an inhabitant of the galaxy; a member of a galaxy-wide civilization
There are no Galactics out here. But there is an Observer. I've been catching the secret ultra signals for the last two hours…warning all ships to stay clear because the system isn’t ready for any kind of contact with Galactic planets.
What kind of a race was this? A race which flew in primitive star ships, yet it had already conquered one of the greatest problems in Galactic history, a problem which had baffled the Galactics for millions of years.
You couldn’t call them stagnant. Their life was too healthy, their civilization too rich in its own way—folk art, folk music, ceremony, religion, the intimacy of family life which the Galactics had lost—for that term. But to one who flew between the streaming suns, it was a small existence.
As far as the Galactics were concerned, Earth was a little backwater planet that was of no importance. Nothing manufactured on the planet was of any use to Galactics.
Certainly the galactics have landed on Earth many times, and have come among us in human form.
They did not consider themselves demons. In their own odd language they were ‘Galactics’—human beings from far away, representatives of a mighty empire that spanned a much greater region than did the Uigur realm at its height. That empire extended over planets and systems and constellations—though these were concepts of such sorcerous complexity and incongruity as to baffle his mind.
It may be that all advanced races learn to do what the Rothen are doing now—impressing those beneath them on the ladder of status. Perhaps we’re all extra-susceptible on account of being primitives, having no other experience with Galactics.
Only a handful of their many scattered habitats maintained areas supplied with artificial gravity for legged humans, either visitor or resident, or even dealt with outsiders. Graf Station was one that did accept galactics and their trade, as did the orbital arcologies dubbed Metropolitan, Sanctuary, Minchenko, and Union Station.
The cloud is an immature matryoshka. It’s going to grow up to be a Dyson sphere; masses of free-flying processor nodes trapping the entire solar output and using it to power their thinking, communicating via high-bandwidth laser. But it’s not there yet, and the Galactics are. There’s a thing you can do with a matryoshka cloud if you’re sufficiently annoyed with the neighbors: You just point all those communications lasers in the same direction and shout.
A. E. van Vogt, in Astounding
Last modified 2021-08-16 21:49:22
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.