Note: This page is protected from editing. The timeline has been retrieved from the official website of Alastair Reynolds, where it was published with a preface allowing it to be distributed but not amended. This preface and the timeline itself is repeated verbatim below. Note that article links have been added to the timeline, in the hopes that this does not count as amendment. The copy of the timeline article by Reynolds is included below, between the two horizontal lines, in the two sections with headings in italics. Beyond that is additional information related to the timeline that does not come from Reynolds' article (e.g. the rough chronology of series' works within the timeline). [1] [2]


The Revelation Space universe currently encompasses five novels and a cluster of short stories, of which all but "Monkey Suit" are collected in the books Galactic North and Diamond Dogs and Turquoise Days. There is no Bible or extensive set of background notes - I basically just make it up as I go along and rely on my own shaky recollection not to tie myself in knots. That said, I do have a timeline that I hope is not hideously inaccurate or riddled with dire inconsistency. Feel free to distribute but please do not amend in any way. [3] [4]


  • 2050 – 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.
  • 2155 – first Demarchist settlements around Jupiter. Great freeze sets in on Earth.
  • 2178Great 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.
  • 2191 – ceasefire in Conjoiner-Coalition war brokered by Sandra Voi.
  • 2191 – 2205; Conjoiner quarantine period.
  • 2205 – 2250; period of great expansion; numerous interstellar colonies established; recontact with surviving settlements from Amerikano era.
  • 2340Denizen uprising; fall of the Europan cities.
  • 2378 – Hostage crisis around Fand.
  • 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.
  • 2510Melding Plague afflicts Chasm City; effective end of Demarchist era.
  • 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.
  • 2615 – Clavain defects from the Conjoiners. Exploitation of grub technology, including inertia suppression machinery.
  • 2675 – departure of Nostalgia for Infinity from Ararat
  • 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.
  • 40000 – humans abandon host galaxy.

Timeline copyright Alastair Reynolds 2010

Chronology of stories

Much of the chronology of the individual Revelation Space stories can be inferred directly from the official timeline. However, due to many of the stories (especially the shorter works) not mentioning an explicit year or date, their position in the overall chronology is somewhat more vague. Nevertheless, some people have attempted to create a rough, but accurate chronology of the existing stories. Some attempts are listed below:

  • Revelation Space Timeline - by Charles Korb of the Charlie's Bookshelf blog, this fan timeline focused on the story chronology of the series, rather than a whole universe timeline [5]
    • I just finished the series and worked out a timeline - Korb sharing his story timeline article at the Revelation Space discussion forum on reddit [6]
    • the above story timeline by Korb is also the main basis for the chronological order section of the Stories category on this wiki (please see category link for further details)
  • Revelation Space wiki user and contributor "Mistermagoo2you" had noted in a discussion thread of the Comments section for this Timeline article, that we might be able to place the exact years in which the A Prefect Dreyfus Emergency spinoffs (set at the height of the Belle Epoque) take place in. [7]
    • Mistermagoo2you: The events in The Prefect occur about 2427 going by this timeline, based on a statement made by Aumonier to Dreyfus after Aumonier was restored to the position of "Supreme Prefect" by the actions of Dreyfus: "Fifty-five years ago, she thought. But the horror of the Eighty still burnt as brightly in the public imagination as at any time in the last half-century." [8]
    • Mistermagoo2you: 2427 is exacty confirmed in the second scene of Chapter 13 (on page 135, in my hardbound Ace hardcover edition from June 2008). Dreyfus informs another character "The year is two thousand, four hundred and twenty-seven." [9]
    • Elysium Fire (2018), the sequel novel to Aurora Rising / The Prefect (2007), is set some two years after the events of the first novel. As the first novel is set in 2427, this would set the sequel in 2429 or 2430, at the latest.
    • As the outbreak of the Melding Plague occured in 2510, there are at least eighty years of the Belle Epoque period remaining, between the events of Elysium Fire and the outbreak of the Plague that disfigured Chasm City and the Glitter Band.
  • One story in which the earlier events definitely occur between the events of the prefect Dreyfus novels and the events of Chasm City and the Inhibitor trilogy, is the novella Diamond Dogs (from the anthology Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days). When the novella's protagonists Swift and Childe meet in Chasm City, it is still a few years to a few decades before the outbreak of the Plague, with the novella's beginning set at least another half century after Elysium Fire.


  1. Revelation Space universe timeline at the official website of A. Reynolds
  2. Older A. Reynolds website with the Revelation Space universe timeline (archived link)
  3. Revelation Space universe preface at the official website of A. Reynolds
  4. Errata update: As of 2019, there is a total of 20 Revelation Space series stories: 6 novels, 2 novellas and 12 short stories (8 in Galactic North, 1 in Deep Navigation, 3 in other collections and online publications). Reynolds' original timeline article is almost 10 years old, so the preface is a little dated, as four new RS works had been written since 2010.
  5. Revelation Space Timeline, Charles Korb, Charlie's Bookshelf blog, 18 March 2018
  6. Korb's story timeline article shared on the RS discussion forum at reddit, 2018
  7. Revelation Space Wiki: "Timeline" article, see Comments
  8. Reynolds, Alastair (2008-06-03). The Prefect (Ace Science Fiction) (p. 312). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. " (page 312 of 502, Kindle Edition of "The Prefect")
  9. Reynolds, Alastair (2008-06-03). The Prefect (Ace Science Fiction) (p. 312).

See also

  • Revelation Space universe - Main article on the Revelation Space series' fictional setting.
  • Future history - Main category for articles on the history and chronology of the Revelation Space universe (this article is included).
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

External link

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