiboline M'Ress that belonged to the much nicer space tiger race of Caitian rather than the murderous Kzinti. Also, unlike the Kzinti, the Caitian were members of the Federation, and they liked to sleep with humans rather than eating them. Lt. M'Ress was the first member of the Caitian we'd seen, and the name of the race came from the mail-order company Lincoln Enterprises, run by Gene and Majel Roddenberry. When the animated series came to a close, the Caitian were rarely seen in Trek. My first introduction to these felinoids was via the 1st volume of DC Comcis ST comic series in the mid-1980's.
The big boost for the Caitian race came with 1986's Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home, when a feline alien race was shown being members of the Federation. While the race was never named by the film, FASA did it for us in their Star Trek IV: Sourcebook Update. On page 64-65, the Caitian race is profiled. These Felinoids are from a topical world, a born from litters, and belong to clans that live in great houses. Because life was easy and good on Caitia, the race turn towards towards the arts early on, and lacked the military history of somewhere like Terra. Caitians have an high opinion of themselves, are fastidious, and very environmentally-conscience, and tend to believe that other races look up to them, especially Terrans, who seem to find these cat people attractive. Unlike other felinoids in sci-fi, the Caitians are not especially violent or war-like, afew serve in the Starfleet Marines or other security branches. Mostly they serve in science and diplomacy functions. According to some sources, the Caitian hail from the star of 15 Lynics, which was an ancient colony of the Kzinti, giving rise to the Caitian people. Trek, via non-canon and canon sources has other Felinoid races, which seem as common in the Milky Way as bumpy-forehead aliens. Who knew? Probably Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, I'm guessing.

The Tharil from Classic Doctor Who
Wow...talk about bad kitty makeup! There are sometimes when you look at old Who and see what it really was. Anyway, these felinoids were time-sensitive that lived in a castle between N-Space and E-Space, and could enter any of the different realms of spacial realities at will, and none could follow. These rejects from the cast of CATS, enslaved other, included humans, and because the gateways leading to the kitty castle resulted in death for anyone. Humans constructed Samurai-like robots called Gundans to assault the kitty time-castle. With the assault being successful, these time-kitties were made slaves of the humans as forced time navigators.

The Na'vi from AVATAR
In 2009, James Cameron gave just one of the greatest sci-fi movies of the new millennium, AVATAR, and one that moon of Polyphemus, is a felinoid species called the "Na'vi", or "the people" in their own tongue. Despite the groundbreaking 3D SFX, and AVATAR being one of the most celebrated sci-fi movies of the new millennium, the Na'vi are not that original. Don't get me wrong, I love AVATAR, but these blue stone-age space kitties are heavily borrowed from native peoples here on Terra. I personally found the story of the RDA humans much more interesting, but they did do a bang-up job on the look of the Na'vi. One of the more original elements was their tail queue and how it interacted to the biosphere of Pandora.

The Hani from The Chanur Novels by CJ Cherryh
In The Chanur novels, the Hani, who are bipedal feline aliens that hail from Anuurn. Much like the Kzinti, the Hani were "uplifted" to the stars by another race. These space tigers live in clans with on male lord of the clan. These clans were not unified under an emperor. The Hani have a bad tradition of casting out males that could threaten the clan lord, and these cast out males, who work on their fighting skills. The women of these space kitties, are the ones with the brains and the abilities, allowing them to go into space, not the males. The lack of resources fuels the clans to unite. Some sources call these males "drones", who wage war against one another for sexual right over the females. During the novels, the natural balance of the Hani sexual rituals is upset by Pyanfar Chanur, who teaches the males to take their place in space along with their females.

The Garudan from ROBOTECH II: The Sentinels
For most of the readers around FWS know, I talk a great deal about ROBOTECH, and the aborted sequel, The Sentients. And here we go again...After the epic success of the original ROBOTECH series, Harmony Gold started developing a sequel that would chronicle the adventures (and misadventures) of the ROBOTECH Expeditionary Force. Soon after the arrival of the SDF-3 at the ROBOTECH Masters homeworld of Tirol, and encountering the Invid, the REF also meets the alliance of freedom fighting aliens, the Sentients. All of the five races shared the experience of being enslaved by the Invid, and these resistance fighters were attempting to liberate their homeworlds, while the Invid were busy with their main nemesis: the Robotech Masters. These Sentients joined the REF, and the meat of the ROBOTECH II: The Sentients storyline is this war of liberation. One of the five races is the Cat People of Garuda. The Garudan were a hybrid design that mixed elements of felines, foxes, and it seems, Pomeranian, as well. According to the Palladium Book The Sentients RPG manual, the Garudan can only breath their own air, and most of the race are gifted with a number of psionic powers. While they are involved in an interstellar war, the true nature of the cat people is one of peace, but given their brutal treatment by the Invid, and they have committed themselves to end the threat to their race and their allies. Unlike the REF, the Garudan were not a spacefaring race, the RPG manual says that these cat people hovered around the 1950's, but they did adopted the high-technology of the REF, just not the mecha.  

The Fucking Thundercats from The Thundercats
I can still remember way back in 1985 when the original Thundercats pilot episode aired, and very soon after, my local Tulsa Toys R Us became overran with these toys. The origins of the animated TV series went back some two years, and while it was animated in Japan, it was an American production. Much like most American animation of the time, there had to some pro-social friendly message. The backstory was that these felinoid were the few survivors of a doomed planet, and would arrive on the 3rd Earth with their enemies in purist for the eye of thunder...or something. From 1985 to 1989, the Thundercats ran on American TV, and in 2011, a rebooted TV show would air on Cartoon Network, for a single season. The Thundercats are frequent fodder for Robot Chicken. Despite watching this back in the day, I never really dug this series.

The Tavitans from the Dynamo Joe comics
In the mid-1980's, First Comics would published Doug Rice's brilliant military science fiction comic Dynamo Joe. In those pages, was the cat-like alien race of the Tavitans located on the Londree. This race is ruled by a queen-mother, the matriarch. When the Orion War started with the invading Mellanares, the Terrans, the Imperial society of the Great Khan, and the Tavitans joined together in the Alliance. According to the few clues presented in the fifteen issues of Dynamo Joe, the Tavitans were not warlike, and contributed few "hard" military assets to the Alliance, mostly technical elements. The main kitty character of the DJ series is Private Pomru, who worshiped Old Earth culture, and is the navigator/technical of the Joe battlesuit. However, a few times, Pomru would pilot Joe into combat. It is sad that DJ would only run for 15 issues when it was plotted out over a two year run. It is likely that we would have seen the homeworld of Pomru's cat-people.

The Mrrshan from Masters of Orion
Okay, before researching space tigers, I'd never heard of the video game Masters of Orion, nor the Mrrshan. Masters of Orion was a 1993 turned-based strategy game. One of the weaker races was the felinoid Mrrshan race. Despite being excellent spaceship gunners and weaponry researcher, they have two enemies, and only one friend, the Terrans. Two of the hallmarks of these space tigers are a ruthless and fearless nature and ruled over by an empress. Fielding one of the largest fleets in the galaxy, the Mrrshan, they attack first.


  1. Dynamo Joe, now that brings back memories. If only eh?

  2. Have you read the FWS Forgotten Classics blogpost on DJ? I loved this series and wished the Orion War had run its two-year comic cycle. Pity.

  3. No I haven't, I shall go look for it now.

    If only the series could be finished through perhaps a KickStarter campaign.

  4. I wish I could met Doug Rice and interview him about DJ, and get some answers on the series and what could have been...I still want my DJ toys/models!

  5. Christopher PhoenixJanuary 20, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    Huh, didn't know there had been so many killer space tiger species in SF other than Niven's Kzinti- even CJ Cherryh had one. Speaking of that- I must be honest here, but I have never been able to get more than a few pages into her Downbelow Station- and I've tried twice. Same with Le Guin's The Dispossessed, and I've liked some of her other work. But I just don't buy utopias in general...

    I must admit that I don't think that it is likely that the development of life on alien planets will follow Earthly evolution close enough to result in stuff like anthropomorphic space tigers. I also don't think that the human form is the ultimate body plan for an intelligent creature- all an intelligent alien needs is good locomotion, organs to manipulate its environment, and forward-facing sensory organs (probably close to the location of its brain). Every other detail is probably up for grabs... at least that is my guess for now!!

    Speaking of uplifted species, a bunch of Cordwainer Smith's "Rediscovery of Man" stories revolved around the plight of uplifted Earth animals (Underpeople) used as slaves by the "true men" in the far distant future- cats among them. They were made from animals, but sculpted to look more or less human (less in the case of bull-men and snake-men), and treated more or less as disposable property. I preferred his pre-Underpeople stories like "Scanners Live in Vain", "The Lady Who Sailed the Soul", and "Think Blue, Count Two"- they weren't quite as weird and depressing- but I can't think of any earlier examples of "uplift" in SF, although there probably are precedents somewhere.

    Oh, I have a suggestion for your laser blogpost- have you considered adding a section on the hazards laser sidearms will pose to their users and innocent bystanders?

    Winchell Chung has added a section on the blinding hazard posed by laser pistols to the energy sidearms page at his indispensable Atomic Rockets site, noting that a laser can blind people out to the horizon if scattered light from the beam enters their eye. The beam is intense enough that even reflected light from a nearby hit can blind innocent bystanders, and a laser pistol could still blind targets well beyond the distance at which the beam is too diffuse to cause actual material damage. Almost nobody mentions this in SF shows and novels. People planning to get in a laser battle will use anti-laser goggles or contacts to protect their vision.

    Then there is the power source- both the battery and the circuits supplying electricity to the laser. Atomic Rockets notes that a laser pistol battery will be carrying enough juice to be at least slightly unstable (Routledge's Law!). It could catch fire or even explode if damaged. The actual circuitry inside the laser will be carrying enough juice to handily electrocute anyone foolish enough to poke around the inside of their weapon. Don't even think about sticking a fork into the open contacts...

    I don't think that there will be any reason to try to field-strip laser rifles, though. If you want to swap out your trigger for a match trigger or something, you'd better ask an electrical engineer for help rather than a gunsmith. :-)

  6. A good posting, I'm starting to develop an unhealthy liking to this blog.....
    Now for Our Enemies you just need Space Squids, Robots, Living Energy, Space Gorillas, Rogue Colonies, Altered Humans, Shapeshifters, Psychics, Space Sharks, Space Bears, and of course, The Bugs.

  7. Glad you enjoy FWS! Just don't judge me too harshly on some of the really old blogpost here! I will be adding some of those types to the blogroll...the space bugs one is very entrenched in the realm of MSF. Hell, even my first MSF novel as them!

  8. Just a note on the Kilrathi war: It lasted for 40 years according to the WC timeline. Your start date is correct, but Kilrah was destroyed in 2669 as per WC3.

  9. Where is Felis Sapien from Red Dwarf???

  10. "Gotta get big!", yeah The Cat is pretty cool, but he is technically the last of his species.

  11. There's also the Orions from the David Weber / Steve White novels Insurrection and Crusade. And would Nimitz from the Honor Harrington series count as a space kitty?

  12. I was hoping you’d mention the cats from Dynamo Joe! And you did! Cool! ☺