Hello! Screw introductory posts, let's get to the meat!
Uplifts in Eclipse Phase seem to suffer a little of the same prejudices as they do in-setting. They're often written off as weird little people in fursuits but no different than some Barsoomian or Brinker. And with apes and even birds, this may be true. But the lonely Octomorph, that most beautiful of the Uplifts, that most graceful of space-farers, he's smart, he's talented, but so little is devoted to his nature in the published materials.
To start with, there's the question of WHO got uplifted. There are only one or two species within each of the uplifted Primate categories (orangutans, chimps, gorillas), there's a couple of dozen Corvid or Psittacid species at the outside. There's over 100 species within the genus Octopus alone, never mind the two families that comprise Octopodidae. One suspects the Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is either the firstest or the mostest, given how big it is and transhumanity's typical focus on charismatic megafauna, but there could potentially be more lines of FLAT octomorph uplifts out there than there are human morphs!
Baseline octopodes have NO auditory capability. Sound and hearing is as alien to them as the input from a fish's lateral line would be alien to a human flat. When uplifting birds and apes and dogs and kitties, you've got an animal that can not only already connect specific sounds to specific emotional states, but, more importantly, understands sound at all. We must assume that the brilliant men who uplifted the Octomorph gave them hearing, since they were adapted to speak, but millions of years of deafness isn't so easily thrown off in a mere transhuman lifetime. Music? Meh. Conversation? Meh. Do Octomorphs prefer visually-based, computer-facilitated communication - is there an octomorph equivalent of pre-Fall humanity's "deaf culture"?
Octopodes have an autonomic response that keeps their eyes oriented horizontally at all times - handy for free fall situations! One hopes the uplifting teams left the organs responsible for that on. On the other hand, a baseline Octopode's arms are semi-autonomous, with complex cortical structures with no direct neurofeedback connection to the brain. Octopodes have essentially no proprioperception! The only way an octopus can tell exactly what its limbs did upon the brain issuing a command is to LOOK AT THEM. They can tell when an arm is stretched, they can generally determine the individual textures of an object they're holding, but they have no way of determining the shape of handled objects by touch alone. The problem is that an octopus flat’s brain simply could not handle the cortical processing to handle all eight limbs with their wildly more flexible range of motion with the same degree of micromanagement that humans and avians devote to their limbs. With genetic engineering and computer enhancement, this problem could be solved – but has it? It would explain why Octomorphs don’t come with seven levels of Ambidexterity built into their base morph, wouldn’t it? Since Octomorphs are already used to their bodies operating semi-remotely, do they prefer this method when operating synths? Do Octomorphs "rig" in the Shadowrun sense, rather than outright resleeving like Transhumanity? Do they deal better, or worse, with strains of exsurgent virus wherein body and mind are increasingly divorced?
I eagerly anticipate the Eclipse Phase sourcebook on the outer solar system, as the Europan ocean and autonomist habs seem the most likely sources that will go towards answering my questions on Octomorphs.
Tell me, O Octopus, I begs
Is those things arms, or is they legs?
I marvel at thee, Octopus;
If I were thou, I'd call me Us.
-- Ogden Nash