History Literature / XeeleeSequence

27th Sep '16 6:52:40 AM HTD
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* DistantFinale: The final chapters of ''Timelike Infinity'' take place five million years in the far future, after [[spoiler:Michael Poole is trapped there due to the destabilisation of the wormhole interface]].


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* TheFederation: In ''The Sun-People'', which is set in AD 3672 during humanity's early expansion, it is directly assumed that the human incursions into the asteroid where the story happens will automatically halt when it comes into conflict with other, and vulnerable, intelligent life. That, combined with the sketched out detail of an array of governments and institutions to be navigated, give a very different feeling that the stories set under the totalitarian, xenophobic, rapacious human regimes in the later stories.
27th Sep '16 6:16:04 AM HTD
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* BlessedWithSuck: Sometimes a pharaoh's children are born with Qax immortality. But they don’t all grow - they stop developing, at the age of two years or one year or six months or a month; some of them even stop growing in the womb and have to be aborted.



* ClothesMakeTheSuperman: In ''Hero'', the amazing powers of the eponymous superhero comes from his suit.



* {{Egopolis}}: The capital of the tiny humans in ''Flux'', Parz City, shares its name with Jasoft Parz and Luru Parz, two humans who collaborated with the Qax regime.



* HumansAreWarriors: In spades, at least once the "[[NonindicativeName Interim Coalition of Governance]]" comes into power. The Xeelee outclass Humans in pretty much every sphere of technology, but the FantasticRacism of Mankind's "Third Expansion" era doesn't let a little thing like ''that'' stand in the way of galactic conquest.
** A line in ''Exultant'' expresses humanity's tenacity as such:

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* HumansAreWarriors: In spades, at least once the "[[NonindicativeName Interim Coalition of Governance]]" comes into power. The Xeelee outclass Humans in pretty much every sphere of technology, but the FantasticRacism of Mankind's "Third Expansion" era doesn't let a little thing like ''that'' stand in the way of galactic conquest. \n** A line in ''Exultant'' expresses humanity's tenacity as such:


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* LivingRelic: Following the Qax occupation, this is the argument used by the pharaohs (humans who collaborated with the Qax and were gifted immortality in return) to dissuade the new human government from killing them: they have become the last keepers of the history and lore of humanity and the planet Earth, which were largely erased during the Qax's Extirpation.
-->'''Gemo Cana:''' Everything humans know about the Xeelee today, every bit of intelligence we have, was preserved by the pharaohs. I refuse to plead with you for my life. But I am concerned that you should understand. We pharaohs were not dynastic tyrants. We fought, in our way, to survive the Qax Occupation, and the Extirpation. For we are the wisdom and continuity of the race. Destroy us and you complete the work of the Qax for them, finish the Extirpation. Destroy us and you destroy your own past – which we preserved for you, at great cost to ourselves.


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* MonumentalDamage: Stonehenge is mostly lost in space near the end of ''Timelike Infinity'', except for a single megalith which becomes a satellite of Jupiter.


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* TrappedInThePast: By the end of ''Timelike Infinity'', [[spoiler:Jasoft Parz and Shira, two humans from AD 5407, are trapped in AD 3717]].
25th Sep '16 7:02:52 AM HTD
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* ''Xeelee: Endurance'' (short story collection)


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* BizarreAlienSenses: The modified humans in ''Flux'' 'see' sound waves which are transmitted through the Air (their term for the neutron superfluid in the neutron star), 'smell' photons that can only diffuse slowly in the Air, and 'hear' temperature fluctuations.


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* CallASmeerpARabbit: 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.


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* {{Xenofiction}}: A few of the short stories set in the Expansion era in ''Vacuum Diagrams'' are partially told from the point of view of the aliens.
20th Sep '16 9:04:32 AM HTD
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* HumanSubspecies: Especially so in '"Flux'': Humans have been modified to microscopic lifeforms to live within a Neutron Star.

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* HumanSubspecies: Especially so in '"Flux'': ''Flux'': Humans have been modified to microscopic lifeforms to live within a Neutron Star.


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* LongevityTreatment: Anti-Senescence technology, which repairs genetic damage due to age via nanobots. The treatment has a 99% success rate, though failures typically end with a terminal illness. Lifespan with AS treatments theoretically has no upper limit, though in practice the treatments begin to break down at 400-500 years.


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* RapidAging: During her brief life as a human, Lieserl's body is engineered by nanobots that cause her to age rapidly. Memories and learning are also implanted into her cortex. The combination of these effects results in Lieserl living the equivalent of a 90-year life in 90 days.


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* SuperBreedingProgram: Garry Uvarov's eugenic program, which aims to improve the human stock by getting rid of late acting lethal genes, which normally could never be selected out of the gene pool because they only kill old bodies after they have reproduced. Uvarov orders his followers to live as hunter-gatherers in the sealed off forest, abandons Anti-Senescence treatments and bans reproduction before the age of 40, with this limit being steadily raised over the years. After eight centuries, the jungle folk's average lifespan goes up from 100 to 250, with the 80-year-old Arrow Maker being in the prime of life.
20th Sep '16 8:39:23 AM HTD
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* ContinuityNod: Near the end of ''Ring'', Louise and Spinner visit the same neutron star as the setting of ''Flux'', and later, before [[spoiler:the ''Great Northern'' passes through Bolder's Ring, its crew has a brief glimpse at the alternate universe depicted in ''Raft'']].



* EvilVersusEvil: In the finale to ''Vacuum Diagrams'', Paul tricks the [[spoiler: photino birds into thinking the Xeelee are returning, leading them to aggressively ramp up their destruction of the Ring. The genocidal Qax remnants - who have been waiting patiently to exterminate the last humans - have a collective "oh shit" moment and lead a last ditch attack on the birds at the Ring so that they can escape the universe. The humans use the confusion of the battle to sneak through the Ring, escaping both the Qax and the slow death from the machinations of the birds.]]

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* EvilVersusEvil: In the finale to ''Vacuum Diagrams'', of ''The Baryonic Lords'', Paul tricks the [[spoiler: photino birds into thinking the Xeelee are returning, leading them to aggressively ramp up their destruction of the Ring. The genocidal Qax remnants - who have been waiting patiently to exterminate the last humans - have a collective "oh shit" moment and lead a last ditch attack on the birds at the Ring so that they can escape the universe. The humans use the confusion of the battle to sneak through the Ring, escaping both the Qax and the slow death from the machinations of the birds.]]]]
* FlatCharacter: The story generally doesn't have much interest in its characters, with people being important only insofar as they've connected to current ideologies, current economic realities, or certain modes of scientific inquiry.



* LukeNounverber: The primitive people of the jungle on the ''Great Northern'' have names like Arrow Maker, Spinner-of-Rope, Trapper-of-Toads and Painter-of-Faces.



* MultiethnicName: The initial crew of the ''Great Northern'' are named Serena Harvey Gallium Harvey Milpitas, Mark Bassett Friar Armonk Wu, Louise Ye Armonk and Garry Benson Deng Uvarov.



* ObliviouslyEvil: The photino birds set out to transform all stars into white dwarfs, which would cause the eventual extinction of all baryonic life forms, including humans. Despite having goals that are hostile to us, photino birds do not seem to be malevolent. It fact, they are most likely unaware that there are baryonic life forms, because their own form prevents them from noticing us at all or realising that the ageing of stars has unfortunate effects to the baryonic universe. Any attempt to communicate them was fruitless.

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* ObliviouslyEvil: The photino birds set out to transform all stars into white dwarfs, which would cause the eventual extinction of all baryonic life forms, including humans. Despite having goals that are hostile to us, photino birds do not seem to be malevolent. It In fact, they are most likely unaware that there are baryonic life forms, because their own form prevents them from noticing us at all or realising that the ageing of stars has unfortunate effects to the baryonic universe. Any attempt to communicate them was fruitless.



* ShadowArchetype: [[AvertedTrope Averted]] with the "Anti-Xeelee", since it's name actually refers to the fact it travels backwards in time, like some anti-particles are theorized to do. The antagonists of the Xeelee, the [[spoiler:Photino Birds]], fit.

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* ShadowArchetype: [[AvertedTrope Averted]] with the "Anti-Xeelee", since it's its name actually refers to the fact it travels backwards in time, like some anti-particles are theorized to do. The antagonists of the Xeelee, the [[spoiler:Photino Birds]], fit.
20th Sep '16 4:07:25 AM HTD
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The ''Xeelee Sequence'', by StephenBaxter, is a sprawling series of novels and short stories all set within the same universe.

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The ''Xeelee Sequence'', by StephenBaxter, Creator/StephenBaxter, is a sprawling series of novels and short stories all set within the same universe.



* AcePilot: Jim Bolder, hence his being entrusted with a [[CoolShip Xeelee nightfighter]] by the Qax, with bad results. [[NiceJobFixingItVillain For]] [[DecapitatedArmy them.]]



* AcePilot: Jim Bolder, hence his being entrusted with a [[CoolShip Xeelee nightfighter]] by the Qax, with bad results. [[NiceJobFixingItVillain For]] [[DecapitatedArmy them.]]
* BigDamnVillains: The [[spoiler: Qax]] are tricked into fulfilling this role at the end of the final story in ''Vacuum Diagrams'', distracting the photino birds long enough for the last of humanity to escape through the Ring.

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* AcePilot: Jim Bolder, hence his being entrusted with a [[CoolShip Xeelee nightfighter]] by the Qax, with bad results. [[NiceJobFixingItVillain For]] [[DecapitatedArmy them.]]
* BigDamnVillains: The [[spoiler: Qax]] are tricked into fulfilling this role at the end of the final story in ''Vacuum Diagrams'', ''The Baryonic Lords'', distracting the photino birds long enough for the last of humanity to escape through the Ring.


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* ObliviouslyEvil: The photino birds set out to transform all stars into white dwarfs, which would cause the eventual extinction of all baryonic life forms, including humans. Despite having goals that are hostile to us, photino birds do not seem to be malevolent. It fact, they are most likely unaware that there are baryonic life forms, because their own form prevents them from noticing us at all or realising that the ageing of stars has unfortunate effects to the baryonic universe. Any attempt to communicate them was fruitless.


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* SuperPersistentPredator: The Squeem missile sent to destroy an asteroid engineered by some humans to be an escape hatch off the occupied Solar System in ''Pilot''. Among the pursuit, the missile adapts itself to accelerate faster, the humans have to modify their ship to do the same. This continues on, moving significant distances for what is millions of years outside due to time dilation. By the time they manage to crash the missile into a black hole, the humans have abandoned their physical forms, and Squeem rule over humanity has long since ended, that the chase continues past the point where there are probably any other humans still alive.


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* TimeSkip: The first part of ''Ring'' ends with the launch of the ''Great Northern'' in AD 3951. The second part starts after nearly a thousand subjective years on the ship, which equals five million years outside due to time dilation.
16th Sep '16 5:03:24 AM HTD
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** Future humans make it to Type III and try to attack the Xeelee by shooting a ''whole neutron star'' at them like a bullet. The Xeelee brush this off as though it were insignificant.
*** ...because it absolutely was. In the endgame of the war between the Xeelee and the Photino Birds, the Xeelee used hypermassive knots of cosmic string as missile-to-missile defense against ''weaponized galaxies''.

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** Future humans make it to Type III and try to attack the Xeelee by shooting a ''whole neutron star'' at them like a bullet. The Xeelee brush this off as though it were insignificant.
*** ...
insignificant... because it absolutely was. In the endgame of the war between the Xeelee and the Photino Birds, the Xeelee used hypermassive knots of cosmic string as missile-to-missile defense against ''weaponized galaxies''.



* AnachronicOrder: The publication order of the stories does not correspond at all to the chronological order in which they happen.



* BizarreAlienBiology: Qax biology is based around chemical cycles embedded in convection cells. A Qax is composed of millions of such cells that exist in any kind of turbulent fluid (water, air, gas giant, star, [[spoiler:space-time]]). In short they’re highly organised, living storms.



* EldritchLocation: ''Raft'' is set an alternate universe where the gravitational force is a "billion" times as strong as our own. Stars are only a mile across and have extremely brief lives, becoming cooled kernels a hundred yards wide with a surface gravity of five g. Humans possess a "respectable" gravity field in and of themselves.



* RedSkyTakeWarning: One of the indicators that the mini-galaxy in ''Raft'' needs to be evacuated.
* RuleOfCool: Celestial bodies up to and including entire galaxies used as [[ColonyDrop projectiles]]? Megastructures millions of light years across? Handguns that can destroy ''stars''? Aliens altering the value of Planck's constant simply in order to build a faster computer? StephenBaxter was rocking this trope before it was mainstream.

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* RedSkyTakeWarning: One of the indicators that the mini-galaxy nebula in ''Raft'' needs to be evacuated.
* RuleOfCool: Celestial bodies up to and including entire galaxies used as [[ColonyDrop projectiles]]? Megastructures millions of light years across? Handguns that can destroy ''stars''? Aliens altering the value of Planck's constant simply in order to build a faster computer? StephenBaxter Creator/StephenBaxter was rocking this trope before it was mainstream.



* SpaceWhale: The Spline are [[LivingShip giant living armored spaceships]] that evolved from alien whales. They live off interstellar gas and other species use them as transports and warships. In one case, the entire Qax race, which consist of cell-like vortices in any fluid (ocean, air, gas giant, star, [[spoiler:space-time]]...), is transported off its homeworld when the sun goes nova.

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* SpaceWhale: The Spline are [[LivingShip giant living armored spaceships]] that evolved from alien whales. They live off interstellar gas and other species use them as transports and warships. In one case, the entire Qax race, which consist of cell-like vortices in any fluid (ocean, air, gas giant, star, [[spoiler:space-time]]...), is transported off its homeworld when the sun goes nova.
11th Sep '16 7:15:21 AM HTD
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* BigDumbObject: The novels feature an object called "Bolder's Ring", built by the titular aliens; it's constructed out of the remains of ''galaxies'' (and is revealed to be the cause of the RealLife "Great Attactor"[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Attractor]]) and is essentially a black hole that has been stretched into a one-dimensional loop millions of light years in length. It's eventually revealed [[spoiler: to be an escape route for the Xeelee from the Universe, by means of tearing a hole in spacetime through the middle of the ring via the unimaginably strong gravitational forces created through its rotation]].

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* BigDumbObject: The novels feature an object called "Bolder's Ring", built by the titular aliens; it's constructed out of the remains of ''galaxies'' (and is revealed to be the cause of the RealLife "Great Attactor"[[http://en.[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Attractor]]) org/wiki/Great_Attractor Great Attractor]]) and is essentially a black hole that has been stretched into a one-dimensional loop millions of light years in length. It's eventually revealed [[spoiler: to be an escape route for the Xeelee from the Universe, by means of tearing a hole in spacetime through the middle of the ring via the unimaginably strong gravitational forces created through its rotation]].


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* LivingShip: The Spline are immense, space-faring creatures who engineer themselves to be spacecraft and then hire themselves out to other species.


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* SingleBiomePlanet: The homeworld of the Qax is a swamp planet, covered from pole to pole by an ocean.
15th Jul '16 5:00:27 AM Morgenthaler
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* TreeVessel: In ''Raft'', one of the strange lifeforms in the high-gravity universe is a species of mobile floating trees. Humans turn them into vessels and steer them through space.
23rd May '16 1:19:31 PM Saber15
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* EvilVersusEvil: In the finale to ''Vacuum Diagrams'', Paul tricks the [[spoiler: photino birds into thinking the Xeelee are returning, leading them to aggressively ramp up their destruction of the Ring. The genocidal Qax remnants - who have been waiting patiently to exterminate the last humans - have a collective "oh shit" moment and lead a last ditch attack on the birds at the Ring, allowing the last humans to run the gauntlet into the Ring in a Xeelee starship]]

to:

* EvilVersusEvil: In the finale to ''Vacuum Diagrams'', Paul tricks the [[spoiler: photino birds into thinking the Xeelee are returning, leading them to aggressively ramp up their destruction of the Ring. The genocidal Qax remnants - who have been waiting patiently to exterminate the last humans - have a collective "oh shit" moment and lead a last ditch attack on the birds at the Ring, allowing Ring so that they can escape the last universe. The humans to run use the gauntlet into confusion of the Ring in a Xeelee starship]]battle to sneak through the Ring, escaping both the Qax and the slow death from the machinations of the birds.]]
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