Æthernet Technology / Science in Ethnis | World Anvil


Shoutout to ya gurl Ursula K. Le Guin for coining Ansible

The Æthernet is an method of instantaneous, intergalactic, ansible communication. It is the standard around which the HubNet and the many other subnets exist.

The invention of the Æthernet had massive ramifications on what it meant to be from Earth or Jhoutai, and did more to intertwine the social fabrics of the two than any political negotiations up to that point had ever managed. What before had been a 10 day turnaround of communications suddenly became instantaneous, allowing first for face-to-face discussions of individuals of power, and later for gaming and communication between common citizens.

Today, the Æthernet is the backbone of the HubNet. Without it the intergalactic empires of the Banners would be impossible.

Creating the Æthernet necessitated the invention of ironClad, which is the basis of all Mecha Tech interface to date.


Æthernet was developed 100 years after the advent of Humanity into Ethnis, and finalized towards the tail end of the Rilaem War. Osborne Jadey was driven to spearhead the invention of the Æthernet to communicate between Earth and Jhoutai when a failure of communication between the two planets led to the untimely death of several of his kin.


Stations, large buildings, and large colonies all have Æthernet hubs, 3-by-3 meter rooms which serve as routers for smaller local networks on a range of several hundred kilometers. Thes Æthernet hubs are responsible for larger message coordination with other Æthernet hubs in peer-to-peer fashion.


Ansibel Size
Hubs are not small enough to be personally portable, and require a fair amount of maintenance to keep them in working order.
Æthernet encryption is managed within each hub by a LeGuin device. During downtimes hubs will coordinate to other hubs within their network via swarm machine learning to generate an increasingly unbreakable encryption algorithm. The result is that Æthernet encryption is nearly unbreakable, but messages are longer and nobody is really sure how the encryption works anymore.
Data Bottleneck
Æthernet hubs are not multithreaded and so send and receive messages one at a time. In networks with multiple hubs this is negligible, but if a colony with a single hub is suddenly bombarded with data the hub and its LeGuin device may short-circuit.
Power Requirements
While the power consumption of an Æthernet hub is not difficult for stations and cities to supply, it is a prohibitive amount for colonies until they have advanced power generation in place.
  • Malcolm Madelhari Malkovich
  • Osborne Jadey
  • Lincoln Smith-Weiss
  • Nulo Oschei
Access & Availability
Ubiquitous, it is the de facto communication technology within Ethnis.
Intensive, the process is known but expensive.
Virtual Space

Virtual space is where the economy is. Its complexity makes the meatspace look shallow. It's an infinite hive of worlds imagined and real, a maze of relays, mirrors, proxies, and tunnels.

Anywhere there's aethernet, someone wants to connect their local network to the whole, and there's good money in knowing which site to go to, which link to click, and what key work to use to have your connection forwarded up and down the levels. Its the only way to talk to distant loved ones.

The common currency for the common user is viewers. The more people watching you, the more sway you have.

This has resulted in a coolness arms race, and the virtual space has become a sprawling multiverse of sites, a shifting map where any places neighbors are always a shifting, nebulous mirage of fellow sites and advertisers hoping you'll wander over their way next.

Peoples avatars are emblematic of their online life. They're covered in trophies and accessories of various sites.


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Sep 6, 2018 06:04 by Dimitris Havlidis

FYI: You have no outbound links here to continue reading

Join me, become a Sky Pirate in the world of Lyra!

Sep 6, 2018 06:13 by Ademal Jacklyn

Going by that subheader I was also inebriated when I wrote this.

Check out my summercamp by going here and checking out any of my gold-star articles!

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