Part of the Traveller Role-Playing Game is dealing with alien races. So, as a game master for the Traveller Adventures back in the 1980’s, I had the opportunity to create alien races of my own. Truthfully, the alien Telleron race that I created for the novel Catch a Falling Star already existed in my cartoons and fiction stories before I began playing the role-playing game. The Nebulon Race, however, was invented entirely for the game. Only later did they become a part of my fiction.
So, what are Nebulons? Gyro Sinjarac on the left in the picture is an example from Aeroquest of a Nebulon. They are aliens who are human in every respect except for their blue skin. Interestingly they can even successfully interbreed with Earther humans. This is apparently due to either the evolution of Nebulons from Earther explorers, or, more likely, the galaxy being seeded with Earth humans and Earther DNA by the mysterious alien race known only as “the Ancients”. What is not debatable is that Nebulons have unique skin. The blue skin with high levels of natural copper sulfate in it has evolved as a protection from interstellar nebula radiation. No one who has learned their language and studied their culture has ever identified a planet of origin. Instead, the Nebulons have been a space-born race since humans first encountered them, travelling in their symbiotic space-whale space cruisers. They are a mysterious deep-space race of alien beings who use organic symbiotes, in other words, living creatures, as their pervasive technology.
Junior Aero makes an excellent example to use to explain what Nebulons are. You can see by this picture that not only does he possess the Nebulon blue skin, but also the bright yellow hair, the red heat-transfer cheek organs, and the small stature that makes them easily satirized as “Space Smurfs” in honor of Peyo’s beloved blue comic characters.
The Nebulons as a race are often cited as evidence of the evolutionary trend of intelligent races towards neoteny, the retention of childlike features into maturity and adulthood. Even the oldest and the most physically fit of the adult Nebulon population resemble children and young teenagers rather than Arnold-Schwarzenegger-like humans. But believing them to be soft and weak like children is a mistake that often yields tragedy for those who contend against them, especially in battle. The Nebulons have often fought in space wars like the 5th Unification War, both for and against the human-led Imperium.
But the Nebulons are not automatically at odds with humanoid races in any way. They are generally happy in demeanor and temperament, easily befriending other races, even the snake-eyed Galtorrian humans that tend to dominate the Imperium. They seem to be particularly fond of Pan-Galactican Space Cowboys, having helped them during the border conflicts with the mysterious race known as the Faceless Horde.
So, there is a glop of information about an alien race from my science-fiction comedy writing that you can sort out as you like, and can probably learn from as a science fiction writer yourself. They are probably an excellent example of what not to do when creating a science-fiction-style alien race of your own.