Skyjacks were a human/humanoid faction similar to Ultras in that they spent most of their time in ships. Skyjacks were comet and asteroid miners who presumably keep an eye out for salvage and other items of interest. Skyjacks were known to tether themselves to unclaimed comets and drill test bores. They seemed to favour orbital habitats or bases derived from asteroids as their main settlements.

While technologically sharing a similar mindset to the Ultranauts, the Skyjacks were socially more similar to Conjoiners. They were highly reclusive and liked to keep to themselves. They had an approach even more isolationist than that of the Conjoiners and the other major factions of humanity. They mingled little with the other three factions, outside of trade, contracted work and other economic interests.

While visiting an orbital habitat around Yellowstone, Ilia Volyova noticed some Skyjacks present among the locals and visiting Ultras:

Ultras, of course, were not the only spacegoing faction spawned by humanity. Skyjacks -- at least here -- made up a significant portion of the others she saw. They were spacedwellers to be sure, but they did not crew interstellar ships and so their outlook was very different to the wraithlike Ultras, with their dreadlocks and old-fashioned expressions. There were others still. Icecombers were a Skyjack offshoot; psychomodified for the extreme solitude which came from working the Kuiper belt zones, and they kept themselves to themselves with ferocious dedication. Gillies were aquatically modified humans who breathed liquid air; capable of crewing short-range, high-gee ships: they constituted a sizeable fraction of the system's police force. Some gillies were so incapable of normal respiration and locomotion that they had to move around in huge robotic fishtanks when not on duty.
- excerpt from chapter Four of Revelation Space

Volyova's remarks seem to point to there being at least several characteristic subtypes of Skyjacks. The faction's members were also noted to include chimerics, similarly to some Ultranaut crews.

Skyjacks are noted to have aided in the construction of some Glitter Band (later Rust Belt) habitats around Yellowstone:

Habitats came in all shapes and sizes even before they began to suffer age, sabotage and collision. Some were enormous air-filled cylinders or spheres, adorned with mirrors and delicate gold sunshades. Others had been constructed on small asteroids or comet fragments, eased into orbit around Yellowstone by armies of Skyjacks. Sometimes the habitats wormed deep within these solid foundations, transforming their rocky hearts into a confusion of vertiginous plazas and air-filled public spaces.
- excerpt from chapter Seven of Redemption Ark

There was a continued Skyjack presence somewhere in the vicinity of Yellowstone or its system, and Skyjack enclaves were a local feature. During the wars with the local Conjoiner Mother Nest in the system, the Skyjacks formed a loose alliance with the Banshees, various groups of hyperpig bandits "and other systemwide ne’er-do-wells" to fend off the Conjoiners or reconquer areas recently claimed by Conjoiners.

Notable Skyjack characters Edit

An unnamed Skyjack was the architect of the glass bridge that spans an immense gap. After the bridge was destroyed a video message of the Skyjack was transmitted across the moon, Hela, lamenting the loss of the bridge.

Trollhattan, a master glassblower famous for incredibly intricate room-size glass creations, some so delicate that they could not support themselves even in the weaker gravity of a moon, was a Skyjack.

Appearances Edit

RS Glossary entry Edit

Skyjacks: Cyborgised outer solar-system miners known for their intense isolationism.
- description from the official RS glossary [1]

Notes Edit

  • Reynolds makes only a few references to Skyjacks in his novels, and thus Skyjacks are one of the least explored factions in the Revelation Space Universe.
  • The name appears to be derived from 'steeplejack,' craftsmen who use scaffolding and pulleys to scale and repair buildings.
  • Trollhattan was the only Skyjack ever mentioned by name. His limbs were robotic, like those of many Ultras, but it is not clear just how common such augmentations are among Skyjacks.

References Edit

  1. Revelation Space universe - RS Glossary - S,, the official website of Alastair Reynolds
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