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In the fictional Orion's Arm universe, a barrier B exists to intelligence amplification and recursive self-improvement such that given any entity T, T is so intelligent that they have totally advanced beyond the human or equivalent sapient condition if and only if T has exceeded B. Given any entity E, E is transapient if and only if it has exceeded B. They represent an intermediate ranking between ordinary sophont and archailect.

Their origins are diverse; they include posthumans or other ascended biological beings, ascended cyborgs, ascended vecs (sophont robots), aliens, AIs, or other beings, remotes or agents of archailects, offspring of other transapients, or any combination of any of these or more. They may be human-like, or so alien as to be beyond human understanding. Some interact directly or through proxies in the affairs of ordinary sophonts, others choose to ascend to the rank of, or be incorporated in, higher toposophic beings.


The concept of Transapient presented here is directly based on transhumanist ideas regarding posthumans, and what it might mean to be posthuman and ascend past the singularity to the posthuman condition. The term "transapient" was chosen because it is more generic than "posthuman", and more precise than the alternative term of "powers" coined by Vernor Vinge.