My friend John is doing a cross-blog community project called From the Zones. Folks are describing weird places, things and notions set in the universe(s) of the novel Roadside Picnic and the movie Stalker.
Here’s a contribution from me: a few brief excerpts from an academic paper that belongs to another universe. Summarized below, the classification scheme of Thessolides, Stringer and Settingstone:
In their seminal work, Tarus and Hansdottir (78) designed a classification scheme for objects found in Zone 6N. Although now the standard scheme in our field, their nomenclature has proven at times cumbersome. Our work over the past three years has been to further categorize and systematize the objects. We have devised a further refinement of their classification scheme which instead uses three main categories and twelve sub-categories within each. This, we submit, allows objects to readily be sorted and described, using both standard and non-standard LTN codes.
The coding table for our classification scheme is as follows:
Category T-H Descriptor 1 Our descriptor Form 1 01 Mirrored 14 Mind F Bread 2 23 Disjoint 28 Life N Tendrils 3 72 Tenuous 17 Truth T Foam 4 90 Poisonous 15 Depth X Marker 5 27 Ciliated 50 Allegory Q Syrup 6 43 Reduplicating 51 Numinosity M Projectiles 7 87 Sierpinski 13 Bromine B Sphere 8 91 Toroidal 34 Gravity W Chamber 9 12 External 49 Uncertainty U Sheet 10 51 Intermittent 64 Filth Y Obstruction 11 13 Hungry 70 Fermion M Funnel 12 75 Matryoshka 92 Failure A Dispenser
It may be helpful to compare the relative nomenclature of several objects, illustrating how their Tarus-Hansdottir nomenclature compares with the present system.
T-H nomenclature: “Object 8177/456-13D-composite-14”
New classification: 7517T Matryoshka Truth Foam
For those unfamiliar, this is the substance discovered by Ericson and Tozinga, in which each nested bubble contains N2+1 universes.
T-H nomenclature: “0937/D14-sub-900F”
New classification: 0114F Mirrored Mind Bread
Again, for readers who may not have read the work of Tozinga and Querus, this is the substance that seems to perfectly mimic within itself the brain patterns of those observing it.
T-H nomenclature: “01911011001178/G139871-T400+D120”
New classification: 1392Q Hungry Failure Syrup
Described by Tozinga and Hallefson as “seemingly desirous of congealing where major personal disaster is about to occur” (214).
Although the TSS classification scheme was sorely received by the academic and stalker communities, it makes a nice addition for gaming purposes, no? Roll D12 three times and see what strange new object the Zone has turned up for you.