About the Project

If you like plausible aliens, otherworldly landscapes, and human perspectives, then you’re in the right place.

Ilion is a planet I’ve constructed and populated with lifeforms of my own design. See my thread on Speculative Evolution for an idea of what this entails. There are a lot of great projects on that site to delve into if you’re interested in that sort of thing, and you’ll learn a lot about evolutionary biology along the way.

Travelogue chronicles the first two missions to Ilion, told entirely in journal entries and other primary source documents, and illustrated with drawings, paintings, and dioramas. It is a work in progress – entries and illustrations may be added or removed at any time as I flesh out the world, develop the characters and stories, and improve my art skills. When finished, Travelogue will be a trilogy of three novellas. The first two are online, while the third is still in the early drafting phase.

Aeneid I covers the first mission to the continent of Aeneas, framed as news articles.

Helen of Troy features images and reports from an unmanned mission that seeded Ilion with over a hundred probes, rovers, submersibles, and planes.

planet gray banner
About the Author

I am Emily Holland, a lab technician who indulges in art, music, and writing on the side. I work in every medium except colored pencils. I never quite got the hang of those.

Rhinoceros Beetle, 2009


I draw inspiration from the works of Wayne Barlowe, Anne McCaffrey, NASA, C.M. Kosemen, Nintendo, Earth, and more.

And most of all:

A Shameless Plug for my Dad

Pescadery Creek by Denny Holland

Pescadero Creek, 2011

Denny Holland is a professional artist and teacher of interior design. Check out his work:



9 Responses to About

  1. eura39 says:

    I am also a person that does speculative evolution on word press. Could you give me some tips and tricks and also check my speculative evolution project. https://wordpress.com/view/euradotblog.wordpress.com You blog is really fantastic and I really want to try and be as good as you.

    • Thank you! At first glance I would suggest building a landing page for your website, introducing the basics of your world and its life. The first bit of content I read when I visit the front page is “The desert tripods are in the X- Otian Group.” This means nothing to me since I have no image of what tripods look like or what an X-Otian is. I would look to Project Nereus (https://sites.google.com/site/projectnereus/home) for a simple way to organize and present information for a new visitor. You can also use the wiki method of linking to higher level clades within species descriptions. For instance, I could click on X-Otian Group and quickly read what that means before moving on to the details.

      You may also want to replace “this is an amazing spec bio project” with something quick and informative, maybe telling us that this is a galactic-scale xenobiology project, which we wouldn’t know until reaching the second entry on the page.

      It looks like you have a ton of content already and some great ideas. Have you visited the speculative evolution forums? People are very helpful and honest there and it’s a good way to get your work seen by others in the hobby.

      PS, your link brings me to my page not yours :)

  2. Alison says:

    I’m so excited I found this site! I’ve been reading every page slowly for a few days and having a great time! I love all of your art in different media.

    If you ever make this into a book I would definitely buy a copy.

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