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Literature / Titan Empire

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The Titan Empire series is a series of webnovels originally created by author Johnny Scribe, along with co-writers Open High Hat, Dann, and D.X. Machina. The series follows a number of humans who were abducted from Earth by giant Insectoid Aliens. The good news is that most of them were rescued by more friendly, more humanoid aliens. The bad news is that those aliens consider humans to be good pets, but not that bright; they can't take the humans back to Earth because of their Alien Non-Interference Clause; oh, and the humanoids average around 140 feet tall.


Initially intended to be a story that appealed to the baser instincts of people who are into that sort of thing, the series now is a sprawling epic that covers Space Opera, the politics of The Empire, and the long battle of humans — both those from Earth and those native to the Empire — to gain a measure of equality.

The Titan Empire contains examples of:


  • Alien Abduction: Many protagonists of the series were abducted by the Insectoids, while others were picked up by accident or for study.
  • Alien Invasion: The Insectoids launch one on the colony at Tau Ceti, and have plans to continue on to Earth, which would have succeeded if not for the sacrifice of Niall Freeman and Aerti Bass.
  • Aliens Steal Cable: At one point, the Empire logs into the internet and downloads all media from it.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Both averted and played straight, thanks to Translator Microbes. Of course, the English are really speaking Alien; the primary languages of the Titans in the Empire are related to proto-Indo-European and Sami.
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  • Ancient Astronauts: The Titan Empire regularly visited Earth during prehistory. They stopped when they realized they were having an impact on Earth's culture.
  • All Planets Are Earthlike: Averted. Many habitable planets have surprisingly low gravity.
  • Area 51: In Titan: Exile, it's revealed that Area 51 is there to hold a Titan woman who grew up on Earth.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: Titans for the Ethical Treatment of Humans is officially for human emancipation...but they have a tendency not to ask the humans what that means.
  • Artificial Gravity: Used for many purposes, including to allow giant creatures to live on high-gravity worlds like Earth.
  • Augmented Reality: The humans of 2155 have smartphones embedded in their corneas.
  • Being Human Sucks: You're the size of the dominant species' thumbs, and most of them think you're an adorable pet.
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  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The Battle of Tau Ceti is an all-out battle between Gama Fleet, a handful of fighters, and an Insectoid assault fleet with as many as half a billion soldiers.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: The Titans have a number of unusual adaptations that allow them to exist as giants.
  • Bizarre Alien Psychology: The Insectoids are a Hive Mind, and various levels of sentience can be ascribed to different groups of them.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The Insectoids do not appear to have a concept of morality at all.
  • Boldly Coming: The Titans look basically human, if gigantic; the humans look basically Titan, if tiny. Needless to say, some of them find themselves in relationships of shorter or longer durations.
  • Bug War: The Battle of Tau Ceti touches off the Fourth Insectoid War.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Shaars are very cat-like creatures, and tupps are mouse-like.
  • The Captain: Aerti Bass, and later, Lauryna Gwenn.
  • Civil War: After it's revealed that the Tarsuss family's God Guise is false, Avalon descends into a brutal one.
  • Cool Starship: The Gyfjon, the fastest ship in the Imperial fleet. Also, the Stanislaw Lem, Earth's ship that travels to Saturn.
  • Cryonics Failure: When Eyrn's Titan parents are stranded on Earth, they put themselves and her in stasis. Only one of them survives.
  • Cunning Linguist: Lauryna Gwenn starts her career as a junior xenolinguist, who understands a couple Insectoid languages and later becomes an expert on Drazari and fluent in English. While this puts her in Omniglot territory, it bears mention that by the time she reaches Captain she's about 200 years old.
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: Averted. Earth is a small planet near the Imperial border; it's interesting primarly because the Titans find humans adorable.
  • The Empire: Averted. Certainly, from the standpoint of humans, the Empire is not a friendly place. But for the Titans, it's portrayed as a flawed, but generally decent place to live, with an elected government, freedom of speech, a robust social welfare state, and generally tolerant morality.
  • Fantastic Ship Prefix: ISS (Imperial Space Ship) and ISC (Imperial Space Carrier) for the Empire, TSS (Terran Space Ship) for Earth.
  • Fantastic Racism: Arguably the point of the series. Titans look down (literally and figuratively) on humans; many Titans also disdain the Ler, Dunnermac, and Avartle, who are all member species of the Empire. The struggle to overcome this forms the central narrative of the series.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: It would be a short series without it.
  • Fiction 500: Pryvani Tarsuss owns a moon, the only woman alive to do so.
  • First Contact: In Titan: Contact, Earth finally meets the Empire officially.
  • A Father to His Men: Aerti Bass, Lauryna Gwenn, and Xu Mulan all subscribe to this philosophy.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The Titan ambassador uses a hologram to introduce herself at human size.
  • Galactic Superpower: The Titan Empire, the Hive, the Drazari, and to some extent, the K'Gapti.
  • Global Warming: Earth suffered through a series of "Water Wars" over natural resources, until a near-apocalypse experience scared them straight.
  • God Guise: Until Pryvani admits to the deception, the Tarsuss family uses a "goddess" to keep order on Avalon. The charade is helped by the fact that Titans are titanic.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Pryvani Tarsuss is willing to cover up killings and use her vast fortune to destroy her enemies — and she's stated that she's done far worse.
  • Government Procedural: Surprisingly so, for a story with giants set in space.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: A Titan experiment to extend human lifespans makes human and Titan DNA "compatible." The first of many hybrids is born shortly thereafter.
  • Hive Mind: The Insectoids, who call themselves "The Hive."
  • Hologram: Niall Freeman, a human, works to develop holograms to help convince Titans that he's as important as anyone, despite his size.
  • Human Mom Nonhuman Dad: There are several hybrids with human moms and Titan dads; fortunately for the moms, hybrid size is based on their mother, not their father.
  • Human Popsicle: Humans are frozen in stasis by the insectoids for ease of transport; later, humans use their own cryosleep technology on the way to Saturn.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Other than being 140 feet tall, the Titans look very human.
  • Humans Advance Swiftly: Justified in-story in that humans tend to be both more curious and more reckless than other species.
  • Humans Are White: Strongly averted.
  • Humans Are Special: Those who favor human emancipation think their curiosity could propel the Empire to a new golden era.
  • Humans Need Aliens: If not for the Empire protecting the Sol System, the Insectoids would have captured Earth long ago.
  • Insectoid Aliens: The Insectoids.
  • Inexplicable Cultural Ties: The Empire has some similarities to Earth culture; partly justified in that Titans and humans are similar other than size, and that Titans influenced Earth culture in the past.
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Earth isn't viewed as insignificant, exactly, but it's hardly the center of the universe.
  • Interspecies Romance: Early and often. And not just between Titans and Humans — it's stated outright that it's considered culturally acceptable for any of the sentient creatures to date each other.
  • Karmic Death: Keeran Leffen dies when the human she's trying to eat stabs her esophagus, severing an artery.
  • Lilliputians: In this case, the humans.
  • Longevity Treatment: Genetic therapy can slow human aging, allowing them to live three or four centuries, but even the humans back on Earth are living to 150 by the 22nd century.
  • Mega-Corp: The Tarsuss Corporation, which appears to have interests in pretty much every industry.
  • Microts: The Imperial second, minute, and hour are all very close to the familiar Earth variety. Of course, that's because the our seconds are based on Titan time units.
  • Mile-Long Ship: For obvious reasons, all the Imperial ships are this.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Around a 2.5
  • Multicultural Alien Planet: The Empire is definitely not a planet of the hats.
  • Nanomachines: Humans came very close to wiping themselves out with these during the Short War, but they are used by almost all species as Translator Microbes.
  • Neo-Africa: Africa went through their bad period, just like the rest of Earth, but by the 22nd century, it has become a significant power.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: And how.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Xu Mulan gives a ringing defense of imperfect humans to a bigot who wants to trigger a war with them.
  • Perfect Pacifist People: The Dunnermac are generally (though not exclusively) pacifists. They chose to fight repression in the Empire by going on a species-wide hunger strike, rather than by attacking. That said, there are Dunnermacs who serve in the military, and Dunnermacs who are not personally pacifistic.
  • Puny Earthlings: Quite literally.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The Titans age roughly 6.5 times slower than a non-life-extended human, and about half as fast as an extended human. But they also mature commensurately slowly, and study things more in depth, rather than racing on to the next subject like those crazy humans do.
  • Schizo Tech: Avalon transitions from a roughly medieval level of tech to turn-of-the-20th-century tech over the course of about 100 years — with some borrowed futuristic tech thrown in. At one point during the transition, some of the refugees from Earth come to the conclusion that the technology level is at 1900s levels, only Steam Punk.
  • Shocking Defeat Legacy: The shock of losing during the Battle of Tau Ceti is so disruptive that it literally splits the hive into five daughter hives, which touches off an immediate civil war among the Insectoids.
  • The Short War: Directly invoked. A looming war in the South China Sea is abruptly aborted when the nanomachines of both sides begin working together, setting the stage for a potential Grey Goo apocalypse. When the soldiers on the ground defeat the nanobots, they immediately declare an end to hostilities, and all sides are so terrified by what almost happened that they immediately begin work to wind down their disputes.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: The Imperial Fleet is very much the model of a modern standard fleet.
  • Stay with the Aliens: Not that most of the humans had a choice.
  • Square-Cube Law: As with all stories involving giants, it gets rather badly bent.
  • Subspace Ansible: Invoked by name.
  • Suicide Mission: Prince Antero leads a charge of a dozen officers against an overwhelming Insectoid force because it's the only chance to save over 100,000 humans.
  • To Serve Man: Insectoids think humans are delicious. They also think Titans are delicious, but you have to butcher them. Humans are snack-sized....
  • Tracking Chip: Most human pets have them, though to be fair, it comes in handy from time to time. Also, most Earth humans have cell phones embedded in their bodies.
  • Translator Microbes: Basic universal translators will alter your perception so that it sounds like others are speaking your language. The top-of-the-line ones will alter your neural commands so that you speak theirs.
  • Transplanted Humans: Humans were brought to the Empire to be pets, and to Avalon and Sperikos, where "wild human" preserves were set up. Granted, Sperikos got blown up, and Avalon had a rich family playing God, so YMMV on how it worked out.
  • United Nations Is a Superpower: Things were trending in this direction, but First Contact has made the UN a de facto government of Earth, albeit an underpowered one.
  • Unwanted False Faith: Pryvani tells the citizens of Avalon that she is not a god, but some Avalonians believe she's testing them, and worship anyhow.
  • Wham Line: "The truth, citizens of Avalon, is that my name is Pryvani Tarsuss, and I am not a goddess."
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Pryvani and other upper-class Aementi routinely change their hair color. Pryvani being Pryvani, she tends to take this Up to Eleven, and it is canon that only her husband knows her true hair color.

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