History Literature / XeeleeSequence

13th Apr '17 6:47:14 AM HTD
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* EldritchAbomination: The Xeelee are creatures made of the raw fabric of the universe twisted into arcane forms that lived and forged long forgotten civilisations in the first billionth of a second of the universe's existence and have watched the passing of aeons. They were here when the primal forces diverged from each other, when the universe shifted from an opaque plasma soup to a transparent world of blackness and stars, when civilisations cried out against the first birth of the atom.



* HumansThroughAlienEyes: Half of ''The Sun-People'' is told from the point of view of an unidentified alien whose homeworld is first visited by the humans during the story. The alien refers to humans as the 'Sun-people', bizarre, otherworldly and seemingly destructive creatures that ultimately turn out to be benevolent.

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* HumansThroughAlienEyes: Half of ''The Sun-People'' is told from the point of view of an unidentified a Toolmaker alien whose homeworld is first visited by the humans during the story. The alien refers to humans as the 'Sun-people', bizarre, otherworldly and seemingly destructive creatures that ultimately turn out to be benevolent.


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* StarKilling: The Xeelee starbreaker gun is aptly named indeed. This is also the goal of the photino birds, who seek to turn all stars in the universe into white dwarfs.


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* YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm: In some interviews when asked about it, Baxter says any human attempts to comprehend Xeelee 'culture' and 'society' would be equal as an ant somewhere in Africa trying to comprehend workings and behaviour of the UN.
31st Mar '17 10:35:28 PM HTD
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* ArchEnemy: The Xeelee and the photino birds are at irreconcilable odds because each species is fundamentally seeking to threaten the ideal habitat of the other. Seemingly as a unified species, the Xeelee have concerned themselves with defeating the photino birds for almost the entire history of the universe.


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* CoolGate: Bolder's Ring is a [[spoiler:portal to other universes, meant to provide an escape for the Xeelee and other baryonic species if the universe was destroyed]].


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* TheRemnant: After each universal mass extinction, small enclaves of the survivors would survive in one manner or another, witnessing the universe becoming progressively colder and slower.
23rd Feb '17 4:56:10 AM HTD
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* ''Xeelee: Vengeance'' (upcoming short story collection)



* AlienSea: On the Core of Cores, there are oceans of some quasi-liquid material, thick and red as blood; they lap at lands that thrust above the general spherical surface.



** To the tiny {{Artificial Human}}s that inhabit the neutron star in which ''Flux'' takes place: 'Air' is the neutron superfluid in which they live; 'plants' and 'animals' are, respectively, the sessile and mobile indigenous lifeforms of the star (the 'plants' are in turn divided into 'trees' and 'grasses'); 'wood' is the building material made from the 'trees'; 'leaves' are the edible appendages of the 'trees'; 'wheat' is the 'grass' cultivated for food ('bread'); 'Air-pigs' are the main 'animals' used as livestock; 'Air-boars' are the savage cousins of the Air-pigs; and there are also 'animals' called 'spin-spiders' and 'rays'.
** The Squeem and the Titan fauna are sometimes described as 'fish', 'spiders', 'birds' or 'lilies', despite being aliens that only physically resemble these animals and plants.

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** The term 'photino bird' is one, as these creatures are obviously not birds, or even matter at all.
** To the tiny {{Artificial Human}}s Starfolk that inhabit the neutron star in which ''Flux'' takes place: 'Air' is the neutron superfluid in which they live; 'plants' and 'animals' are, respectively, the sessile and mobile indigenous lifeforms of the star (the 'plants' are in turn divided into 'trees' and 'grasses'); 'wood' is the building material made from the 'trees'; 'leaves' are the edible appendages of the 'trees'; 'wheat' is the 'grass' cultivated for food ('bread'); 'Air-pigs' are the main 'animals' used as livestock; 'Air-boars' are the savage cousins of the Air-pigs; and there are also 'animals' called 'spin-spiders' and 'rays'.
** The Squeem and Squeem, the Titan fauna and the lifeforms of Beta are sometimes described as 'fish', 'spiders', 'birds' 'birds', 'whales', 'trees' or 'lilies', despite being aliens that only physically resemble these animals and plants.



* CombatClairvoyance: The Integrality's Adepts have a limited precognitive ability. They could see a few minutes, or less, into the future, and only aspects of it that concerned their own surroundings – their own destiny. That few minutes' edge made them formidable soldiers, enough to let them get out of the way of the next bullet.



* DysonSphere: The setting of ''The Lakes of Light'' is a star encased wholly by a sphere made up of Xeelee construction material.

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* DysonSphere: The setting of ''The Lakes of Light'' is a star encased wholly by a sphere made up of Xeelee construction material. During the Xeelee Scourge, the Xeelee take care of the human vermin by encasing their star systems within such spheres.


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* HeavyWorlder: The human colonists on the Rustball evolved a squat, short body plan with thick, powerful limbs to adapt to their new home's strong gravity.


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* TheMultiverse: The universe floats in a greater space, called the Bulk, of many extra dimensions. There are many universes floating parallel to each other in the Bulk, like pages in a book. These other universes can be reached through engineering, like wormholes.


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* ThirdEye: The space whales of Beta have a total of three eyes.


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** Each chapter of ''The Venus Generations'' take place a century after the previous one.


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* {{Transhuman}}: The various species of Weaponised, modified from humans by scientists of the Integrality.
22nd Feb '17 3:14:26 AM HTD
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** The Snowflake is a regular tetrahedron built around the remains of a black dwarf. It measures over ten million miles along its edges. How it maintains its structure in the gravity well of the star remains unknown. While possessing about the same mass as the Earth, it has been puffed out like candy-floss, filled with struts, threads and whiskers of iron, like delicate scaffolding. It has a fractal architecture with the tetrahedron motif, repeated again and again, on all scales. [[spoiler:It is actually a gigantic computer created by the Snowmen to record anything in the universe up to the quantum level]].



* TheBlacksmith: [[Myth/KingArthur The wizard Merlin]], here known under his Welsh name Myrddin, is depicted in ''Coalescent'' as an iron-making genius.

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* TheBlacksmith: [[Myth/KingArthur The wizard Merlin]], here known under his Welsh name Myrddin, the genius advisor of Artorius and supposedly a wizard]], is depicted in ''Coalescent'' as an iron-making genius.



* {{Cyborg}}: The Spline genetically engineered themselves to be organic starships, and support themselves by being hired by various alien empires. The employers can mount whatever weapons or equipment they want in each Spline, as long as it doesn't adversely affect the Spline's health.



* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: It is hard to consider the Coalition as anything but the villains of the Third Expansion. The Silver Ghosts and the Xeelee have no interest in fighting the humans, but they stand in the path of humanity’s expansion.

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* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: It is hard to consider the Coalition as anything but the villains of the Third Expansion. They murdered every single piece of sapient life they came across that was not human. The Silver Ghosts and the Xeelee have no interest in fighting the humans, but they stand in the path of humanity’s expansion.


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* SelfDuplication: Each photino bird is a perfect copy of its parent.


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* TheWatcher: At some point of their evolution, the Snowmen turned themselves completely toward the philosophy that to record events - and only to record - was the highest calling of life. They took apart their world and rebuilt it as a monstrous storage system. They used all the material at their disposal to freeze as much data as they could in an artificial structure called the Snowflake, making near-optimal use of matter, by recording information right down to the thermodynamic limit set by the background temperature of the Universe. As the universe cools down they can store more data.
21st Feb '17 9:58:37 PM HTD
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* CallingParentsByTheirName: Michael Poole casually calls his father Harry Poole by his first name.

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* CallingParentsByTheirName: Michael Poole casually calls his father Harry Poole by his first name. Later in her life Hank Poole starts to do the same thing to her mother, as generation differences are kinda blurred when her own son became a centenarian.



* FloatingContinent: The first generations of human colonists on Venus live in cities floating in the Venusian sky.



* GenderBlenderName: The protagonist of ''The Venus Generations'' is a woman named Hank Poole.



* HopelessWar: Humans stand no chance against the Xeelee, just like how [[spoiler:the Xeelee have no hope of defeating the photino birds - in fact, with time travel, they can barely ''escape'' the Photino Birds, after many resets.]].



* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: It is hard throughout to consider the Coalition as anything but the villains of the Third Expansion. The Silver Ghosts and the Xeelee have no interest in fighting the humans, but they stand in the path of humanity’s expansion.

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* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: It is hard throughout to consider the Coalition as anything but the villains of the Third Expansion. The Silver Ghosts and the Xeelee have no interest in fighting the humans, but they stand in the path of humanity’s expansion.


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* TakenForGranite: The microscopic aliens from Beta Pegasi are able to force carbon dioxide into a form of silicate-like rock that superficially resembles chalk.
* TeleFrag: When the reality dust entities shifted Callisto virtually instantaneously a few thousand kilometres or so, a Xeelee was killed by being trapped under the ice (a method that seemed to act by both encasing the Xeelee in the ice and impaling it because Callisto suddenly occupied the same space the Xeelee was in).
21st Feb '17 3:23:28 PM ScorpiusOB1
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** ''Ring'' ends in the ''[[TimeAbyss very]]'' far future [[spoiler: where, while the Photino Birds rule the Universe, all stars have died and proton decay is decomposing their corpses. Michael Poole with NothingLeftToDoButDie kills himself by falling into a neutron star]]
21st Feb '17 2:56:01 PM ScorpiusOB1
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* ScienceMarchesOn: Virtually inevitable given Baxter's heavy reliance on speculative physics. For example, recent results from the Large Hadron Collider appear to have refuted at least the simplest variants of supersymmetry, rendering the science behind the Susy drive depicted in 'The Quagma Datum' far more dubious.
4th Jan '17 5:18:55 AM HTD
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* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: The Xeelee ultimately [[TheBadGuyWins lose against the Photino Birds]] and the universe as we know it ends. However in one last act, the Xeelee give the remnants of humanity and others a vessel to escape to a new universe where they can hopefully build civilization anew.]]

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* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: The Xeelee ultimately [[TheBadGuyWins lose against the Photino Birds]] and the universe as we know it ends.becomes unsuitable for baryonic life. However in one last act, the Xeelee give the remnants of humanity and others a vessel to escape to a new universe where they can hopefully build civilization anew.]]



* CallingParentsByTheirName: Michael Poole casually calls his father Harry Poole by his first name, [[spoiler:although it is later revealed that the Harry in the story is only a Virtual copy of the real one]].

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* CallingParentsByTheirName: Michael Poole casually calls his father Harry Poole by his first name, [[spoiler:although it is later revealed that the Harry in the story is only a Virtual copy of the real one]].name.



* FantasticCasteSystem: The society in ''Raft'' is highly stratified, led by the Officers, descended from the officers of the original ship that came through Bolder's Ring, who share the Raft (the remains of the ship that contains almost all the high technology) with the scientists and some of the labourers; the various Belt worlds are inhabited by the majority of miners that mine burnt-out star kernels in bad conditions; and there are the cannibalistic Boneys who live on worlds created out of corpses.

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* FantasticCasteSystem: The society in ''Raft'' is highly stratified, led by the Officers, descended from the officers of the original ship that came through Bolder's Ring, who share the Raft (the remains of the ship that contains almost all the high technology) with the scientists and some of the labourers; the various Belt worlds are inhabited by the majority of miners that mine burnt-out star kernels in bad conditions; and there are the cannibalistic Boneys who live on worlds created out of corpses. People are born into their class, work in it throughout their life and usually die in it. There is talk about being able to rise to the top with talent, but this seems to be predominantly a myth. There is at least one case where this happens (Rees) but it's clearly far from usual.



* MyFutureSelfAndMe: If you grow up in Arches, meeting your own future self was no big deal. The whole point of the place is that from birth you are trained to fly FTL starships (or, in other words, time machines). Most people figure out that that means there might come a day when you would meet a copy of yourself from the future — or the past, depending which end of the transaction you look at it from.

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* MyFutureSelfAndMe: If you grow up in Arches, a Green Navy base, meeting your own future self was no big deal. The whole point of the place is that from birth you are trained to fly FTL starships (or, in other words, time machines). Most people figure out that that means there might come a day when you would meet a copy of yourself from the future — or the past, depending which end of the transaction you look at it from.from.
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch: Unlike any of its kind, the Black Ghost is a Silver Ghost that fights like humans, with a militaristic hierarchy that proves dangerously capable of fighting humans, using new weapons, tactics and forms of organisation that threaten to turn the tide of battle.



* ProtagonistJourneyToVillain: ''Reality Dust'' details an incident involving reality dust and Pharaohs on Callisto that causes Hama Druz to turn from an abstract-minded bureaucrat into the insane ideology whose demented 'humans as vicious vermin' philosophy fuels the atrocities of the Coalition and plagues humanity for twenty thousand years.

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* ProtagonistJourneyToVillain: ''Reality Dust'' details an incident involving reality dust and Pharaohs on Callisto that causes Hama Druz to turn from an abstract-minded bureaucrat into the insane ideology ideologue whose demented 'humans as vicious vermin' philosophy fuels the atrocities of the Coalition and plagues humanity for twenty thousand years.



* SupervillainLair: The HQ of the Black Ghost, a sphere black as night and kilometres across.



* VirtualGhost: Virtuals, basically a copy of a living human's personality stored in a computer.



* YouNoTakeCandle: In ''In the Un-Black'', the language of the savage post-humans, which has 'devolved into jabber', is represented by broken English: 'un-' replaces 'no' and 'not' as negative particles, and some verbs have been replaced by nouns used as if they were verbs ('to death' instead of 'to die' or 'to kill', 'to crime' instead of 'to commit a crime', among others).

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* YouNoTakeCandle: In ''In the Un-Black'', the language of the savage post-humans, which has 'devolved into jabber', is represented by broken English: 'un-' replaces 'no' and 'not' as negative particles, particles (hence 'the Un-Black'), and some verbs have been replaced by nouns used as if they were verbs ('to death' instead of 'to die' or 'to kill', 'to crime' instead of 'to commit a crime', among others).
3rd Jan '17 7:45:14 AM HTD
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* HumanResources: On the ''Mayflower'' generation ship, all dead human bodies are recycled for raw materials, since on such a closed-out environment, burial, cremation or other ways of DueToTheDead are luxuries that cannot be afforded.


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* ProtagonistJourneyToVillain: ''Reality Dust'' details an incident involving reality dust and Pharaohs on Callisto that causes Hama Druz to turn from an abstract-minded bureaucrat into the insane ideology whose demented 'humans as vicious vermin' philosophy fuels the atrocities of the Coalition and plagues humanity for twenty thousand years.
29th Dec '16 3:09:01 AM HTD
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* DeityOfHumanOrigin: The Transcendence is a collective group of immortal posthumans who are attempting to evolve into a form of godhood, in effect leaving their humanity behind.



* MedievalStasis: The Coalition regime embraces stagnation to preserve human continuity, avoiding political and even most technological change. The imperative commitment to total war stagnates human physical and intellectual evolution. The Druz Doctrines do not encourage exploration or research, and very little effort is directed toward projects without an immediate and conspicuous benefit to maintaining the massive logistics necessary to continue the Xeelee war. From hundreds of thousands of years later human historians note that the Coalition was freakish in how cohesive, unified and stagnant they were.

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* MedievalStasis: The Coalition regime embraces stagnation to preserve human continuity, avoiding political MechanicalLifeforms: By the time of ''The Siege of Earth'', many old machines abandoned by humans have evolved by themselves and even most technological change. The imperative commitment to total war stagnates human physical and intellectual evolution. The Druz Doctrines do not encourage exploration or research, and very little effort is directed toward projects without an immediate and conspicuous benefit to maintaining the massive logistics necessary to continue the Xeelee war. From hundreds of thousands of years later human historians note that the Coalition was freakish in how cohesive, unified and stagnant they were.formed rich ecologies.



** The army of the Interim Coalition of Humanity commands vast birthing crèches to ensure a steady supply of infantrymen. These children are grown in clutches of hundreds and taught the Druz Doctrines to an almost cellular level, ensuring loyalty and every single one of them is trained to kill a variety of aliens in the most efficient way possible.

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** The army of the Interim Coalition of Humanity Governance commands vast birthing crèches to ensure a steady supply of infantrymen. These children are grown in clutches of hundreds and taught the Druz Doctrines to an almost cellular level, ensuring loyalty and every single one of them is trained to kill a variety of aliens in the most efficient way possible.


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* SpaceAgeStasis: The Coalition regime embraces stagnation to preserve human continuity, avoiding political and even most technological change. The imperative commitment to total war stagnates human physical and intellectual evolution. The Druz Doctrines do not encourage exploration or research, and very little effort is directed toward projects without an immediate and conspicuous benefit to maintaining the massive logistics necessary to continue the Xeelee war. From hundreds of thousands of years later human historians note that the Coalition was freakish in how cohesive, unified and stagnant they were.
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