History Literature / XeeleeSequence

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.
14th Nov '16 2:58:50 AM HTD
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* TheEmpire: The Coalition regime is repressive, controlled, fanatical, extremely xenocidal, and responsible for the staggering slaughter and extinction of virtually all other sentient life in the galaxy. Their ultimate goal is basically the complete genocide of all non-human civilisations ''everywhere''.

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* TheEmpire: The Coalition regime is repressive, controlled, fanatical, extremely xenocidal, and responsible for the staggering slaughter and extinction of virtually all other sentient life in the galaxy. Their ultimate goal is basically the complete genocide of all non-human civilisations ''everywhere''. One of its successor states, the Ideocracy, is explicitly the Coalition 2.0, except they are even more hypocritical and willing to actively manufacture an apparent nonhuman threat.



* OneSteveLimit: Averted. There are two characters named Julia (the mother and one of the granddaughters of Regina), two named George Poole (one of the protagonists of ''Coalescent'', and his ancestor who lived in the 16th century), two named Michael Poole (the protagonist of ''Transcendent'' and his descendant who appears in ''Timelike Infinity'' and ''Ring'') and two named Lora (the girlfriend of Rusel in ''Mayflower II'' and the crush of the eponymous protagonist of ''[=PeriAndry=]'s Quest''.

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* OneSteveLimit: Averted. There are two characters named Julia (the mother and one of the granddaughters of Regina), two named George Poole (one of the protagonists of ''Coalescent'', and his ancestor who lived in the 16th century), two named Michael Poole (the protagonist of ''Transcendent'' and his descendant who appears in ''Timelike Infinity'' and ''Ring'') and two named Lora (the girlfriend of Rusel in ''Mayflower II'' and the crush of the eponymous protagonist of ''[=PeriAndry=]'s Quest''.Quest'').


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* OurGodsAreDifferent: The monads, eternal, abstract beings which create each Universe in turn and then sleep through the lifespan of each Universe inside black holes.


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* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: When the humans attack the Xeelee from the Chandra black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, the Xeelee abandon the black hole because the method that the humans are using to attack them is potentially causing damage to the black hole itself and the monads inside.
13th Nov '16 5:56:29 PM HTD
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* FantasticNamingConvention: The nobility of Old Earth write their given name and surname as a single word in a CamelCase style. Only the eldest son and eldest daughter of each couple inherit their father's surname, the others taking the surname of their mother.



* SelfMadeOrphan: Teeg takes great pride at the moment when he killed his neglectful father, a Foron noble (implied to be [=MacoFeri=]) who had raped his mother, a servant.



* TykeBomb: The Coalition makes use of Child Soldiers, many of whom are grown in vats at the Front. Each of these children are taught the Druz Doctrines to an almost cellular level, ensuring loyalty to the cause and every single one of them is trained to kill a variety of aliens in the most efficient way possible. Every Child Soldier is sent into battle when they are ready, often with special augmentations to suit their job.



* YouCheatingHeart: [[spoiler:The second child of Michael and Morag Poole, who killed her during childbirth, is not Michael's at all.]]

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* YouCheatingHeart: YourCheatingHeart: [[spoiler:The second child of Michael and Morag Poole, who killed her during childbirth, is not Michael's at all.]]
13th Nov '16 5:38:53 PM HTD
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** The Squeem are sometimes described as 'fish', despite being aliens that only physically resemble fish.

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** The Squeem and the Titan fauna are sometimes described as 'fish', 'spiders', 'birds' or 'lilies', despite being aliens that only physically resemble fish.these animals and plants.



* EvilPoacher: A group called the Last Hunters seek to become the killer of the last individual of each endangered animal species.



* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: InUniverse. ''The Seer and the Silverman'' refers to Joens Wyman investing in the drive, but after the test case he got bankrupted, suggesting him as an innovative, heroic figure wronged by how things turned out. In fact, from reading ''The Quagma Datum'' we know Wyman was a dick, and his financial ruin was a triumphant climax of the story, turning the tables on the callous, amoral fatcat.

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* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: InUniverse. ''The Seer and the Silverman'' refers to Joens Wyman investing in the Susy drive, but after the test case he got bankrupted, suggesting him as an innovative, heroic figure wronged by how things turned out. In fact, from reading ''The Quagma Datum'' (which takes place 199 years before) we know Wyman was a dick, and his financial ruin was a triumphant climax of the story, turning the tables on the callous, amoral fatcat.



* LaserGuidedAmnesia: After the Squeem [[spoiler:temporarily freeze all of Earth's water, killing many humans and nearly sterilising the oceans in the process]], they engineer a virus to erase all memory of this event from all humans. They mostly succeeded; [[spoiler:all but one human come out of it believing the oceans have always been depleted of life]].

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* LaserGuidedAmnesia: LaserGuidedAmnesia:
** Michael Poole erases the events of [[spoiler:his destruction of the Titan ecosystem]] from the memory of Miriam Berg, who opposed the act, to keep her quiet.
**
After the Squeem [[spoiler:temporarily freeze all of Earth's water, killing many humans and nearly sterilising the oceans in the process]], they engineer a virus to erase all memory of this event from all humans. They mostly succeeded; [[spoiler:all but one human come out of it believing the oceans have always been depleted of life]].



* SiliconBasedLife: A group of human colonists on a silicon-rich world (visited in ''Transcendent'') encountered indigenous silicon-based life, abandoned their carbon-chemistry medium and chose to download their children into the silicon.

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* SiliconBasedLife: SiliconBasedLife:
** On Titan, Michael Poole and Miriam Berg find life based on silicon-silicon bonds between silanol molecules dissolved in liquid ethane, and ammono life, based on chemical bonds between carbon and nitrogen-hydrogen chemical groups rather than carbon-oxygen, using ammonia as its solvent rather than water.
**
A group of human colonists on a silicon-rich world (visited in ''Transcendent'') encountered indigenous silicon-based life, abandoned their carbon-chemistry medium and chose to download their children into the silicon.



* WeWillUseManualLaborInTheFuture: The Coalition's Green Army forces their soldiers to dig their own trenches even if it's more efficient to let machines do it, in order to reinforce the superstition that a shelter constructed by a machine will never be as safe as one you have dug out yourself.

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* WeWillUseManualLaborInTheFuture: The Coalition's Green Army forces their soldiers to dig their own trenches even if it's more efficient to let machines do it, in order to reinforce the their superstition that a shelter constructed by a machine will never be as safe as one you have dug out yourself.


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* WhatTheHellHero: [[spoiler:Jovik Emry]] gives one to [[spoiler:Michael Poole]] after [[spoiler:Poole destroys the Titan ecosystem and edits the memory of Miriam Berg, who opposed it, to make her forget]].
-->[[spoiler:What will you make her believe – that she stayed up on the Crab with Harry the whole time, while you went exploring and found nothing? That would work, I guess. I think you love her. I even think she loves you. Yet you are prepared to mess with her head and her heart, even her personality, to serve your grandiose ambitions. Let me tell you something. The Poole she left behind in that pocket universe – the one she said goodbye to – he was a better man than you will ever be again. Because he was not tainted by the great crime you committed when you destroyed the cavern. And because he was not tainted by ''this''. And let me make some predictions. No matter what you achieve in the future, Michael Poole, this crime will always be at the root of you, gnawing away. ''And Miriam will never love you again.'' Even though you wipe out her memory of these events, there will always be something between you; she will sense the lie. She will leave you, and then you will leave her. One thing I know better than you is people, and what goes on in their hearts. You remember I said this. And, Poole, maybe those whose work you have wrecked will some day force you to a reckoning.]]
10th Nov '16 8:07:11 AM HTD
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* BalkanizeMe: The Interim Coalition of Governance collapses almost immediately after the withdrawal of the Xeelee, leaving behind countless successor statelets.

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* BalkanizeMe: The Interim Coalition of Governance collapses almost immediately after the withdrawal of the Xeelee, leaving behind countless successor statelets. The Unifier's brief empire also suffers the same fate after its founder's assassination.



* ColonizedSolarSystem: Humans start to colonise the Solar System during the 3rd millennium.



* ParentalIncest: Their shared blood doesn't stop [=MacoFeri=] from siring a child on his own daughter.



** The humans of Old Earth are not the owners of the [[spoiler:sentient Weapon machines. The Weapons are farming them like livestock]].



* ToServeMan: ''Breeding Ground'' ends with [[spoiler:the protagonist being consumed from inside-out by her Squeem symbiont]].

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* ToServeMan: ToServeMan:
**
''Breeding Ground'' ends with [[spoiler:the protagonist being consumed from inside-out by her Squeem symbiont]].symbiont]].
** In ''The Lowland Expedition'', [[spoiler:the living buildings of the unnamed city feed on the humans that stay inside them]].


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* VertebrateWithExtraLimbs: The spindlings of Old Earth (which were originally aliens that were brought to Earth) have an inner skeletal structure but differ from native Earth tetrapods in one way: they have six legs. The creationists on the world uses this detail to justify their hypothesis (which is actually correct).
-->''Like most primitive cultures on the Shelf, you Forons cling to a naive naturalism! You believe that the world as we experience it emerged from the blind operation of natural laws, that intelligence had no hand in it. But ''that cannot be true''. The spindling is ''proof'' that the world could not have developed organically; one counter-example is enough to demonstrate that nature lacks the necessary unity for that to be so. The simplest hypothesis is in fact that it has ''all'' been made, all shaped by intelligence, from blueshifted sky to redshifted Lowland.''


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* TheWarOfEarthlyAggression: ''Starfall'' documents the preparations and events of the Starfall rebellion conducted by the human extrasolar colonies against the Empire of Sol, based in New York.
7th Nov '16 9:06:54 PM HTD
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* CapitalOffensive: Both the Starfall invasion of Earth and the Squeem invasion open with an attack on New York City, then-capital of humanity.



* DoomedHometown: In the Photino Victory stories, the humans' PocketDimension is failing and will eventually freeze and become uninhabitable. The theme of ''The Baryonic Lords'' is the humans' search for a way to escape their dying home and seek another.

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* DoomedHometown: DoomedHometown:
** In ''Raft'' (which is set in an AlternateDimension), the nebula where the humans live is turning into an increasingly hostile environment and the humans, suffering the effects of environmental collapse, need to migrate to another nebula. In its sequel ''Gravity Dreams'', the alternate universe itself is dying, and the story involves the humans trying to get back to their home dimension.
**
In the Photino Victory stories, the humans' PocketDimension is failing and will eventually freeze and become uninhabitable. The theme of ''The Baryonic Lords'' is the humans' search for a way to escape their dying home and seek another.



* EmpireWithADarkSecret: The Silver Ghosts spend a million years denying [[spoiler:the bloody battle for survival that followed the death of their sun]], and they don't want anyone else to learn about its existence either.

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* EmpireWithADarkSecret: The Silver Ghosts spend a million years denying [[spoiler:the bloody battle for survival civil war that followed the death of their sun]], and they don't want anyone else to learn about its existence either.


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* ForcedToWatch:
** [[spoiler:After the extermination of a Squeem colony in Lake Superior, the Squeem decide to round out all people who were involved in the act in concentration camps and force them to watch as they freeze all of the water on Earth, killing many humans and causing many species to go extinct.]]
** [[spoiler:The Qax governor of Earth from the future brings along [[TheQuisling Jasoft Parz]] during its invasion of Earth in the past, with the intention of forcing him to watch Earth's destruction. Unfortunately for the Qax, Parz was never loyal to them at the first place.]]


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* HiveMind: All Squeem are linked into a mass mind. So the death of a single Squeem affected the totality, but only in a minor way, as the loss of a single neurone from a human brain wouldn’t even be noticed.


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* LaserGuidedAmnesia: After the Squeem [[spoiler:temporarily freeze all of Earth's water, killing many humans and nearly sterilising the oceans in the process]], they engineer a virus to erase all memory of this event from all humans. They mostly succeeded; [[spoiler:all but one human come out of it believing the oceans have always been depleted of life]].


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* MadGod: [[spoiler:The [[DeityOfHumanOrigin Transcendence]] ultimately desires to erase all suffering in the past, thereby ensuring that every human that could have existed does so. But since this is seen as too great a task, the Transcendence is prepared to reach back in time and stop humans from ever existing, thereby "erasing" the suffering that they intend to redeem. Now that's a ''messed up'' god.]]


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* SecretKeeper: Harry Gage, [[spoiler:hidden away from the Squeem when they conduct their operation to erase all memory of their freezing of the oceans that killed many humans and species, emerges as the sole person who remembers the event. He becomes the first Rememberer, and after his death his successors continue to keep and pass this knowledge until the discovery of a Squeem holdout in the Solar System, and the last Rememberer decides it's time to reveal it]].


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* TheStarsAreGoingOut:
** Due to the photino birds' interference, the stars are aging far, far faster than they should, and in 5 million years - rather than 100 trillion - almost all the stars in the universe will become white dwarfs.
** In ''Gravity Dreams'' (a sequel to ''Raft''), the alternate dimension Beta's Stelliferous Era is coming to an end, and the humans stranded there need to be evacuated.


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* SuicideAttack: During the Squeem occupation of Earth, a human assassin, pumped full of Squeem-specific toxins and pathogens, jumps into the Squeem colony of Lake Superior laden with rocks, slits her own wrist and lets her blood fill the lake to exterminate the colony.


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* WeWillUseManualLaborInTheFuture: The Coalition's Green Army forces their soldiers to dig their own trenches even if it's more efficient to let machines do it, in order to reinforce the superstition that a shelter constructed by a machine will never be as safe as one you have dug out yourself.


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* YouKilledMyFather: Harry Gage opposed the Squeem to the end of his life for their murder of his parents.
6th Nov '16 10:34:18 PM HTD
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-->'''Jasoft Parz:''' And, even worse, you carried me — a human, one of the enemy — in your warship’s most vulnerable place; and for no other reason than to heighten the exquisiteness of your triumph. Complacency, Qax!

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-->'''Jasoft --->'''Jasoft Parz:''' And, even worse, you carried me — a human, one of the enemy — in your warship’s most vulnerable place; and for no other reason than to heighten the exquisiteness of your triumph. Complacency, Qax!



* 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'']].

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* ContinuityNod: 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'']].''Raft'']].
** ''The Seer and the Silverman'' ends with the independent human colony [[spoiler:pulling out the old Susy drive from ''The Quagma Datum'' for a wild plunge forward]].



* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: InUniverse. ''The Seer and the Silverman'' refers to Joens Wyman investing in the drive, but after the test case he got bankrupted, suggesting him as an innovative, heroic figure wronged by how things turned out. In fact, from reading ''The Quagma Datum'' we know Wyman was a dick, and his financial ruin was a triumphant climax of the story, turning the tables on the callous, amoral fatcat.



* HorseOfADifferentColor: In ''Gravity Dreams'', the space whales are seen used as mounts by a group of barbarians.



* KingBobTheNth: The Empire of Sol is ruled by a dynasty of empresses all named Shira; the Empress during the events of ''Starfall'' is Shira XXXII. [[spoiler:In truth there's no dynasty, mother or daughter here: all the Empresses are the same person, Shira, the Friend of Wigner trapped in the past, as shown in ''Timelike Infinity''.]]



* NoNameGiven: The only aliens that have names are the relatively unimportant Toolmakers (in ''The Sun-People''), Cilia-of-Gold (in the short story of the same name) and the mummy-cows in the Photino Victory stories. Other individual aliens are always referred to by their species, or a title if said alien is particularly important (the Qax governor, the Black Ghost,

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* NoNameGiven: The only aliens that have names are the relatively unimportant Toolmakers (in ''The Sun-People''), Cilia-of-Gold (in the short story of the same name) and the mummy-cows in the Photino Victory stories. Other individual aliens are always referred to by their species, or a title if said alien is particularly important (the Qax governor, the Black Ghost, the Ambassador to the Heat Sink,...).


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* YouCheatingHeart: [[spoiler:The second child of Michael and Morag Poole, who killed her during childbirth, is not Michael's at all.]]
5th Nov '16 2:32:25 AM HTD
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* ArtisticLicensePaleontology: In her VR simulation of the Late Permian, Gea uses the term 'mammal-like reptile' to refer to animals that were not, like [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeNonDinosaurianReptiles pareiasaurs and procolophonids]].



* BattleTrophy: The human-descdended 'drones' in ''In the Un-Black'' have the habit of taking trophies from their kills.

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* BattleTrophy: The human-descdended human-descended 'drones' in ''In the Un-Black'' have the habit of taking trophies from their kills.



* TheDeadHaveNames: On the nameless Rock that the protagonist of ''Riding the Rock'' visits, the soldiers carve the name of their dead on the surface. And within the grooves of each letter are inscribed more names, and there are many more layers of names nestled within each other.
-->''There were more layers than he could count, more names than could ever read if he stood here for the rest of his life. Just on this one Rock. And perhaps there were similar memorials on all the other bits of battered debris at every human emplacement, all the way around the core of the Galaxy, a great band of death stretching three thousand light years across space and two thousand years deep in time.''



* DerelictGraveyard: The Reef is a heap of decommissioned automobiles piled up, crushed down on each other, glittering with bits of smashed windscreen and gaudy paintwork, the whole thing laced together by a patina of orange rust.



* DysfunctionalFamily: The relations between the members of the Poole family are a non-stop car wreck.



* ElaborateUndergroundBase: The Order runs a vast subterranean complex, located beneath the Catacombs, the ancient underground Christian tombs on the outskirts of Rome, described by George Poole as nuclear bunker and Vatican crypt rolled into one.



** The home planet of the Silver Ghosts is tidally locked to its sun, meaning that one side experiences perpetual daytime and the other perpetual night time.

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** The home planet of the Silver Ghosts is and many others are tidally locked to its their sun, meaning that one side experiences perpetual daytime and the other perpetual night time.



* GhostCity: In 2047, declining birth rates in many countries have turned formerly bustling cities into near-ghost towns, as shown by Seville, which is visited by Michael Poole halfway through ''Transcendent''.
* GlobalWarming: Earth in the 2040s is a world drastically diminished. Global warming has raised sea levels drastically shifted climates around the world, devastating the biosphere and displacing entire nations.



* {{Hypocrite}}: According to the Druz Doctrines, the official ideology of the Interim Coalition of Governance, unmodified humans are the best, humans should not use Anti-Senescence technology or any other useful self-modification they could do that would make the war easier and life better. [[spoiler:The top ranks of the regime are total hypocrites about the Druz Doctrine, using extensive cybernetic modification, making themselves immortal while banning it for everybody else, and actively making use of immortal pharaohs, eusocial transhumans and Silver Ghost advisors.]]

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* {{Hypocrite}}: According to the Druz Doctrines, the official ideology of the Interim Coalition of Governance, unmodified humans are the best, humans should not use Anti-Senescence technology or any other useful self-modification they could do that would make the war easier and life better. [[spoiler:The top ranks of the regime are total hypocrites about the Druz Doctrine, using extensive cybernetic modification, making themselves immortal while banning it for everybody else, and actively making use of immortal pharaohs, eusocial transhumans and Silver Ghost advisors.alien symbionts.]]



* OneSteveLimit: Averted. There are two characters named Julia (the mother and one of the granddaughters of Regina), two named George Poole (one of the protagonists of ''Coalescent'', and his ancestor who lived in the 16th century) and two named Michael Poole (the protagonist of ''Transcendent'' and his descendant who appears in ''Timelike Infinity'' and ''Ring'').

to:

* OneSteveLimit: Averted. There are two characters named Julia (the mother and one of the granddaughters of Regina), two named George Poole (one of the protagonists of ''Coalescent'', and his ancestor who lived in the 16th century) and century), two named Michael Poole (the protagonist of ''Transcendent'' and his descendant who appears in ''Timelike Infinity'' and ''Ring'').''Ring'') and two named Lora (the girlfriend of Rusel in ''Mayflower II'' and the crush of the eponymous protagonist of ''[=PeriAndry=]'s Quest''.



* PostPeakOil: In the 2040s, the depletion of fossil fuels and desperate efforts to contain further environmental damage has made the average person dramatically less mobile, with automobiles a memory, air travel a luxury of the ultra-privileged.



* RockBeatsLaser: Despite the extent of the Silver Ghosts' reworking of their physical environment (they frequently toy with the laws of nature to advance their own knowledge), they ultimately lose against the humans, who manage to survive and kill through savage innovation.

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* RockBeatsLaser: Despite the extent of the Silver Ghosts' reworking of their physical environment (they frequently toy with the laws of nature physics to advance their own knowledge), they ultimately lose against the humans, who manage to survive and kill through savage innovation.



* SiliconBasedLife: A group of human colonists on a silicon-rich world (visited in ''Transcendent'') encountered indigenous silicon-based life, abandoned their carbon-chemistry medium and chose to download their children into the silicon.



* TimeDilation: Frequently, due to the prevalence of ships that move close to the speed of light: the ''Great Northern'' is designed to undergo a journey that will take 1000 years for its crew to return to Earth in AD 5 million. In Old Earth, a world with stratified time, time runs faster the higher up you climb, leading to the longer-lived upper crust living at the bottom exploiting the (relatively) short-lived caste further up..

to:

* TimeDilation: Frequently, due to the prevalence of ships that move close to the speed of light: the ''Great Northern'' is designed to undergo a journey that will take 1000 years for its crew to return to Earth in AD 5 million. In Old Earth, a world with stratified time, time runs faster the higher up you climb, leading to the longer-lived upper crust living at the bottom exploiting the (relatively) short-lived caste further up..up, and passes much more slowly than outside, so its inhabitants can live off the trickling geothermal heat of the Earth alone, to the point that the gaps between the stories are measured in ''hundreds of millions'' of years.


Added DiffLines:

* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Vander Guthrie, a victim of a genetic engineering mishap, has sky-blue hair.
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