Thought Empire — Glossary of Terms

WARNING: may contain clues to events within the books – so read first.

Adjudicators Ministry

A group that facilitates discussion and conflict resolution. A key part of maintaining the World Union.


Any armed robot with killing capabilities, that follows pre-programmed target acquisition algorithms. Or in other words: programmable killing machines that will hunt like a pack of hounds

Anti Psi League (APL)

Global movement for the restriction of psis in society. Led by Nigel Westgate, who was formerly involved with the Sapien Brethren and Minors’ Rights


A psi who has telekinesis, ie the power to move and manipulate objects.


A registered participant in the Will of the World Union. Capitalised. Children can become a Citizen at any age. Non-participation – non-citizenship – is allowed.



a Services vehicle; two-seater


A card game that became popular druing the second dark age. Best played with an infinite deck.

Criticality is a game inspired by the principles of self-organised crtitcality and the rise and fall of power structures during the Second Dark Ages. The aim of Criticality is to score as more points than the players. At the beginning of the game the players agree on a target, typically 1000-10000.


Players: 2+

Deck: Ace to 10. Large or infinite decks preferable

Basic play: Each player begins with 10 cards

Players draw up to 10 cards from the infinite deck and cast off as many cards as they want.

Initial tabling: the first player to table must lay down three sets.

Each player takes turns drawing cards and adding to tabled sets until a collapse is triggered. After a collapse each player must choose 10 cards from their hand to go towards the winner’s pool.

Play continues until the predetermined amount is reached.


Sets: Sets must have a minimum of three cards and a can follow a number of different patterns: all of a kind, sequential, suit, prime numbers only, pi (3.141592653)

Sets “collapse” when they reach 10.

The height limit of the sets is dictated by how many sets are on the table. Ie if there are seven sets on the table then they can only go to seven cards high.

Thus an avalanche can be triggered by collapsing one set which causes a chain reaction of collapses amongst the smaller sets.

Eg, if there are 8 sets on the table, two with 8 cards in them, and a player adds two cards to one set to trigger its collapse, as there are now only 7 sets on the table, all the sets with more than 7 cards also collapse and the cards are added to the player’s winnings.


The strategy of Criticality involves luck, and a balanced strategy to manuevre the other players to table their cards so you can collapse the piles and collect their cards. Timing and confidence are key.


Mesh bar and hangout in east Yantz

Dark Age

Could refer to the first Dark Ages (c. 5th–15th century), or the Second Dark Ages (2084–2105 CE)


homo digitalis; the hypothetical digital manifestation of human consciousness. Many have tried and many have failed, including Shen Li

Digital Rights of Humankind

The principle document of the Weave which outlines the responsibilities and rights of all people


Energeneration machines


‘Faces’ is the word used for an artwork that reacts to data stimuli. Faces can be anything, not just a human face, such as an abstract kinetic sculpture to a light show of coloured panels uniquely interpreting the innumerable ways the Weave can be calculated, filtered and measured. It is common for many public areas to feature an artwork of this sort to indicate the group subconscious, much like a town hall bears a clock.

Faraday-V Cage

A more advanced Faraday cage. Creates an electromagnetic and atmospheric barrier for isolating and testing.

FutureFuture Club

A much esteemed group of rarefied intellectuals that hold lectures on hypothetical world problems of the far far future

ganzfeld suits

A full body suit and helmet worn to reduce external input from the body’s senses. A wearable sensory deprivation tank, that helps people immerse more deeply into the Weave


An alphabetical list of words relating to a specific subject, text, or dialect, with explanations


The name given to the phenomena that first manifested in Busan. Other names include ‘the black beast’ or ‘the beast of Busan’Lang, Gretel – companion of Abercrombie Pinter. They met in rejuv. In her first life she was a minor performer.

Lingua Pax

A group studying and deconstructing languages to identify word-concepts or lexemes that might potentially negatively impact the human mind

marauder unit

Armoured Serviceman


Genetically modified cannabis, comes in many strains


A large area of the north american continent that didn’t have the economic resources to protect itself from the extreme weather. Mostly a wasteland now.


see marauder unit


An apartment building with straight pillar and olive-shaped top section; Ryu’s needle is 5,000 ft or more tall

Primacy/Primacy council

Usually the top 0.000001 per cent of the civic hierarchy


A person with psionic powers


Mental powers or a person with mental powers abbr: psi/s; world has known of the existence of psionic powers for 90 years; psi resistants; psi rebellion


Or ‘the Scorpion’ was the nickname bestowed upon Captain Pinter for his single-strike approach to warfare

Serviceman, Servicemen

A gender neutral term [can it be gender neutral if it says man and men] for someone working in the Services. Also a regulation breakfast of protein cakes and rehydrated beans.


A word used synecdochically to describe the all encompassing administration of the world, the people in it, the belief system that comes with it and anything that is the property of the Services. Can be used with ‘the’ or without depending on the mood and intention of the speaker. Services was only just getting organised 40 years ago; WU didn’t totally span the globe.


Robots but with the implication they have limited function 


A flying vehicle. Squibs are for short-distances of about a thousand kilometres. For longer trips people would more likely jet, or squib in a series of hops. Some squibs are transport squibs that can hold around 20 armoured Servicemen.


Siberian Terminus: Omskya Centrum


Strategy matrix


Each individual’s stream logs their activity on the Weave


Similar to a symbiot; free-roaming and self-powered; checks things


A nearly-animal computer that lives in harmony with the wearer’s body. abbr: symb, bot


A psi with telepathy


Using telepathy to read someone’s mind


It’s like teleportation that doesn’t work. It does move molecules from one place to another, but has no control of where they are moved to. Earliest uses for the technology was during the second Dark Age as home-made weapons of mass distruction

ten squad

A marauder team

Tom and Lily's orphanage

A group home run by Tom and Lily Patch. Home to Zach Frost, Bronwyn Zucker and about ten other kids.

the Primacy

The World Union council; people with 0.0001% + of approval via the Will of the people are the council; leader of the council is Prime


The global internet of the future, not quite at parity yet, that comes in a later book.


Much like a coder of today but more so, they are constantly plugged into the weave and use it for data-mining and interacting. They can detect a psi through the weave by using anomalies, breaches, greys, patches, black holes … direct detection.

Will, the

The Will of the people; world voting system; the Will can be a voting bloc or a series of individuals. There is an active will and a passive will.

World Union

1) the global governing body;

2) the global state of all member Citizens

Commonly abbreviated to WU.

Yeon Rhee, Doctor

The chief scientist in charge of the psionic development program and it’s facility. Experiments were stopped 8 years ago.