Timeline for the REVELATION SPACE universe

Here, in the spirit of similar exercises by messrs Heinlein, Niven, Baxter et al, is a provisional chronology for events alluded to in the books and stories set in the RS universe. A friendly word of warning: it is guaranteed to contain errors. To be honest, it would have a hard time not doing so, since the books themselves also contain a number of internal contradictions. Being human, I make mistakes: I lose notes, mis-read my own scribbled references and reminders. I make plot changes that reverberate through the story and sometimes, despite my best efforts, I forget that those changes affect other details. I also screw up trivial calculations, or make stupid physics blunders. I'm not proud of these things, but given that there are usually a million other issues that have to be fixed during the late stages of a novel, some things inevitably slip through the net. That's not to say that they are tolerated, like some known bug in a software product, but that - being so close to the text - one just doesn't see them until the dust has settled. Sometimes, they can be corrected at proof stage, or between typesetting versions of the book, but somebody usually has to draw my attention to them in the first place.

What all this boils down to is - have fun, by all means let me know if you find any errors, but don't take any of this too seriously. At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious: I made it up.

Al R

ps - I don't think this list contains any major spoilers for the books/stories - nothing worse than a typical book review would contain, at least, but if you are really worried about spoilers, you might want to give this a miss.


2040 - 2080: period of great expansion into the solar system. By 2069 twelve million people live off Earth; mainly around Earth and the Moon. Smaller settlements dotted around whole system, out to fringes of Kuiper Belt. Political fragmentation and social unrest follows massive breakthroughs in bio-sciences.

2081: increasingly violent police actions against rogue states lead to retaliatory actions; onset of war. Emergence of "chimeric" factions: heavily bio-engineered and cyborgized human splinter groups.

2083: ceasefire. Departure of flotilla of colony ships for 61 Cygni-A. At 1/8th of the speed of light, they will not arrive until the twenty-third century.

2090 - 2110: establishment of early colonies on a number of extrasolar planets via Von Neumann robots carrying fertilised human cells. Most such societies fail within two or three generations. End of so-called Amerikano era.

2110-2140: period of turmoil; solar system convulsed by more wars. Emergence of Demarchist states in 2141 signals new era of peace and prosperity. Solar luminosity begins to drop, heralding a new ice age on Earth.

2145 - Nevil Clavain born on Earth.

2155 - first Demarchist settlements around Jupiter. Great freeze sets in on Earth.

2161 - Sandra Voi leads first human expedition into Europa's ocean

2178 - Great Wall of Mars project begins. Unease at extreme neural experiments being conducted under Demarchist aegis leads to formation of the Earth-based Coalition for Neural Purity; a military pact of conservative states opposed to further technological or social innovation.

2182 - first phase of GWOM completed. Demarchists distance themselves from the more radical factions.

2190 - Experimenters on Mars initiate Transenlightenment. Birth of Conjoiner faction and immediate onset of Coalition-Conjoiner war.

2191 - ceasefire in Conjoiner-Coalition war brokered by Sandra Voi.

2191 - 2205; Conjoiner quarantine period.

2205 - Galiana's Conjoiners escape from Mars. First relativistic starship constructed and launched from Mars orbit.

2205 - 2250; period of great expansion; numerous interstellar colonies established; recontact with surviving settlements from Amerikano era.

2217 - Conjoiner expedition to Diadem. Discovery of Setterholm's Worms.

2338 - Bernsdottir discovers first Shroud. Scientific studies of Shrouds follow over next two centuries, until end of Demarchist era.

2340 - Denizen uprising; fall of the Europan cities.

2351 - Dan Sylveste born in Chasm City, Yellowstone.

2358 - Shiva-Parvati cordon crisis.

2372 - the Eighty.

2373 - Philip Lascaille's encounter with the Shroud in the Trans Tau Ceti sector.

2378 - Hostage crisis around Fand.

2405 - Departure of Sylveste expedition to Lascaille's Shroud.

2415 - Departure of Galiana and Clavain's expedition into deep space.

2441 - Return of Sylveste's expedition to Lascaille's Shroud.

2460 - Dan Sylveste vanishes from Yellowstone for 30 days.

2491 - departure of Resurgam expedition, largely sponsored by House Sylveste.

2510 - Melding Plague afflicts Chasm City; effective end of Demarchist era, although some elements of high-Demarchist culture remain intact in the hermetic enclaves of the Canopy and the former Glitter Band.

2517 - Tanner Mirabel arrives in Chasm City. The city is now undergoing a slow, painful process of reconstruction and readjustment, with the re-imposition of Canopy authority.

2524 - Ana Khouri arrives in Chasm City. The pre-Plague city is now a fading memory. With their economical status diminished, the remaining Demarchists begin to squabble amongst themselves. Anxious to disassociate themselves, their former allies the Conjoiners sever economic and political ties.

2541 - arrival of "Voice of Evening" around Turquoise.

2551 - outbreak of Conjoiner-Demarchist war around Yellowstone. Establishment of the Ferrisville Convention, an emergency regime with Draconian powers. Despite the war, and the imposition of stricter laws in and around Yellowstone, day-to-day life in the surface cities and the Rust Belt continues more or less unimpeded. Military actions tend to be concentrated away from centres of population, and civilian casualties are small compared to the mortalities from the Melding Plague.

2566 - abduction of Sylveste from Resurgam.

2567 - expedition into Cerberus/Hades artefact; death of Dan Sylveste.

2582 - Clavain's return from deep space.

2605 - Galiana's return from deep space. Still at war with the Demarchists, the Conjoiners obtain direct knowledge of the existence of the Inhibitors. This data shapes future policy and eventually leads to the schism within Conjoiner society.

2615 - Clavain defects from the Conjoiners. Exploitation of grub technology, including inertia suppression machinery.

2633 - Confrontation between Clavain and Volyova around Delta Pavonis

2651 - arrival of Nostalgia for Infinity around p Eridani system

2673 - Irravel Veda recloned from herself.

2675 - departure of Nostalgia for Infinity from Ararat

2650 - 2850 - events of the human-Inhibitor war.

2931 - meeting between Irravel Veda and representative of the Nestbuilder intelligence.

2950 - Emergence of the Green Wave. Systematic dismantling of many solar systems.

3354 - Irravel Veda buries Mirsky in interstellar space.

4161 - Irravel Veda in the Subaru Commonwealth.

40000 - humans abandon host galaxy.