List of Revelation Space locations

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These locations, listed in order of their distance from Earth, appear in the novels and stories of Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space universe.

First System[edit]

Another term for the Solar System.

  • Earth, our home planet, around which humans begin building orbital habitats in the year 2050.
    • The Moon, Earth's natural satellite. By 2069 twelve million people are living either here or on man-made satellites.
  • Mars, the fourth planet of the Solar System, where the Conjoiners first arise and develop their unique attributes, and where other factions led by Nevil Clavain wage war against them, and where Clavain later joins them. It is later colonised by baseline humanity.
    • Phobos, the nearer of Mars's moons, the interior of which the Conjoiners hollow out to use as a shipyard and source of raw material for building the first lighthugger, which they would use to escape the Solar System.
  • Jupiter, the fifth planet outward from the Sun. In 2155 humans begin building settlements on Jupiter's moons.
    • Europa, one of the larger moons of Jupiter, where the Demarchists first rose to become one of humanity's most advanced societies, living in cities hanging from the bottom of the moon's icy crust, at the top of the subterranean ocean. The hanging cities of Europa were later destroyed.

Lalande 21185 system[edit]

A star 8.3 light-years from Earth.

  • Zion, a planet about which little is known, save for the fact that contact with it is lost during the Human-Inhibitor war.

Ross 248 system[edit]

A star 10.3 light-years from Earth.

  • Diadem, the first of many planets outside of the Solar System to be explored by the Conjoiners. This icy planet was colonized by Americans approximately 100 years before the Conjoiner explorers arrived. The Americans sent self-replicating robots to Diadem with frozen human embryos (since transporting living humans across space was not yet possible at that time). However, after building the colony and raising the embryos, the robots were destroyed by the resulting humans because it was believed that the robots were "holding them back" and "mollycoddling" them. Subsequently, the colony collapsed apparently because of the spread of a psychological disorder that slowly killed the human colonists. However, as it turned out, the collapse of the colony was all part of a plan by Martin Setterholm, an American scientist who spent his life studying a species of worm that lived in the Diadem ice. During his studies he discovered that the worms left chemical traces wherever they went in the ice, leading him to theorize that the planet was a sentient being, which used the worms in a similar way that the human brain uses electro-chemical impulses. Setterholm gradually poisoned the rest of the population to stop the colony from using the habitat of the worms, the ice, as fuel for the main fusion reactor. He then assumed the identity of Iverson, another colonist. However, 100 years later (after being unfrozen from a makeshift cryonic chamber by the Conjoiners), his deception was discovered and he was brought to justice by Nevil Clavain.

Epsilon Eridani system[edit]

Epsilon Eridani is a K2 star 10.5 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation Eridanus.

Yellowstone[edit]

A planet originally settled by Americans the same way as Diadem, the colony failed in what appears to be similarly murderous manner. Re-settled by Demarchists a century later, Yellowstone is a pinnacle of human civilisation from approximately 2350 until 2510. By the time of the bulk of the Revelation Space works this planet has been devastated by the Melding Plague. As a result, the remnants of the Glitter Band are then referred to as the Rust Belt. Reynolds's 2007 novel The Prefect is set around Yellowstone and the Glitter Band during their prime, about 100 years before the events of Chasm City. At this point, it was the home of the Yellowstone Demarchy. Human civilisation on and around Yellowstone was destroyed by the Inhibitors in 2698.

Glitter Band / Rust Belt[edit]

A conglomeration of 10,000 exquisitely unique orbital habitats around Yellowstone. One of the most famous locations in human history, it was the home to billions of people from across the galaxy. It was also a place of cultural, philosophical and physical diversity and a central hub of business and trade in human space. In regards to its socio-political organization and importance in the fields mentioned previously, the Glitter Band strongly resembles Classical Greece. The Glitter Band was destroyed by the Melding Plague. The plague made the nanotechnology that many of the habitats relied on mutate out of human control and this subsequently caused some of the more susceptible habitats to break apart or explode. This caused a lethal chain reaction; because with each habitat that was destroyed the chances of debris hitting and destroying other habitats was greatly increased (scenario known as Kessler Syndrome, familiarized by the movie Gravity). Even if the debris did not destroy the habitats immediately, they all invariably were tainted with traces of the plague. By the time the plague had passed, only a hundred of the most heavily fortified and secure habitats remained. The place became known as the Rust Belt, because of the hundreds of dead or destroyed habitats remaining in orbit. After the plague, the Rust Belt became more secure, as it was slowly cleaned up and decontaminated of any residual plague elements. A space-based economy eventually reasserted itself, although it never achieved its former greatness.

Chasm City[edit]

The largest settlement on Yellowstone. When the Amerikanos originally settled the system by robot, the location of Chasm City (a huge crater spewing unusual gases) was spotted. The crater and gases help to provide a breathable atmosphere for the city that is contained underneath 18 huge biodomes known collectively as "The Mosquito Net". Chasm City became one of humanity's greatest achievements as the Demarchists presided over a golden age known as the Belle Epoque. During this time, the city itself and the planet's orbiting habitat system (The Glitter Band) became a humanity-wide byword for opulence, luxury and success. This all changed however, with the onset of The Melding plague. As the buildings, implants and technology that ran Chasm City were disrupted and ran amok, the city in its current state was effectively destroyed along with its golden age. Humanity survived though, falling back onto long abandoned technology such as steam power, and the city stratified itself into two layers: The Mulch, and The Canopy. The Mulch is a shanty town at street level where the melding plague remained rife (possibly still existent), and The Canopy being a relatively modern retreat in the topmost stratum, where the rich cling to their technologically enabled lifestyle with the remnants of their nanotechnology.

Monument to the Eighty[edit]

In Chasm City, commemorating the self-sacrifice of eighty volunteers of a scientific experiment led by the character Calvin Sylveste (who was one of the eighty himself). The goal of the experiment was to map the complete neural structure of the human brain into a computer, making the computer a host for the mind in question. This would preserve the mind and memories, while the scanned person would be run as a simulation. The volunteers died as a result of the "brain-scanning" and many of the simulations crashed shortly after, hence a monument was built in their honour.

Tangerine Dream[edit]

The largest planet in the Yellowstone system, a supergiant. Antoinette Bax disposes of her father's body in its atmosphere and first meets Clavain during the act. (This may correspond with the real life extrasolar planet candidate Epsilon Eridani b, which masses between 0.9 and 1.5 that of Jupiter.)

Lacaille 9352 system[edit]

A star about 10.7 light-years from Earth.

  • Fand, home of the "Screech Mat," an organism briefly referenced in Galactic North.

61 Cygni system[edit]

A star about 11.5 light-years from Earth.

  • Sky's Edge, home to the Hamadryads. The ecology of Sky's Edge is superficially Earth-like, as it includes recognisable plants and animals, but it is said to be metabolically incompatible with Earth flora and fauna, causing fatal anaphylactic shock in any creature or person who tries to consume it. The planet's history is described in the book Chasm City.
In the Revelation Space universe, Sky's Edge is the only planet to be settled by a generation ship. Before the invention of lighthugger ships, a flotilla of five generation ships (Santiago, Brasilia, Islamabad, Palestine and Baghdad) travelling at eight percent of light speed was deployed from Earth to the 61 Cygni system, each with 150 waking crew and just over one thousand cryogenically frozen colonists (known to the crew as momios, as a Spanish-based calque of the word mummies). The planet was originally referred to as "Journey's End". During the course of the journey, Sky Haussmann, as captain of the Santiago, alienated the other ships by jettisoning most of his frozen passengers, which reduced the mass of the Santiago, giving it an edge over the other ships and allowing it to arrive at Journey's End first. The colonists of the Santiago claimed the most desirable land, which was in the southern part of "The Peninsula". A few months later, the two other surviving ships (Brasilia and Baghdad) arrived, with those colonists settling in the North. These settlers began referring to the planet as "Sky's Edge". Their hostilities against the South escalated into war, and Sky was eventually crucified for his crimes (although in actuality, he had a stand-in crucified, whilst he escaped).
Sky's Edge is described as relatively backwards compared with some human worlds, as it possesses little in the way of high technology, and few can afford things such as the immortality treatments readily available elsewhere in colonised space. The perpetual war raging on Sky's Edge is the reason for this: the planet apparently exports little but a few biological products harvested from its extensive jungles, due to its industries being devoted to the war. Trading ships only stop by about once a decade, usually after being snubbed by traders in more lucrative markets. The people of Sky's Edge rarely buy anything but weapons from the Ultra traders. Only Nueva Valparaiso has remained relatively unscathed by the war, because it is the site of a space elevator. This is run by the cult of Sky Haussmann, and is destroyed during the events of Chasm City. The war apparently lasted until not long before the human population of Sky's Edge was destroyed by the Inhibitors. The short story "Nightingale" takes place several decades after Chasm City, and only few years after centuries-long war came to an end.

Gliese 664 system[edit]

A K5V (variable star), 19.4 light years from Earth.

  • Chaloupek, a human colony, visited by the lighthugger Gnostic Ascension before it proceeded on to the 107 Piscium system. Subsequently visited by the lighthugger Faint Memory of Hokusai.
  • Opinicus, another of the terrestrial planets in the system (there are two more unnamed).
  • Haurient, a gas giant with a large contigent of moons.

Gliese 687 system[edit]

A star about 15 light-years from Earth.

Groombridge 1618 system[edit]

A star about 16 light-years from Earth.

  • Turquoise, a planet of the Pattern Jugglers. It was the home of a primitive human civilization (by the standards of Revelation Space) that was almost entirely cut off from the rest of humanity. The novella Turquoise Days focuses on the fall of this civilization.

Delta Pavonis system[edit]

A star about 20 light-years from Earth.

  • Resurgam, a desert planet orbiting Delta Pavonis with buried artefacts from a now-extinct avian alien race known as the Amarantin (who later were discovered to be the ancestors of the Shrouders). It was colonised by an expedition led by Dan Sylveste to uncover the remains of this species and to shed some insight into the lack of space-faring sentience in the galaxy.
  • Hades, formerly a typical neutron star near Resurgam, orbiting as a distant twin to Delta Pavonis, which was converted into an enormous neutron computer.
    • Cerberus, an artificial planet orbiting Hades.
  • Roc, a gas giant harvested of its rocky core to form a machine turning Delta Pavonis into a giant 'flamethrower' to destroy Resurgam.

107 Piscium system[edit]

A star about 24 light-years from Earth.

  • Haldora, initially assumed to be a Gas giant planet orbiting 107 Piscium, was later discovered to be a mechanical connection device between the local universe and either an adjacent one or a very distant locale within the local universe, which was disguised through a faltering projection system.
    • Hela, a natural satellite of Haldora. Controlled by a theocracy which used viruses to induce religious faith. Hela is of central importance to the events of Absolution Gap, which deal with, amongst other things, the search for the mysterious "Shadows" believed to be in the proximity of Hela and capable of defeating the Inhibitors.

p Eridani system[edit]

A star about 25 light-years from Earth.

  • Ararat, a planet of the Pattern Jugglers. The refugees from the Resurgam colony and Clavain's expedition retreat to Ararat to await Remontoire. It is here that Felka is presumably absorbed by the Pattern Jugglers.

Kruger 60 system[edit]

A binary star system, about 13 light-years from Earth. Both are red dwarf stars.

  • Bloater, a planet around Kruger 60A, was the port-of-call for the lighthugger Nostalgia for Infinity before leaving for Yellowstone, as it searched for Dan Sylveste.

Tau Ceti[edit]

A sun-like star, about 12 light-years from Earth.

  • Parsifal, a planet with multiple moons.
    • Pygmalion, a moon of Parsifal, with a human colony. Home to Trollhattan, a widely-renowned glass-blowing artist.

Planets in unspecified systems[edit]

  • Grand Teton, briefly referenced in several books as being one of the larger Demarchies, and a "nice" place to live. Home of the "Slime Scraper", a species of organism native to the planet.
  • Shiva-Parvati, mentioned in Redemption Ark, when Ilia is talking to Captain John Brannigan of the Nostalgia for Infinity about possible targets for the Inhibitors.
  • Spindrift, a planet of the Pattern Jugglers. Dan Sylveste visits this planet to obtain the necessary information to enter the Shrouder enclaves. He succeeds in doing so, but inside the Shrouds he is infected by the Sun Stealer.
  • Zastruga, mentioned in Redemption Ark, when Ilia is talking to Captain John Brannigan of the Nostalgia for Infinity.

See also[edit]