Revelation Space Wiki

The Revelation Space universe (RSU) is the moniker traditionally given to the setting of Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space series. The Revelation Space fictional universe depicts a fictional future history of humanity, within the trappings of a "space opera" milieu.

The series chronicles gradual human exploration and settlement of the Solar System and nearby interstellar space, as well as the technological, political and social turmoil and complexity involved in the process. Most works set in the RS universe span a timeframe from the late 22nd century to the 27th century, i.e. within the later parts of the third millennium, but some of the furthest dates explored in the series go as far as ca 40 000 AD.

History and chronology of the Revelation Space universe

Main article: Timeline

Please see the main article for more detailed information on the fictional universe's timeline of events and developments.

Lifeforms of the Revelation Space universe

Works set in the Revelation Space universe

1.) RS works by sub-series and by cast

Works set in the universe, based on which thematic subset of stories and cast of characters they focus. Some are standalone short stories and novels, others are varyingly interconnected with tighter and deeper continuity.

1.1 Novels

Arranged in chronological order.

A Prefect Dreyfus Emergency series
Description: A spinoff novel series, set on Demarchist Yellowstone and its surroundings in the 25th century, at the height of the Belle Epoque, several decades before the outbreak of the Melding Plague. Written in the manner of a police procedural or crime fiction, the series focuses on a team of Panoply law enforcement officers, known as prefects. The leader of the team is prefect Tom Dreyfus, an experienced inspector of the Panoply.

Chasm City
Description: A standalone novel, with Yellowstone and Chasm City as its main setting. The novel also provides insight into the history, nature and society of the planet Sky's Edge (in the system). The storyline of Chasm City focuses on the quest of an antiheroic protagonist from Sky's Edge, with Yellowstone as his destination. What at first seems like a straightforward vow of avenging the killer of his close friends becomes a more complex story about individual identity and historical memory.

Inhibitor trilogy series
Description: The original and primary novel series of the setting, the trilogy follows an evolving cast of characters, as their adventures and ultimate fates intertwine with the lighthugger starship Nostalgia for Infinity. Mysteries pertaining to the Fermi paradox are slowly uncovered, revealing unsettling new knowledge about the nature of intelligent life in the galaxy, and the far-reaching consequences for all of humanity. The trilogy is set in a greater number of planetary systems and planets.

1.2 Anthologies

These are mostly short stories and novellas providing side-stories or further insights into the universe. Arranged in roughly chronological order.

a.) Main overview

Galactic North (2006)
Description: A collection of short stories from the Revelation Space universe, from its earliest explored eras, to some of the most far-future periods seen in the setting to date. Most of the stories are standalone, but some have continuity with each other, or the novels and novellas set in the same universe. Three of the short stories were first published in this anthology, five others had previously first appeared in science fiction magazines (Interzone, Spectrum SF).

Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days (2003)
Description: A collection of two novellas from the Revelation Space universe, both first published in this anthology. Diamond Dogs is about a private reconaissance expedition to a mysterious structure on a wasteland planet, Turquoise Days tells the story of an isolated colony on an oceanic planet with an abundant presence of Pattern Jugglers.

Other anthologies or published in magazines
Description: Other anthologies that have featured Reynolds' short stories and novellas from the Revelation Space universe, but were not focused solely on that setting.

b.) Standalone short stories and novellas (overview)

This list focuses on stories that don't have deeper continuity ties.

c.) Loosely-connected short stories and novellas (overview)

Some short stories and novellas that share characters and continuty (listed chronologically):

There are three short stories that can provide further insight into the events and character backstories of the Inhibitor trilogy novels:

  • The Great Wall of Mars and Glacial focus on the earlier personal history and adventures of Nevil Clavain, Galiana and Felka, who become major characters in the trilogy, starting with the second novel, Redemption Ark.
  • The events of the short story Galactic North partly overlap with the (particularly latter) events of the Inhibitor trilogy, especially those detailed in Absolution Gap.

It is not necessary to read the above three stories to complement the main novel trilogy, but they do add more clarification to the events, characters and situations.

2.) RS works by chronology

Some of the stories don't have strict information on the dates and years the occur in, but can be inferred by the events and situtations described.

Please also see the Timeline article, for more information on the chronology of the universe and how the individual stories fit into it.


See the following articles for more detailed information.

Behind the scenes

This section offers information on the development of the fictional universe from an author's and publishing perspective.

Development history

To be added soon


To be added soon

See also

External links

Revelation Space series
A Prefect Dreyfus Emergency
(crime fiction series, 2007-present)
Aurora Rising (2007) | Open and Shut (short story midquel, 2018) | Elysium Fire (2018)
Chasm City
(standalone novel, 2001)
Inhibitor trilogy
(main novel series, 2000-2003)
Revelation Space (2000) | Redemption Ark (2002) | Absolution Gap (2003)

Galactic North
(2006, short stories)
Great Wall of Mars | Glacial | A Spy in Europa | Weather
Dilation Sleep | Grafenwalder's Bestiary | Nightingale | Galactic North
Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days
(2003, novellas)
Diamond Dogs | Turquoise Days
Other anthologies
Deep Navigation (2010) - Monkey Suit (2009)
Beyond the Aquila Rift (2016) - The Last Log of the Lachrimosa (2014)
Infinite Stars (2017) - Night Passage (2017)

Subterranean Press Magazine (2014, summer issue) - The Last Log of the Lachrimosa (2014)
Gollancz / Hachette UK (2018) - Open and Shut (2018)

Revelation Space universe | Alastair Reynolds | Websites
Cultural and scientific references | Adaptations | Translations
Book cover art | Fan art