History Main / AlastairReynolds

30th Jul '13 8:51:39 AM Sheora
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Alastair Reynolds is a Welsh author of a number of sci-fi novels, which have the tendency to be about as far up MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness as it's possible to get while still remaining recognizably SpaceOpera. Of particular note is the almost total lack of FasterThanLightTravel in most of his books, despite their interstellar settings, and the extreme cultural and technological divergences shown.

His works include:
* The ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' series: A hard sci-fi SpaceOpera (with elements of CosmicHorror) where 26th century mankind tries to discover why [[AbsentAliens all the other intelligent species they find evidence of seem to have gone mysteriously extinct]].
* ''Pushing Ice'': When Janus (the moon of Saturn) suddenly and mysteriously starts accelerating out of the solar system, an ice-mining ship that happens to be nearby is tasked with investigating, only to find itself pulled along for the journey.
* ''Century Rain'': Set many years after a nanotech disaster has ruined Earth, an archaeologist discovers a [[PortalToThePast time portal]] to an AlternateHistory 1950's [[UsefulNotes/{{Paris}} Paris]].
* ''Literature/HouseOfSuns'': A SpaceOpera set in the year [[TimeAbyss 6.2x10^6 AD]] where a dynasty of clones struggle to find out who is trying to eradicate them.
* ''Literature/TerminalWorld'': Taking place thousands of years into a [[CrapsackWorld bleak future]], the novel concerns the [[AfterTheEnd last remaining city of mankind]], the strange reality warps around it that limit the [[TechnologyLevels level of technology]] people can build, and a [[TheExile doctor's exile]] from that city into the wastelands beyond.
* ''Zima Blue and Other Stories'': A collection of short stories.
* ''Deep Navigation'': A collection of short stories.
* ''Blue Remembered Earth'': The first novel in the new ''Poseidon's Children'' series. Set in [[NeoAfrica an advanced Africa]], pair of BlackSheep siblings investigate [[DeadManWriting mysterious clues left by their recently deceased grandmother]], an infamous explorer and shrewd businesswoman who had built up their family into an empire.
----
!Tropes in Alastair Reynolds works (for ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' tropes, see that series' page):
* AlternateHistory: A [[PlayingWithATrope pseudo-version of this]] is is used in the novel ''Century Rain'', with Earth-Two, an exact copy of planet Earth in a different part of the Galaxy, on which the only difference is a 1940s-50s level of society and technology and the non-existance of WorldWarTwo (it ''started'', but the Nazi offensive bogged down in the Ardennes, bringing an early end to the conflict, with far-from-happy consequences). It is later revealed to be [[spoiler: one of many 'quantum snapshots' of Earth at different time periods, all done by a mysterious missing alien race.]]
* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: Blue Remembered Earth. The weird bit is that the mind reader is [[spoiler:an elephant]].
* BrownNote: Comes in song format in the short story ''Digital to Analogue''.
* DieselPunk: In a FilmNoir variation, the quantum "snapshot" Earth in ''Century Rain''.
* DreadfulMusician: Averted in Century Rain: in an early scene the protagonist is walking into a superior's office while he plays a violin, with her InternalMonologue noting how grating and painful the music is. It is then revealed that she, along with a large portion of the rest of the human race, were infected with a designer-disease called 'amusica', which prevented people from enjoying music, to ruin their side's morale. After all, someone who can't appreciate music can't get patriotic fervor from their anthems, now can they?
* EldritchAbomination: Doubtless whatever it is that exists outside the [[spoiler:megastructure]] in ''Pushing Ice''.
* EmergencyTransformation: In ''Pushing Ice'', [[spoiler:near the end, Bella is killed and her brain damaged to the point that it can no longer be reconstructed, until Svetlana tells the alien doctors to fill in the gaps with her own brain patterns. This brings her back, but as a confused amalgam of two people]].
* GreyGoo: Caused the abandonment of Earth in ''Century Rain''; one type of nanobots in the air to affect weather patterns went rogue, so they made nanobots to combat those, which went rogue, and so on and so forth. The Grey Goo is then ''weaponized'' decades later by the descendants of the survivors and used as a weapon of mass destruction.
* LinkedListClueMethodology: The plot of ''Blue Remembered Earth''.
* MechanicalEvolution: Played with in ''Zima Blue''. [[spoiler: Zima was originally a ''pool cleaning robot'', who was upgraded over decades by the descendants of his creator. Eventually, he does the upgrades on his own.]]
* NeoAfrica: One of the primary settings of ''Blue Remembered Earth''.
* OurWormholesAreDifferent: In the short story ''Beyond the Aquila Rift'', ships travel between worlds using an abandoned FTL network. The ships need to carry millions of tiny screens which project "runes" onto the ship's exterior, which the alien portal network interprets as where the ship wants to go.
* PunnyName: The ''Rockhopper'' mining spacecraft from ''Pushing Ice''. Its mascot is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Rockhopper_Penguin eponymous]] [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins cute species of penguin]] and... [[DontExplainTheJoke you know]]... the ship's routine flights involve "hopping" from one asteroid or comet to the next.
* QuantumMechanicsCanDoAnything: Lampshaded in ''Century Rain'':
-->"We call it a quantum snapshot, but that doesn't mean we have clue one about what was involved in producing it. That's just a name we give it to hide our ignorance."
* ShoutOut:
** In ''Century Rain'', the transhuman Slasher faction identify themselves by a strange gesture in the air - [[SlashDot a diagonal slashing motion followed by a poked dot]].
** There are at least two shout-outs to ''Literature/BookOfTheNewSun'' in ''Literature/HouseOfSuns'': the Vigilance's methods of immortality, and (''Book of the New Sun'' spoiler) [[spoiler: a robot with a human arm]].
** The entirety of House of Suns is constructed out of Alan Parson's Project references. Two antagonists that are featured prominently in the novel are [[http://youtu.be/gN28lFJ6X8w Cadence and Cascade]].
** In his commentary on the short stories in ''Zima Blue'', Reynolds acknowledges that the titles of "Cardiff Afterlife" and "Everlasting" are taken from the names of ManicStreetPreachers songs.
* TimeDilation: Ubiquitous; especially relevant to ''Pushing Ice''.
* TheStarsAreGoingOut: The Absence in ''House of Suns'' causes [[{{HSQ}} Andromeda to disappear]].
* TheUnpronounceable: Slasher names in ''Century Rain''. To speed up communication, they have modified themselves to have a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrinx_%28bird_anatomy%29 Syrinx]], so their names are literally unpronouncable to regular humans, who just don't have the necessary equipment to reproduce those sounds.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Zima in ''Zima Blue''
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: [[spoiler:Essentially what kickstarts the plot of ''Pushing Ice''.]]
----

to:

Alastair Reynolds is a Welsh author of a number of sci-fi novels, which have the tendency to be about as far up MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness as it's possible to get while still remaining recognizably SpaceOpera. Of particular note is the almost total lack of FasterThanLightTravel in most of his books, despite their interstellar settings, and the extreme cultural and technological divergences shown.

His works include:
* The ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' series: A hard sci-fi SpaceOpera (with elements of CosmicHorror) where 26th century mankind tries to discover why [[AbsentAliens all the other intelligent species they find evidence of seem to have gone mysteriously extinct]].
* ''Pushing Ice'': When Janus (the moon of Saturn) suddenly and mysteriously starts accelerating out of the solar system, an ice-mining ship that happens to be nearby is tasked with investigating, only to find itself pulled along for the journey.
* ''Century Rain'': Set many years after a nanotech disaster has ruined Earth, an archaeologist discovers a [[PortalToThePast time portal]] to an AlternateHistory 1950's [[UsefulNotes/{{Paris}} Paris]].
* ''Literature/HouseOfSuns'': A SpaceOpera set in the year [[TimeAbyss 6.2x10^6 AD]] where a dynasty of clones struggle to find out who is trying to eradicate them.
* ''Literature/TerminalWorld'': Taking place thousands of years into a [[CrapsackWorld bleak future]], the novel concerns the [[AfterTheEnd last remaining city of mankind]], the strange reality warps around it that limit the [[TechnologyLevels level of technology]] people can build, and a [[TheExile doctor's exile]] from that city into the wastelands beyond.
* ''Zima Blue and Other Stories'': A collection of short stories.
* ''Deep Navigation'': A collection of short stories.
* ''Blue Remembered Earth'': The first novel in the new ''Poseidon's Children'' series. Set in [[NeoAfrica an advanced Africa]], pair of BlackSheep siblings investigate [[DeadManWriting mysterious clues left by their recently deceased grandmother]], an infamous explorer and shrewd businesswoman who had built up their family into an empire.
----
!Tropes in Alastair Reynolds works (for ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' tropes, see that series' page):
* AlternateHistory: A [[PlayingWithATrope pseudo-version of this]] is is used in the novel ''Century Rain'', with Earth-Two, an exact copy of planet Earth in a different part of the Galaxy, on which the only difference is a 1940s-50s level of society and technology and the non-existance of WorldWarTwo (it ''started'', but the Nazi offensive bogged down in the Ardennes, bringing an early end to the conflict, with far-from-happy consequences). It is later revealed to be [[spoiler: one of many 'quantum snapshots' of Earth at different time periods, all done by a mysterious missing alien race.]]
* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: Blue Remembered Earth. The weird bit is that the mind reader is [[spoiler:an elephant]].
* BrownNote: Comes in song format in the short story ''Digital to Analogue''.
* DieselPunk: In a FilmNoir variation, the quantum "snapshot" Earth in ''Century Rain''.
* DreadfulMusician: Averted in Century Rain: in an early scene the protagonist is walking into a superior's office while he plays a violin, with her InternalMonologue noting how grating and painful the music is. It is then revealed that she, along with a large portion of the rest of the human race, were infected with a designer-disease called 'amusica', which prevented people from enjoying music, to ruin their side's morale. After all, someone who can't appreciate music can't get patriotic fervor from their anthems, now can they?
* EldritchAbomination: Doubtless whatever it is that exists outside the [[spoiler:megastructure]] in ''Pushing Ice''.
* EmergencyTransformation: In ''Pushing Ice'', [[spoiler:near the end, Bella is killed and her brain damaged to the point that it can no longer be reconstructed, until Svetlana tells the alien doctors to fill in the gaps with her own brain patterns. This brings her back, but as a confused amalgam of two people]].
* GreyGoo: Caused the abandonment of Earth in ''Century Rain''; one type of nanobots in the air to affect weather patterns went rogue, so they made nanobots to combat those, which went rogue, and so on and so forth. The Grey Goo is then ''weaponized'' decades later by the descendants of the survivors and used as a weapon of mass destruction.
* LinkedListClueMethodology: The plot of ''Blue Remembered Earth''.
* MechanicalEvolution: Played with in ''Zima Blue''. [[spoiler: Zima was originally a ''pool cleaning robot'', who was upgraded over decades by the descendants of his creator. Eventually, he does the upgrades on his own.]]
* NeoAfrica: One of the primary settings of ''Blue Remembered Earth''.
* OurWormholesAreDifferent: In the short story ''Beyond the Aquila Rift'', ships travel between worlds using an abandoned FTL network. The ships need to carry millions of tiny screens which project "runes" onto the ship's exterior, which the alien portal network interprets as where the ship wants to go.
* PunnyName: The ''Rockhopper'' mining spacecraft from ''Pushing Ice''. Its mascot is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Rockhopper_Penguin eponymous]] [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins cute species of penguin]] and... [[DontExplainTheJoke you know]]... the ship's routine flights involve "hopping" from one asteroid or comet to the next.
* QuantumMechanicsCanDoAnything: Lampshaded in ''Century Rain'':
-->"We call it a quantum snapshot, but that doesn't mean we have clue one about what was involved in producing it. That's just a name we give it to hide our ignorance."
* ShoutOut:
** In ''Century Rain'', the transhuman Slasher faction identify themselves by a strange gesture in the air - [[SlashDot a diagonal slashing motion followed by a poked dot]].
** There are at least two shout-outs to ''Literature/BookOfTheNewSun'' in ''Literature/HouseOfSuns'': the Vigilance's methods of immortality, and (''Book of the New Sun'' spoiler) [[spoiler: a robot with a human arm]].
** The entirety of House of Suns is constructed out of Alan Parson's Project references. Two antagonists that are featured prominently in the novel are [[http://youtu.be/gN28lFJ6X8w Cadence and Cascade]].
** In his commentary on the short stories in ''Zima Blue'', Reynolds acknowledges that the titles of "Cardiff Afterlife" and "Everlasting" are taken from the names of ManicStreetPreachers songs.
* TimeDilation: Ubiquitous; especially relevant to ''Pushing Ice''.
* TheStarsAreGoingOut: The Absence in ''House of Suns'' causes [[{{HSQ}} Andromeda to disappear]].
* TheUnpronounceable: Slasher names in ''Century Rain''. To speed up communication, they have modified themselves to have a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrinx_%28bird_anatomy%29 Syrinx]], so their names are literally unpronouncable to regular humans, who just don't have the necessary equipment to reproduce those sounds.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Zima in ''Zima Blue''
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: [[spoiler:Essentially what kickstarts the plot of ''Pushing Ice''.]]
----
[[redirect:Creator/AlastairReynolds]]
24th Jul '13 10:30:54 AM Shnakepup
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* The ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' series. A hard sci-fi space opera
* ''Pushing Ice''
* ''Century Rain''
* ''Literature/HouseOfSuns'': A Space Opera set in the year [[TimeAbyss 6.2x10^6 AD]].
* ''Literature/TerminalWorld''

to:

* The ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' series. series: A hard sci-fi space opera
SpaceOpera (with elements of CosmicHorror) where 26th century mankind tries to discover why [[AbsentAliens all the other intelligent species they find evidence of seem to have gone mysteriously extinct]].
* ''Pushing Ice''
Ice'': When Janus (the moon of Saturn) suddenly and mysteriously starts accelerating out of the solar system, an ice-mining ship that happens to be nearby is tasked with investigating, only to find itself pulled along for the journey.
* ''Century Rain''
Rain'': Set many years after a nanotech disaster has ruined Earth, an archaeologist discovers a [[PortalToThePast time portal]] to an AlternateHistory 1950's [[UsefulNotes/{{Paris}} Paris]].
* ''Literature/HouseOfSuns'': A Space Opera SpaceOpera set in the year [[TimeAbyss 6.2x10^6 AD]].
AD]] where a dynasty of clones struggle to find out who is trying to eradicate them.
* ''Literature/TerminalWorld''''Literature/TerminalWorld'': Taking place thousands of years into a [[CrapsackWorld bleak future]], the novel concerns the [[AfterTheEnd last remaining city of mankind]], the strange reality warps around it that limit the [[TechnologyLevels level of technology]] people can build, and a [[TheExile doctor's exile]] from that city into the wastelands beyond.



* ''Blue Remembered Earth''

to:

* ''Blue Remembered Earth''Earth'': The first novel in the new ''Poseidon's Children'' series. Set in [[NeoAfrica an advanced Africa]], pair of BlackSheep siblings investigate [[DeadManWriting mysterious clues left by their recently deceased grandmother]], an infamous explorer and shrewd businesswoman who had built up their family into an empire.
24th Jul '13 10:14:29 AM Shnakepup
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!Reynolds' works feature the following tropes (for ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' tropes, see that series' page):

to:

!Reynolds' !Tropes in Alastair Reynolds works feature the following tropes (for ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' tropes, see that series' page):
24th Jul '13 10:14:05 AM Shnakepup
Is there an issue? Send a Message


!!Reynolds' works feature the following tropes (for ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' tropes, see that series' page):

to:

!!Reynolds' !Reynolds' works feature the following tropes (for ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' tropes, see that series' page):
24th Jul '13 10:13:55 AM Shnakepup
Is there an issue? Send a Message


!!Reynolds' feature the following tropes (for ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' tropes, see that series' page):

to:

!!Reynolds' works feature the following tropes (for ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' tropes, see that series' page):
24th Jul '13 10:13:34 AM Shnakepup
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Most of his books take place in the [[TheVerse ''Revelation Space'' universe]], where by the 26th century humans have achieved advanced nanotechnology and slower-than-light interstellar travel, and find themselves needing to discover why [[AbsentAliens all the other intelligent species they find evidence of seem to have gone mysteriously extinct]]. He has also written numerous stand-alone space opera novels, which although they have enormously different settings and characters all deal with a central theme of human fragility in the enormity of space and time.

!!!The ''Revelation Space'' series:
* ''Literature/RevelationSpace''
* ''Redemption Ark''
* ''Absolution Gap''
* ''Chasm City'': A prequel to ''Revelation Space''
* ''Literature/ThePrefect'': A prequel to ''Chasm City'', before the Melding Plague.
* ''Literature/DiamondDogs, Turquoise Days'': a pair of unrelated novellas
* ''Galactic North'': A series of short stories in the ''Revelation Space'' universe.

!!!Stand-alone novels and short-story collections of Reynolds':

to:

Most of his books take place in the [[TheVerse ''Revelation Space'' universe]], where by the 26th century humans have achieved advanced nanotechnology and slower-than-light interstellar travel, and find themselves needing to discover why [[AbsentAliens all the other intelligent species they find evidence of seem to have gone mysteriously extinct]]. He has also written numerous stand-alone His works include:
* The ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space]]'' series. A hard sci-fi
space opera novels, which although they have enormously different settings and characters all deal with a central theme of human fragility in the enormity of space and time.

!!!The ''Revelation Space'' series:
* ''Literature/RevelationSpace''
* ''Redemption Ark''
* ''Absolution Gap''
* ''Chasm City'': A prequel to ''Revelation Space''
* ''Literature/ThePrefect'': A prequel to ''Chasm City'', before the Melding Plague.
* ''Literature/DiamondDogs, Turquoise Days'': a pair of unrelated novellas
* ''Galactic North'': A series of short stories in the ''Revelation Space'' universe.

!!!Stand-alone novels and short-story collections of Reynolds':






!!The Revelation Space series provides examples of:

* AbsoluteXenophobe: [[spoiler:The Inhibitors]], though they are WickedCultured and AffablyEvil on the rare occassion when they make direct contact with humanity.
* AbusivePrecursors: And ''how''. But it's [[PlayingWithATrope played with]], as the survival of humanity [[spoiler:really ''DID'' eventually doom the universe]].
* ActionGirl: Ilia Volyova, Ana Khouri. Often seen as BackToBackBadasses. Scorpio's old friend Orca Cruz is pretty {{Badass}} as well.
* AerithAndBob: Names range from common (Ilia, Boris, Nevil, Dan, Tom, John, Pascale, Nils, Martin) to less common ([[MyNaymeIs Ana]], Xavier, Antoinette, Carine, Renzo, Lyle), to downright rare (Schuyler, Galiana, Tanner) or odd (particularly among Conjoiners: Skade, Remontoire, Felka, Aura etc.). And then there are the AwesomeMcCoolName examples (Scorpio, Lasher, Blood, Beast), used mostly by the hyperpigs or self-aware [=AI=]s with a sense of humour.
* AIIsACrapshoot:
** While the [[spoiler:Inhibitors]] never actually stray from their mission of containing spacefaring life, depending on whose narration you trust they may have either started to question themselves near the end or started to become even more traditionally evil, drifting from using minimal force to simply killing for the sake of it.
** Also the insane hospital ship in [[spoiler:''Nightingale'']] and [[spoiler: the galaxy-eating Greenfly robots from ''Absolution Gap'' and ''Galactic North'']].
* AlienArtsAreAppreciated: A major plot point in ''Absolution Gap'' is the mysterious bridge above the eponymous chasm on Hela, considered to be an artefact of the extinct Scuttlers. This gets subverted at the end of the novel, when we learn that [[spoiler:the bridge actually ''is a human-built structure'', created by a maniac Skyjack artist a few centuries ago]].
* AlienGeometries:
** The [[spoiler:Inhibitor "jewel"]] in ''Revelation Space'', and later the weapons humanity is forced to adopt ''against'' [[spoiler:the Inhibitors]].
** Possibly the later stages of Blood Spire in ''Diamond Dogs'', too.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Ana Khouri. Though concerning her roots on Sky's Edge and her given name, she probably has South American ancestry. (The surname is her husband's, who is of Middle Eastern descent.)
* AnachronicOrder: Omnipresent, as Reynolds rigorously obeys the constraints of relativistic time-dilation.
* AndIMustScream:
** [[GreyGoo The Melding Plague.]] It's totally harmless if you're a baseline human, but if you have any replicating nanotech in you, it will infect it and cause it to rapidly fail and go out of control. In Chasm City, a character mentions that if you have those implants in your head, your head will explode. And it can infect advanced buildings and vehicles as well. In Chasm City, inhabitants of high-tech buildings were trapped in the walls, visibly screaming in terror. The survivors of the disaster don't know if it's possible to revive them.
** Don't let H catch you in the act of police brutality, especially if you're already a BrainInAJar.
* ApocalypseHow:
** [[spoiler:Whenever the Inhibitors detect a starfaring species, they trigger an apocalypse of Species Extinction severity on all its planets. If that fails, they can step up as far as [[EarthShatteringKaboom a Physical Annihilation one]]. At the end of the series, we know the greenfly infestation will eventually take over the whole universe, ergo a Universal scope.]]
** Also, attempting superluminary travel has been known, according to [[spoiler:the Inhibitors]], to delete entire civilizations from the timeline.
* AsteroidMiners: The Skyjacks. Transhuman cyborg spacers with detachable limbs and [[BunnyEarsLawyer a surprising affinity]] for industrial-themed arts.
* BadassGrandpa / CoolOldGuy: Nevil Clavain all the way. Dan Sylveste also has his moments. Scorpio matures into one during the main trilogy.
* BadassNormal: A lot of the main characters, but Volyova probably takes the cake: MacGyvering ? ''Check.'' {{Batman Gambit}}s ? ''Check.'' DeadpanSnarker ? ''Check.'' SmokingIsCool ? ''Double check.''
* BadassLongcoat: Ana Khouri wears one while on a Shadowplay assasination assignment in Chasm City. They're also popular on Sky's Edge, where she was born.
* BaseOnWheels:
** The "cathedrals" and "caravans" of Hela's [[FantasticReligiousWeirdness strange local chuches]] from ''Absolution Gap''.
** Though some of them are actually built like giant {{Spider Tank}}s, including the first and greatest, Quaiche's ''[[MeaningfulName Lady Morwenna]]''.
* {{BFG}}: The Breitenbach cannon, a portable particle beam weapon similar to a light machine gun. But since the series [[AvertedTrope deliberately isn't built]] around gun fights and actiony scenes, it makes only brief appearances.
* BigDumbObject: Oodles of them, virtually in every Reynold's work. And particularly in this series. Often overlaps with ForgottenSuperweapon, LostSuperweapon or LostTechnology.
* BioPunk: The Mixmasters sect and various people attempting genetic modification.
* BodyHorror:
** [[GreyGoo The Melding Plague]].
** And the eventual fate of Colonel Jax [[spoiler: and the protagonists]] in the short story ''Nightingale''.
* BoringButPractical: Spaceflight and space warfare in the series in general. Although the weapons and spacecraft involved are immensely powerful, they still have to deal with the immense distances and timeframes of sub-lightspeed interstellar travel, taking years (at the very least) to travel between stars.
* BlastOut: Averted most of the time. The only bigger shoot outs occur at the end of ''Revelation Space'' and ''Absolution Gap'' and in some parts of ''Chasm City''. Most of the action scenes avoid gunfights altogether.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality:
** The ''[[WordOfGod author himself]]'' has claimed that the ending to ''Galactic North'', with [[spoiler:the remnants of humanity fleeing the galaxy from the Greenfly that will eventually overcome the universe is "[[http://web.archive.org/web/20050204072321/http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue406/interview.html quite optimistic, in my book]]" because there's some time left before the inevitable annihilation of the universe]]. He must have a different standard than, ''oh, all of us carbon-based life forms''.
** Specifically, he compares that ending to past crises humanity has faced in real life. [[spoiler::His perspective on the looming annihilation of the universe is optimistic because there's still some time "...before things reach a crisis point again. And humanity will survive that, as well...". Don't worry, guys, the HordeOfAlienLocusts will only be here in a few thousand years! I think we can take them!]] That goes ''beyond'' optimism.
** [[spoiler:The Inhibitors, at least initially, mainly owing to their thinking on a timescale insanely longer than most sentient races. They routinely wipe out whole spacefaring civilisations [[WellIntentionedExtremist for the greater good]] - the greater good in this case being 'to make the crisis easier to navigate when the Milky Way collides with Andromeda'. Which it will do in approximately ''three billion years''.]]
* BrainUploading: In the Revelation Space universe, behavioral simulations of people are common and full neural simulations also exist; there's also a neutron star that acts as a giant computer and uploads the neural patterns of anyone who gets close enough to it that its gravitational stresses will kill them.
* BuryMeNotOnTheLonePrairie: Antoinette Bax and her father in ''Redemption Ark''.
* ButtMonkey / CosmicPlaything: ''A lot'' of the main characters have to undergo struggles with physical pain, mental stress or just [[FinaglesLaw plain old bad luck and bad timing]] (leading to various misunderstandings). Clavain, Khouri, Scorpio, Quaiche, Brannigan and Volyova all qualify. And the list goes on.
* CasualInterplanetaryTravel: In developed systems like Sol and Yellowstone, planetary travel is fairly cheap.
* CasualInterstellarTravel: Averted. It takes decades to get between stars, and even getting a ride on a Lighthugger is rare outside of the core planets like Yellowstone. Border worlds may have a Lighthugger drop by only after a couple decades.
* ColonyDrop: In ''Absolution Gap'', [[spoiler:Ararat is devastated when its moon gets blown up during a battle against the Inhibitors. Earlier, they destroyed Resurgam by turning its sun into a giant flamethrower.]]
* CoolStarShip: The ''Nostalgia For Infinity'', ''Zodiacal Light'' and ''Nightshade'' in the ''Revelation Space'' trilogy. Heck, [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-B7DmSTO74-c/TsPc1naZ3-I/AAAAAAAAAKM/dbbQI8JaV7E/s1600/lighthugger.jpg any starship]] in the series, given how rare and hard to produce they are. [[spoiler:The picture behind the link is Reynold's official lighthugger schematics.]]
* ConsummateLiar: [[spoiler: Aura/Rashmika Els in ''Absolution Gap'']]
* ContinuityPorn: A lot of the backstories of the major characters from the trilogy are explored in the standalone novels and it's often really interesting how many seemingly forgetable details from works set chronologically earlier [[ChekhovsGun become important plot elements later on]]. Also, expect many an EarlyBirdCameo in the standalones of the series (e. g. Khouri in ''Chasm City'', though she's an AnonymousRinger there).
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: Chasm City, before the Melding Plague ruined everything.
* {{Cyborg}}:
** A lot of the future factions of humanity have transhumanist trappings and are usualy cyborg-lite, with various brain implants. The Conjoiners are a whole society of these, while the Ultras and Demarchists often have some simpler body implants as well.
** A more straightforward example of this trope would be captain Brannigan from ''Revelation Space'' [[spoiler:before he became consumed by the Melding Plague. Also, Skade from ''Redemption Ark'', who has herself willingly tranformed into one after a near-fatal accident]].
** Doctor Trintignant from ''Diamond Dogs'' is ''absolutely obsessed'' with cyborgifying anyone he can get his hands on, including himself. Badly injured people are a great opportunity for him. Reynolds highlights this with this some snarky BlackComedy quips from the "good doctor" himself.
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul: Averted in most of Reynolds' novels, but played with in ''Diamond Dogs''. Although in fairness, in that novella it's more along the lines of "Modifying the fundamental structure that underlies your cognitive processes may have deleterious effects on your personality"; a similar thought is explored in another book with Skade, who temporarily disables her vomit reflex while working in space to prevent the disparity between her visual and inner-ear sensory inputs from convincing her brain that she's been poisoned and triggering emesis, i.e., making her puke her guts up. She notes to herself that becasue the brain is messy and holographic, even small changes like this have decidedly peculiar knock-on effects on perception and cognition.
* CultureChopSuey:
** A given, with humanity being quite a cosmopolitan mix during the events of the trilogy, especially on old and densely inhabited colony worlds like Yellowstone. Nationalities play a far lesser role than back on [[EarthThatWas Earth]] and the main new political and social divisions are purely idelogical factions (such as the Conjoiners, the Demarchists, the Ultranauts, etc.). Some characters' names give obvious hints about a great mixing of nationalities (e.g. Pauline Sukhoi, Xavier Liu, Gillian Sluka). The Demarchist language is said to be "Canasian", a fusion of Chinese and Quebecois French.
** Yellowstone is a cosmopolitan mix of a planet, settled mostly by American, European and East Asian colonists. Sky's Edge was settled by Latin American, Middle Eastern and Central Asian nationalities. The most interesting inhabitants are those of Turquoise, descended from people with Inuit and Thai ancestry.
* DeathByOriginStory: [[spoiler: Calvin Sylveste and, to an extent, Carine Lefevre. Khouri's ill-fated first husband, Fazil (though by the end of Absolution Gap, it's implied that he's BackFromTheDead). [[EarnYourHappyEnding Yay.]] ]]
* DeathWorld: The AllPlanetsAreEarthLike trope gets a major kick in the shins in this series. The most Earth-like planet mentioned is Sky's Edge, which is full of hostile life that is biologically incompatible with Earth life. Eating it will kill you (and vice versa, but the local predators haven't figured this out and will happily eat you - yes, they will die almost instantly, but that's hardly likely to be a comfort to you) or, possibly, do nothing. Then there are the Pattern Jugglers - algae-like StarfishAliens inhabiting planets with global oceans - that usually act benign, but once in a while someone who swims with them doesn't come back, [[CameBackWrong comes back wrong]], [[EmptyShell or worse]]. Also, Yellowstone, the most important and most populated interstellar colony of humanity, has an atmosphere and surface very similar to Saturn's moon Titan, so only the giant domed settlements (like Chasm City or [[{{Egopolis}} Loreanville]]) and orbital habitats are actualy populated. Pretty much all planets in the series are either uninhabitable, barely habitable (without advanced tech) or habitable, but full of EverythingTryingToKillYou.
* DeathFromAbove: Threatened by Volyova in ''Revelation Space'', who uses one of her ship's smallest weapons to devastating effect as a warning to the inhabitants of Resurgam. She also has access to teratonne-yield nukes and "hell class" weapons that could conceivably shatter worlds (and indeed do, on one occasion).
* {{Deconstruction}}: A hard sci-fi decon of the SpaceOpera subgenre, [[ZigZaggingTrope with some]] liberal applying of {{Reconstruction}} here and there. For a start, there's ''no'' CasualInterstellarTravel ''at all'' and the author goes to great lenghts to examine the ramifications of this simple fact on the setting and personal fates of the characters (Khouri's tale being a prime example). The classic scifi trope of faster-than-light travel is only actually attempted once in the series, and it destroys the ship trying to use it.
* DefectorFromDecadence: Nevil Clavain. He defected ''twice'' in his life: [[spoiler:First in ''The Great Wall of Mars'', when he joined the Conjoiners after he had learned the Coalition for Neural Purityhad lied about their nature and only wanted to destroy them. Then, centuries later (during the events of ''Redemption Ark''), he defected from the Conjoiners once a younger and far more radical inner faction (led by [[ImmoralNihilist Skade]]) had taken over and wanted to leave the rest of humanity defenceless against the Inhibitors, instead of offering help.]]
* DescriptionPorn: Reynolds ''loves'' this. It occasionally veers into near-PurpleProse territory.
* DeusExMachina:
** The ending of ''Revelation Space'' does this in the case of the fate of three of the main characters. Though it's at least explained thouroughly.
** At the end of ''Absolution Gap'' [[spoiler:, when it is revealed that the Inhibitors were defeated with the assistance of a mysterious alien race which had been hiding behind the scenes all along]].
* DistantFinale: [[spoiler: The last chapter in ''Absolution Gap'' ends with the Greenfly terraformers eating up entire solar systems and surrounding them with jungle habitats, slowly converting the entire universe into uninhabitable, ''green'' stars. Humanity ultimately evolves into godlike machines, but still can't defeat the Greenfly.]]
* DroppedABridgeOnHim:
** [[spoiler:Thorn (as a BusCrash) and Felka]] between ''Redemption Ark'' and ''Absolution Gap''. Also, [[spoiler:Antoinette and Xavier]] in ''Absolution Gap''.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:The epilogue of ''Absolution Gap'' suggests that there will be no happy ever afters for anyone, ever again.]]
* EldritchAbomination: [[spoiler:The Inhibitors and the Shadows.]]
* ElectronicEyes: Dan Sylveste. They're made using local parts on Resurgam, which means they're really terrible. His eyes break from a flashbang like device, and then can only see greens.
* EmergencyTransformation: In the short story ''The Great Wall of Mars'', [[spoiler:a life-or-death situation is what finally forces the protagonist to join the [[HiveMind Conjoiners]]]]. He later [[spoiler:pays it forward by giving a comatose Volyova a medichine infusion despite her phobia of them]] in ''Redemption Ark''.
* EternalEnglish:
** Averted. Though the stories are all in English via TranslationConvention, it is clearly stated that human languages 500 years in the future have continued to further evolve. Notable examples are the two main ''lingua franca''s: [[LatinLand Norte]] and [[CanadaEh Can]]-[[FarEast asian]]. In a throwaway comment, Volyova refers to her native language as "[[FutureSlang Russish]]", not "Russian".
** Even lampshaded: During ''Galactic North'', there is a request for a burial at C (shooting the casket forward while just before decelerating), "An old joke that only worked in a long forgotten language."
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Quaiche's [[spoiler: tragically deceased lover Morwenna]]. Though bear in mind that Quaiche himself is more of an AntiVillain.
* ExactWords: In "Nightingale," the hospital ship ''Nightingale'' tells the narrator that she and her compatriots can leave "in one piece" after they've seen and retrieved Colonel Jax. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, what the ship means is that the entire group will be surgically melded together into a single, monstrous whole.]]
* FantasticReligiousWeirdness:
** ''Revelation Space'' and ''Chasm City'' show a new, monastic-esque faith - the Ice Mendicants - whose clergy and members are dedicated to protecting, helping or healing people who've awakened from [[HumanPopsicle reefersleep after an interstellar journey]] (particularly those who were less lucky). They're [[GeniusBonus sort of like]] the original version of TheKnightsHospitallers during TheCrusades, before they became more of a WarriorMonk order. Also, they're one of the few new religions that are closer to SaintlyChurch rather than CorruptChurch.
** Also, as seen in ''Chasm City'' the various religious cults that sprang up on Sky's Edge after the life, deeds and [[spoiler:[[NotQuiteDead supposed]] ]] death of the colony's controversial founder, Sky Hausmann, passed into legend. Some of the more avid cults even went so far as to engineer special biomechanic nanoviruses to forcefully indoctrinate unsuspecting people or opponents into new followers of their faith. This becomes a major ChekhovsGun in the {{backstory}} of Horris Quaiche from ''Absolution Gap'' [[spoiler:(who founds his own bizzaro religion, based on a mishmash of old Earth faiths and his own traumatic experiences enhanced by the virus)]]. ''Absolution Gap'' generally goes far deeper into this trope, often to the point of {{Deconstruction}} ''and'' subsequent {{Reconstruction}}.
* FantasticSlurs:
** Yellowstonian Demarchists call Conjoiners "spiders" and rogue Demarchists, Skyjacks and Ultras "zombies". The "spider" nickname was also used by the Coalition for Neural Purity seen in the chronologically earliest installments of the series. Conjoiners refer to baseline humans as "the retarded".
** InSeriesNickname: The Yellowstonians (and apparently people from other terrestrial planets as well) often refer to themselves as "Stoners".
* FasterThanLightTravel: Theoretically possible, but very, ''[[RetGone very]]'' [[RetGone risky]], hence the preference [[BoringButPractical for the far more restrictive]] slower than light travel used by humanity. [[spoiler:Skade and her crew [[TemptingFate tries to brake the light barrier]] in ''Redemption Ark'' thanks to some alien AppliedPhlebotinum upgrades built into ''Nightshade''. [[GoneHorriblyWrong It doesn't end well]]...]]
* FiveManBand
** Hard to define, but in general:
** TheHero: Ana Khouri. In ''Redemption Ark'' and ''Absolution Gap'' onward, she and Clavain tend to alternate in being TheHero and the {{Deuteragonist}}/SupportingProtagonist.
** TheLancer: Ilia Volyova to Khouri, Remontoire to Clavain
** TheSmartGuy: Dan Sylveste in ''Revelation Space'', Nevil Clavain in ''Redemption Ark'' and ''Absolution Gap''.
** TheBigGuy: Scorpio (even though he isn't physically tall or big to begin with)
** TheChick: Ana Khouri, Pascale Sylveste, Felka
** SixthRanger: Thorn, Xavier Liu, Antoinette Bax, Vasko Malinin
* FlyingCar: The volantors of pre-plague Chasm City. Appear explicitly in the opening chapter of ''Diamond Dogs''.
* ForgottenSuperweapon:
** The [[NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup "Cache Weapons"]] aboard ''Nostalgia for Infinity''.
** A lesser example in the first ''Revelation Space'' novel, which features PoweredArmor suits that are never mentioned in later books, though there are several stituations in which they would make a huge difference. Then again, they would likely [[spoiler: have been destroyed/corrupted when the Melding Plague / TheCaptain took over the ship]]; this is plausible, since they also appear in ''Diamond Dogs'', which is mostly set in the pre-Plague era.
* ForTheEvulz: Averted by most villainous characters, but played straight by the infamous dictator of the planet Haven, mentioned in ''Turquoise Days''.
* FutureImperfect: Antoinette Bax mentions that the first astronaut was named Neil Gagarin. Also, various throwaway snippets about Earth history by several other characters.
* GeniusLoci: [[spoiler: The ''Nostalgia for Infinity'' from the main trilogy, after the Captain's intelligence is spread throughout its systems by the Melding Plague. Also, many enviroments overtaken by the Melding Plague in general. A more unrelated example of this trope is Blood Spire in ''Diamond Dogs''.]]
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: Horris Quaiche's {{backstory}} in ''Absolution Gap'' concerns his firm slip into depression and insanity after [[spoiler: the woman he loved died by accident while [[SurvivorGuilt he managed to survive and get rescued]] ]]. This is not helped at all by the fact that he's got a special nano virus implanted into his body. It serves to pacify him via indoctrination by presenting hallucinations showing random religious imagery from Earth's history. And it always goes off in situations where he becomes overloaded by grief, anger or other negative emotions. So take a wild guess [[HeroicBSOD what happens to him]] [[SanitySlippage once he finds out about]] [[spoiler:the death of his significant other]].
* AGoodNameForARockBand: The names of the various spacecraft. Seriously: ''The Pelican in Impiety'', ''Storm Bird'', ''Faint Memory of Hokusai'', etc.
* GrandTheftMe:
** What [[spoiler:the Captain]] did to [[spoiler:Sajaki]] prior to the events of ''Revelation Space''.
** Also played straight and subverted by Calvin Sylveste, who [[spoiler:had originally engineered Dan Sylveste as a clone of himself to make it easier to possibly imprint a copy of himself into Dan's brain.]] While he does do this near the end of the book (and already did it once), it's more of a two people/one body relationship.
** In ''Chasm City'' this is [[spoiler:inverted. Cahuella overwrites ''himself'' with Tanner's personality in order to dodge his enemies]], though this may qualify as more of a [[spoiler:MemoryGambit gone wrong, as he gets better, more or less]].
* GratuitousRussian: Volyova, but only when she gets particularly frustrated or angry (so it's mostly limited to swear words or snarky comments), and with [[FakeRussian fairly bad Russian grammar]] at that (she doesn't seem to differentiate between singular and plural forms of her favourite cussword). [[AuthorsSavingThrow It is mentioned]], however, that her language, "Russish", is not the same as modern Russian.
* GreatOffscreenWar: The first war between the Conjoiners and baseline humanity, on Mars, is this for most of the series. We do see a small bit of it in ''Galactic North'' though.
* GreatWhiteHunter: The hamadryad hunters on Sky's Edge.
* GunPorn: The [[PunnyName Warchive]] aboard the ''Nostalgia for Infinity'', which can reproduce any weapon from recorded human history. Volyova and Khouri make good use of it at the end of ''Revelation Space'', when they need to arm themselves. [[TheyPlottedAPerfectlyGoodWaste Then they destroy it, just in case the attacking force takes control of the entire ship.]]
* HordeOfAlienLocusts: [[spoiler:The Greenfly.]] They become the BiggerBad after the [[spoiler:Inhibitors]] are defeated. DiabolusExMachina, anyone ?
* HumanPopsicle: Most starship passengers, as it's either cryo or spend years or decades awake between stars.
* HuntingTheMostDangerousGame: Shadowplay, in which the bored, virtually immortal residents of Chasm City are hunted by professional assassins according to pre-agreed rules. The game is set up so most of the clients survive, in order that people will keep paying for the thrill-seeking experience.
* ChekhovsGun / ChekhovsSkill: Lots and lots in each installment of the series.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder / WeAreStrugglingTogether: The original crew of the ''Nostalgia for Infinity''.
* IThoughtEveryoneCouldDoThat: Rashmika doesn't lie, because she's a LivingLieDetector and assumes everyone else is too.
* InsistentTerminology:
** "Servitors" [[CallARabbitASmeerp for robots]] (non-sentient worker ones, but still).
** What is this "cryogenics" you speak of? It's called "reefersleep", dammit! And flying cars are "[[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench volantors]]", get it?
* IntelligentGerbil: Some of the less out-there alien species. A subversion, since they're few and far between and by the time starfaring humans discover them, they're usualy already extinct.
** The Amarantin were an advanced humanoid avian species from the planet later known as Resurgam, a formerly Earth-like world orbiting Delta Pavonis. The reasons behind their disapperance and the planet turning to a barely habitable rocky wasteland drive the central mystery in ''Revelation Space''.
** [[spoiler:Implied to be the original biological form of individual Inhibitors, before they transformed themselves into a completely artificial species. Their former outward appearance was seemingly canine-like, gaining them the nickname "wolves" among humans.]]
* InterfaithSmoothie: Horris Quaiche from ''Absolution Gap'' and the religions founded by him [[spoiler:after he goes mad from grief and the influence of the indoctrination virus]].
* InvisibleAliens [[spoiler:Made necessary by the Inhibitors]].
* JerkAss: Dan Sylveste.
* LittleHeroBigWar: To the point that in ''Absolution Gap'', humanity largely isn't saved by their own efforts at all, but by [[spoiler:the abovementioned Invisible Aliens deciding that the Inhibitors have finally become weak enough for them to reveal themselves and fight them. This is revealed in passing in the epilogue - not so much part of the story as just an incidental fact of how history played out]]--but see the note after DeusExMachina above for an alternate view on that point.
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: Clavain for Felka.
* LivingLieDetector: [[spoiler: Aura]]/Rashmika Els.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: You bet ! And due to the author's love of AnyoneCanDie, the only character from the trilogy still alive by its end is [[spoiler:Ana Khouri]].
* MainliningTheMonster: In ''Chasm City'', an alien marooned on Yellowstone is the only source of a drug that can suppress the [[BodyHorror melding plague]].
* ManInTheMachine: Disembodied brains in [[spoiler:Conjoiner drives]].
* MeaningfulName: In-universe, Cahuella.
* MeanwhileInTheFuture: A given, with all the TimeDilation and AnachronicOrder going on. A big part of the plot for the first third of ''Revelation Space'' and ''Absolution Gap''.
* MemoryGambit: [[spoiler:Tanner Mirabel/Cahuella]] in ''Chasm City'', and [[spoiler:Aura]] in ''Absolution Gap''.
* MindVirus: Features in some of the novels. ''Chasm City'' has a virus that gives it's victims dreams of a cult leader's messiah, along with slowly altering their thoughts until they are believers.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: Doctor Trintignant from ''Diamond Dogs'', Grelier from ''Absolution Gap''.
* MyMasterRightOrWrong: Grelier is surprisingly loyal to Quaiche, even after he learns about what he had planned and done.
* MysteriousAntarctica / GrimUpNorth: Resurgam from ''Revelation Space'' and the moon Hela from ''Absolution Gap'' are a sci-fi variation of this. Diadem from the short story ''Glacial'' starts out with a characterization like this, but it gets subverted at the end.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: "The Inhibitors", "the Shadows", "the Melding Plague" (as well as "the Uncontained" from ''Pushing Ice'')
* NamingYourColonyWorld:
** '''Symbolica''': Torquoise, Spindrift, Haven, Diadem, Sky's Edge, Resurgam (Latin for "I will rise again")
** '''Mnemosyme''': Hades, Cerberus (Greek mythology), Hela, Haldora (Norse mythology), Roc (giant bird from Persian/Oriental mythology), Zion, Ararat, Golgotha (Biblical), Fand (Irish mythology)
** '''Named The Same''': Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier (US National Parks), Ararat (since it's an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Ararat actual mountain in the real world]] as well, not only mythical)
** '''Planet ShoutOut''': Tangerine Dream (see ShoutOut section below).
* NiceJobBreakingItHero:
** What [[spoiler:Dan Sylveste and the Nostalgia's crew]] unwillingly put into motion at the end of ''Revelation Space''.
** In the third book of the Revelation Space trilogy, [[spoiler:the Inhibitors are finally wiped out; however, it is implied that their absence is what allows a swarm of von Neumann machines to eventually consume literally the entire universe.]] As such this also counts as an Inferred Holocaust.
* NonActionGuy: Dan Sylveste in ''Revelation Space'' and most of the cast in ''Diamond Dogs''.
* NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup: [[spoiler:[[LostSuperweapon The Hell class weapons]] aboard ''Nostalgia for Infinity''. Justified, as the weapons were built to plans received through Exordium; the Conjoiners were so scared by both what they'd created, and how they had created them, that they deliberately destroyed the plans and made no attempt to build more of them.]]
* OceanPunk:
** Any planet inhabited by the Pattern Jugglers, particularly the ones with established human colonies, e.g. Turquoise (deliberate colonization), Ararat (colonization by necessesity). The Jugglers favour wide open oceanic enviroments, so this is pretty much a given.
** The Subaru Commonwealth colonies in the Pleaides star cluster, glimpsed in the short story ''Galactic North''. They're a Juggler-less example.
* [[OffWithHisHead Off With Your Head]]:
** ''Revelation Space'' has space suits with helmets designed to decapitate a person when the suit is breached, then cryo-freeze the head. This allows the person to be revived with prosthetics.
** [[spoiler:Jane Auntmonier]] in ''The Prefect'', as part of a gambit to [[spoiler:save her life. She gets better]].
* OldShame / CreatorBacklash:
** In the afterword of ''Galactic North'', Reynolds [[WordOfGod admitted]] that his Revelation Space novels are derived in part from a much more space-opera-ish set of unpublished novels which he devoutly intends should never see print, [[http://voxish.tripod.com/id16.html although he regards them as a valuable learning experience]].
** An experimental short story called ''Pandora's Box''. He [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W9CFeSqIMw ceremoniously destroyed every single copy of it]] printed in the English language during his visit at Finn Con 2009. There is a Finnish translation though, so it still exists in Finnish.
** ''[[http://approachingpavonis.blogspot.com/2010/10/computa-two-previously-unpublished.html Computa Two]]'', and its [[http://approachingpavonis.blogspot.com/2011/01/computa-2-continued-and-concluded.html conclusion]].
* OmnidisciplinaryScientist: Dan Sylveste and his father, Calvin.
* OnlySmartPeopleMayPass: The plot of ''Diamond Dogs'' is a deconstruction of this trope [[spoiler:and the characters]].
* TheOphelia: Felka.
* OracularUrchin: Aura again.
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent: The "Denizens", who were created by genetic engineering and are thorough fusions of human and fish DNA, along with sequences to secrete antifreeze and let them breathe hydrogen sulfide instead of oxygen. They look thoroughly monstrous.
* PathOfInspiration: The Quaicheist churches of Hela.
* PigMan: Hyperpigs, most notably Scorpio and Sparver.
* EarthAllAlong: [[spoiler: Looks like the "Shadows" are humanity in the far future, after the DiabolusExMachina of the epilogue curbstomps the universe with nanotech. The brane allowed them to contact their past, yet they didn't think to warn us about the greenfly, did they? Where's the Melding Plague when you really need it? Alternatively, why didn't Exordium warn anyone? [[spoiler: Though they did try the Melding Plague. It didn't work...]]
* PoweredArmor: The [[AMechByAnyOtherName "suits"]] are a very versatile example of this trope.
* PraetorianGuard / KnightTemplar / ChurchMilitant: The Cathedral Guard in ''Absolution Gap''.
* ProfessorGuineaPig: The first Conjoiners and Doctor Trintignant.
* ProjectedMan: Many of the entoptic simulations and personal avatars.
* PsychoForHire: Grelier in ''Absolution Gap'' and pretty much any less than sympathetic Ultranaut or bounty hunter in the series.
* RagnarokProofing: The aversion is a major plot point of ''Revelation Space''. In ''Absolution Gap'', it's played straight with [[spoiler:the Scuttlers' gravity radio (millions of years old)]], but averted with [[spoiler: the Inhibitors devolving and ultimately being defeated after only a quarter of their four-billion-year mission]].
* RealityEnsues: Pretty much the reason why AppliedPhlebotinum is not always an instant solution to everything. The series is generally very down to earth in what humans can achieve even with highly advanced or reverse-engineered alien tech. For instance, Khouri's entire previous life gets wrecked because of a bureaucratic mistake that puts her and her husband on two different lighthuggers. Since CasualInterstellarTravel is non-existant in the series and crossing from one system to the other can take decades (even in reefersleep), her chances of meeting him again during her lifetime have dropped to nearly zero.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld:
** The Captain is ''very'' old. He is implied to have been a member of NASA, or the near-future equivalent. His middle name is [[ShoutOut Armstrong]], actually.
** Also, Nevil Clavain (born in the 22. century) is one of the oldest still living Conjoiners during the events of the main trilogy (which takes place in the 26.-28. century). When he dies in [[spoiler:''Absolution Gap'']] and the news about his demise appears on the local TV news, Vasko Malinin notes that it's strange to see a birth and death date separated by five centuries.
** The Ultranaut crews (and pretty much anyone who takes a lighthugger from one planetary system to the other) can live very long lives thanks to the relativistic travel speeds of interstellar spacecraft.
* RetGone: This is a danger of trying to build inertia-dampening fields and similar technology. A bad enough malfunction doesn't merely vaporize you but retroactively erases you, or your ''[[ApocalypseHow entire civilization]]'', from existence.
* RocksFallEverybodyDies: In ''Absolution Gap'' [[spoiler:, the Greenfly appears, the universe ends and the reader feels like their soul has been removed with pliers.]]
* RussianGuySuffersMost: Averted [[ParodiedTrope to virtually hilarious degrees]] by Volyova in ''Revelation Space''. But even such a skilled and resourceful {{badass}} like her isn't MadeOfIron, so she eventually gets hit hard by this trope in the second half of ''Redemption Ark'' (it's handled pretty subtly though).
* SapientShip: ''Nightingale'', [[spoiler: the ''Nostalgia For Infinity'' after the melding plague takes over]], and [[spoiler: Antoinette's ship]]
* ScaryDogmaticAliens: The [[spoiler:Inhibitors]] [[AbsoluteXenophobe live and breathe this trope]] and even self-justify their ultimate goals in a WellIntentionedExtremist type of way.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: [[HeroWithBadPublicity Nevil Clavain]] is often a tragic AntiHero because he [[ThinkNothingOfIt selflessly sacrifices a lot]] (including many things dear to him) in order to help those in need, even if they're oblivious to the coming threat and don't believe him.
* SchizoTech: A corollary of the UsedFuture setting, and often a result of the Melding Plague's effect on NanoMachines. In ''Chasm City'', the well-off inhabitants of the lower city use ''[[SteamPunk steam powered vehicles]]'', despite there being laser rifles and interstellar travel. The [[TheVirus Melding Plague]] apparently affects everything beyond 20th century technology. And the inhabitants of the Canopy ride around in cars that grip onto cables in the air, have laser pistols, and live in the remains of the horribly mutated buildings of Chasm City.
** SteamNeverDies: * [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]], [[JustifiedTrope justified]] and visually [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] in ''Chasm City'', where the titular metropolis on the planet Yellowstone is connected with its outlying spaceport via a train powered by a steam locomotive. While the protagonist is a bit shocked by this fact at first, he discovers that the train's appearance and furnishings are decidedly aerodynamic, hi-tech and modern. The bullet-shaped steam locomotives only came into service because a [[spoiler:nanotech plague]] devastated the city years ago, rendering a lot of sensitive electronics and electric-based equipment aboard the original types too risky to use. The steam itself is not produced by burning fuel, but is mined from the titular chasm of the planet, which wents it in large quantities, along with organic gases.

to:

!!The !!Reynolds' feature the following tropes (for ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Revelation Space series provides examples of:

Space]]'' tropes, see that series' page):
* AbsoluteXenophobe: [[spoiler:The Inhibitors]], though they are WickedCultured and AffablyEvil on the rare occassion when they make direct contact with humanity.
* AbusivePrecursors: And ''how''. But it's
AlternateHistory: A [[PlayingWithATrope played with]], as the survival pseudo-version of humanity [[spoiler:really ''DID'' eventually doom the universe]].
* ActionGirl: Ilia Volyova, Ana Khouri. Often seen as BackToBackBadasses. Scorpio's old friend Orca Cruz
this]] is pretty {{Badass}} as well.
* AerithAndBob: Names range from common (Ilia, Boris, Nevil, Dan, Tom, John, Pascale, Nils, Martin) to less common ([[MyNaymeIs Ana]], Xavier, Antoinette, Carine, Renzo, Lyle), to downright rare (Schuyler, Galiana, Tanner) or odd (particularly among Conjoiners: Skade, Remontoire, Felka, Aura etc.). And then there are the AwesomeMcCoolName examples (Scorpio, Lasher, Blood, Beast),
is used mostly by in the hyperpigs or self-aware [=AI=]s novel ''Century Rain'', with a sense Earth-Two, an exact copy of humour.
* AIIsACrapshoot:
** While
planet Earth in a different part of the [[spoiler:Inhibitors]] never actually stray from their mission of containing spacefaring life, depending Galaxy, on whose narration you trust they may have either started to question themselves near which the only difference is a 1940s-50s level of society and technology and the non-existance of WorldWarTwo (it ''started'', but the Nazi offensive bogged down in the Ardennes, bringing an early end or started to become even more traditionally evil, drifting from using minimal force to simply killing for the sake of it.
** Also the insane hospital ship in [[spoiler:''Nightingale'']] and
conflict, with far-from-happy consequences). It is later revealed to be [[spoiler: the galaxy-eating Greenfly robots from ''Absolution Gap'' and ''Galactic North'']].
* AlienArtsAreAppreciated: A major plot point in ''Absolution Gap'' is the
one of many 'quantum snapshots' of Earth at different time periods, all done by a mysterious bridge above the eponymous chasm on Hela, considered to be an artefact of the extinct Scuttlers. This gets subverted at the end of the novel, when we learn that [[spoiler:the bridge actually ''is a human-built structure'', created by a maniac Skyjack artist a few centuries ago]].
* AlienGeometries:
** The [[spoiler:Inhibitor "jewel"]] in ''Revelation Space'', and later the weapons humanity is forced to adopt ''against'' [[spoiler:the Inhibitors]].
** Possibly the later stages of Blood Spire in ''Diamond Dogs'', too.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Ana Khouri. Though concerning her roots on Sky's Edge and her given name, she probably has South American ancestry. (The surname is her husband's, who is of Middle Eastern descent.)
* AnachronicOrder: Omnipresent, as Reynolds rigorously obeys the constraints of relativistic time-dilation.
* AndIMustScream:
** [[GreyGoo The Melding Plague.]] It's totally harmless if you're a baseline human, but if you have any replicating nanotech in you, it will infect it and cause it to rapidly fail and go out of control. In Chasm City, a character mentions that if you have those implants in your head, your head will explode. And it can infect advanced buildings and vehicles as well. In Chasm City, inhabitants of high-tech buildings were trapped in the walls, visibly screaming in terror. The survivors of the disaster don't know if it's possible to revive them.
** Don't let H catch you in the act of police brutality, especially if you're already a BrainInAJar.
* ApocalypseHow:
** [[spoiler:Whenever the Inhibitors detect a starfaring species, they trigger an apocalypse of Species Extinction severity on all its planets. If that fails, they can step up as far as [[EarthShatteringKaboom a Physical Annihilation one]]. At the end of the series, we know the greenfly infestation will eventually take over the whole universe, ergo a Universal scope.
missing alien race.]]
** Also, attempting superluminary travel has been known, according to [[spoiler:the Inhibitors]], to delete entire civilizations from * AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: Blue Remembered Earth. The weird bit is that the timeline.
mind reader is [[spoiler:an elephant]].
* AsteroidMiners: The Skyjacks. Transhuman cyborg spacers with detachable limbs and [[BunnyEarsLawyer a surprising affinity]] for industrial-themed arts.
* BadassGrandpa / CoolOldGuy: Nevil Clavain all the way. Dan Sylveste also has his moments. Scorpio matures into one during the main trilogy.
* BadassNormal: A lot of the main characters, but Volyova probably takes the cake: MacGyvering ? ''Check.'' {{Batman Gambit}}s ? ''Check.'' DeadpanSnarker ? ''Check.'' SmokingIsCool ? ''Double check.''
* BadassLongcoat: Ana Khouri wears one while on a Shadowplay assasination assignment
BrownNote: Comes in Chasm City. They're also popular on Sky's Edge, where she was born.
* BaseOnWheels:
** The "cathedrals" and "caravans" of Hela's [[FantasticReligiousWeirdness strange local chuches]] from ''Absolution Gap''.
** Though some of them are actually built like giant {{Spider Tank}}s, including the first and greatest, Quaiche's ''[[MeaningfulName Lady Morwenna]]''.
* {{BFG}}: The Breitenbach cannon, a portable particle beam weapon similar to a light machine gun. But since the series [[AvertedTrope deliberately isn't built]] around gun fights and actiony scenes, it makes only brief appearances.
* BigDumbObject: Oodles of them, virtually in every Reynold's work. And particularly in this series. Often overlaps with ForgottenSuperweapon, LostSuperweapon or LostTechnology.
* BioPunk: The Mixmasters sect and various people attempting genetic modification.
* BodyHorror:
** [[GreyGoo The Melding Plague]].
** And the eventual fate of Colonel Jax [[spoiler: and the protagonists]]
song format in the short story ''Nightingale''.
''Digital to Analogue''.
* BoringButPractical: Spaceflight and space warfare in DieselPunk: In a FilmNoir variation, the series quantum "snapshot" Earth in general. Although the weapons and spacecraft involved are immensely powerful, they still have to deal with the immense distances and timeframes of sub-lightspeed interstellar travel, taking years (at the very least) to travel between stars.
''Century Rain''.
* BlastOut: DreadfulMusician: Averted most in Century Rain: in an early scene the protagonist is walking into a superior's office while he plays a violin, with her InternalMonologue noting how grating and painful the music is. It is then revealed that she, along with a large portion of the time. The only bigger shoot outs occur at the end of ''Revelation Space'' and ''Absolution Gap'' and in some parts of ''Chasm City''. Most rest of the action scenes avoid gunfights altogether.
human race, were infected with a designer-disease called 'amusica', which prevented people from enjoying music, to ruin their side's morale. After all, someone who can't appreciate music can't get patriotic fervor from their anthems, now can they?
* BlueAndOrangeMorality:
** The ''[[WordOfGod author himself]]'' has claimed
EldritchAbomination: Doubtless whatever it is that exists outside the ending [[spoiler:megastructure]] in ''Pushing Ice''.
* EmergencyTransformation: In ''Pushing Ice'', [[spoiler:near the end, Bella is killed and her brain damaged
to ''Galactic North'', the point that it can no longer be reconstructed, until Svetlana tells the alien doctors to fill in the gaps with [[spoiler:the remnants her own brain patterns. This brings her back, but as a confused amalgam of humanity fleeing two people]].
* GreyGoo: Caused
the galaxy from abandonment of Earth in ''Century Rain''; one type of nanobots in the Greenfly that will eventually overcome air to affect weather patterns went rogue, so they made nanobots to combat those, which went rogue, and so on and so forth. The Grey Goo is then ''weaponized'' decades later by the universe is "[[http://web.archive.org/web/20050204072321/http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue406/interview.html quite optimistic, in my book]]" because there's some time left before the inevitable annihilation descendants of the universe]]. He must have survivors and used as a different standard than, ''oh, all weapon of us carbon-based life forms''.
** Specifically, he compares that ending to past crises humanity has faced in real life. [[spoiler::His perspective on the looming annihilation
mass destruction.
* LinkedListClueMethodology: The plot
of the universe is optimistic because there's still some time "...before things reach a crisis point again. And humanity will survive that, as well...". Don't worry, guys, the HordeOfAlienLocusts will only be here in a few thousand years! I think we can take them!]] That goes ''beyond'' optimism.
** [[spoiler:The Inhibitors, at least initially, mainly owing to their thinking on a timescale insanely longer than most sentient races. They routinely wipe out whole spacefaring civilisations [[WellIntentionedExtremist for the greater good]] - the greater good in this case being 'to make the crisis easier to navigate when the Milky Way collides
''Blue Remembered Earth''.
* MechanicalEvolution: Played
with Andromeda'. Which it will do in approximately ''three billion years''.''Zima Blue''. [[spoiler: Zima was originally a ''pool cleaning robot'', who was upgraded over decades by the descendants of his creator. Eventually, he does the upgrades on his own.]]
* BrainUploading: In the Revelation Space universe, behavioral simulations of people are common and full neural simulations also exist; there's also a neutron star that acts as a giant computer and uploads the neural patterns of anyone who gets close enough to it that its gravitational stresses will kill them.
* BuryMeNotOnTheLonePrairie: Antoinette Bax and her father in ''Redemption Ark''.
* ButtMonkey / CosmicPlaything: ''A lot''
NeoAfrica: One of the main characters have to undergo struggles with physical pain, mental stress or just [[FinaglesLaw plain old bad luck and bad timing]] (leading to various misunderstandings). Clavain, Khouri, Scorpio, Quaiche, Brannigan and Volyova all qualify. And the list goes on.
* CasualInterplanetaryTravel: In developed systems like Sol and Yellowstone, planetary travel is fairly cheap.
* CasualInterstellarTravel: Averted. It takes decades to get between stars, and even getting a ride on a Lighthugger is rare outside
primary settings of the core planets like Yellowstone. Border worlds may have a Lighthugger drop by only after a couple decades.
''Blue Remembered Earth''.
* ColonyDrop: In ''Absolution Gap'', [[spoiler:Ararat is devastated when its moon gets blown up during a battle against the Inhibitors. Earlier, they destroyed Resurgam by turning its sun into a giant flamethrower.]]
* CoolStarShip: The ''Nostalgia For Infinity'', ''Zodiacal Light'' and ''Nightshade'' in the ''Revelation Space'' trilogy. Heck, [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-B7DmSTO74-c/TsPc1naZ3-I/AAAAAAAAAKM/dbbQI8JaV7E/s1600/lighthugger.jpg any starship]] in the series, given how rare and hard to produce they are. [[spoiler:The picture behind the link is Reynold's official lighthugger schematics.]]
* ConsummateLiar: [[spoiler: Aura/Rashmika Els in ''Absolution Gap'']]
* ContinuityPorn: A lot of the backstories of the major characters from the trilogy are explored in the standalone novels and it's often really interesting how many seemingly forgetable details from works set chronologically earlier [[ChekhovsGun become important plot elements later on]]. Also, expect many an EarlyBirdCameo in the standalones of the series (e. g. Khouri in ''Chasm City'', though she's an AnonymousRinger there).
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: Chasm City, before the Melding Plague ruined everything.
* {{Cyborg}}:
** A lot of the future factions of humanity have transhumanist trappings and are usualy cyborg-lite, with various brain implants. The Conjoiners are a whole society of these, while the Ultras and Demarchists often have some simpler body implants as well.
** A more straightforward example of this trope would be captain Brannigan from ''Revelation Space'' [[spoiler:before he became consumed by the Melding Plague. Also, Skade from ''Redemption Ark'', who has herself willingly tranformed into one after a near-fatal accident]].
** Doctor Trintignant from ''Diamond Dogs'' is ''absolutely obsessed'' with cyborgifying anyone he can get his hands on, including himself. Badly injured people are a great opportunity for him. Reynolds highlights this with this some snarky BlackComedy quips from the "good doctor" himself.
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul: Averted in most of Reynolds' novels, but played with in ''Diamond Dogs''. Although in fairness, in that novella it's more along the lines of "Modifying the fundamental structure that underlies your cognitive processes may have deleterious effects on your personality"; a similar thought is explored in another book with Skade, who temporarily disables her vomit reflex while working in space to prevent the disparity between her visual and inner-ear sensory inputs from convincing her brain that she's been poisoned and triggering emesis, i.e., making her puke her guts up. She notes to herself that becasue the brain is messy and holographic, even small changes like this have decidedly peculiar knock-on effects on perception and cognition.
* CultureChopSuey:
** A given, with humanity being quite a cosmopolitan mix during the events of the trilogy, especially on old and densely inhabited colony worlds like Yellowstone. Nationalities play a far lesser role than back on [[EarthThatWas Earth]] and the main new political and social divisions are purely idelogical factions (such as the Conjoiners, the Demarchists, the Ultranauts, etc.). Some characters' names give obvious hints about a great mixing of nationalities (e.g. Pauline Sukhoi, Xavier Liu, Gillian Sluka). The Demarchist language is said to be "Canasian", a fusion of Chinese and Quebecois French.
** Yellowstone is a cosmopolitan mix of a planet, settled mostly by American, European and East Asian colonists. Sky's Edge was settled by Latin American, Middle Eastern and Central Asian nationalities. The most interesting inhabitants are those of Turquoise, descended from people with Inuit and Thai ancestry.
* DeathByOriginStory: [[spoiler: Calvin Sylveste and, to an extent, Carine Lefevre. Khouri's ill-fated first husband, Fazil (though by the end of Absolution Gap, it's implied that he's BackFromTheDead). [[EarnYourHappyEnding Yay.]] ]]
* DeathWorld: The AllPlanetsAreEarthLike trope gets a major kick in the shins in this series. The most Earth-like planet mentioned is Sky's Edge, which is full of hostile life that is biologically incompatible with Earth life. Eating it will kill you (and vice versa, but the local predators haven't figured this out and will happily eat you - yes, they will die almost instantly, but that's hardly likely to be a comfort to you) or, possibly, do nothing. Then there are the Pattern Jugglers - algae-like StarfishAliens inhabiting planets with global oceans - that usually act benign, but once in a while someone who swims with them doesn't come back, [[CameBackWrong comes back wrong]], [[EmptyShell or worse]]. Also, Yellowstone, the most important and most populated interstellar colony of humanity, has an atmosphere and surface very similar to Saturn's moon Titan, so only the giant domed settlements (like Chasm City or [[{{Egopolis}} Loreanville]]) and orbital habitats are actualy populated. Pretty much all planets in the series are either uninhabitable, barely habitable (without advanced tech) or habitable, but full of EverythingTryingToKillYou.
* DeathFromAbove: Threatened by Volyova in ''Revelation Space'', who uses one of her ship's smallest weapons to devastating effect as a warning to the inhabitants of Resurgam. She also has access to teratonne-yield nukes and "hell class" weapons that could conceivably shatter worlds (and indeed do, on one occasion).
* {{Deconstruction}}: A hard sci-fi decon of the SpaceOpera subgenre, [[ZigZaggingTrope with some]] liberal applying of {{Reconstruction}} here and there. For a start, there's ''no'' CasualInterstellarTravel ''at all'' and the author goes to great lenghts to examine the ramifications of this simple fact on the setting and personal fates of the characters (Khouri's tale being a prime example). The classic scifi trope of faster-than-light travel is only actually attempted once in the series, and it destroys the ship trying to use it.
* DefectorFromDecadence: Nevil Clavain. He defected ''twice'' in his life: [[spoiler:First in ''The Great Wall of Mars'', when he joined the Conjoiners after he had learned the Coalition for Neural Purityhad lied about their nature and only wanted to destroy them. Then, centuries later (during the events of ''Redemption Ark''), he defected from the Conjoiners once a younger and far more radical inner faction (led by [[ImmoralNihilist Skade]]) had taken over and wanted to leave the rest of humanity defenceless against the Inhibitors, instead of offering help.]]
* DescriptionPorn: Reynolds ''loves'' this. It occasionally veers into near-PurpleProse territory.
* DeusExMachina:
** The ending of ''Revelation Space'' does this in the case of the fate of three of the main characters. Though it's at least explained thouroughly.
** At the end of ''Absolution Gap'' [[spoiler:, when it is revealed that the Inhibitors were defeated with the assistance of a mysterious alien race which had been hiding behind the scenes all along]].
* DistantFinale: [[spoiler: The last chapter in ''Absolution Gap'' ends with the Greenfly terraformers eating up entire solar systems and surrounding them with jungle habitats, slowly converting the entire universe into uninhabitable, ''green'' stars. Humanity ultimately evolves into godlike machines, but still can't defeat the Greenfly.]]
* DroppedABridgeOnHim:
** [[spoiler:Thorn (as a BusCrash) and Felka]] between ''Redemption Ark'' and ''Absolution Gap''. Also, [[spoiler:Antoinette and Xavier]] in ''Absolution Gap''.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:The epilogue of ''Absolution Gap'' suggests that there will be no happy ever afters for anyone, ever again.]]
* EldritchAbomination: [[spoiler:The Inhibitors and the Shadows.]]
* ElectronicEyes: Dan Sylveste. They're made using local parts on Resurgam, which means they're really terrible. His eyes break from a flashbang like device, and then can only see greens.
* EmergencyTransformation:
OurWormholesAreDifferent: In the short story ''The Great Wall of Mars'', [[spoiler:a life-or-death situation is what finally forces ''Beyond the protagonist to join the [[HiveMind Conjoiners]]]]. He later [[spoiler:pays it forward by giving a comatose Volyova a medichine infusion despite her phobia of them]] in ''Redemption Ark''.
* EternalEnglish:
** Averted. Though the stories are all in English via TranslationConvention, it is clearly stated that human languages 500 years in the future have continued to further evolve. Notable examples are the two main ''lingua franca''s: [[LatinLand Norte]] and [[CanadaEh Can]]-[[FarEast asian]]. In a throwaway comment, Volyova refers to her native language as "[[FutureSlang Russish]]", not "Russian".
** Even lampshaded: During ''Galactic North'', there is a request for a burial at C (shooting the casket forward while just before decelerating), "An old joke that only worked in a long forgotten language."
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Quaiche's [[spoiler: tragically deceased lover Morwenna]]. Though bear in mind that Quaiche himself is more of an AntiVillain.
* ExactWords: In "Nightingale," the hospital ship ''Nightingale'' tells the narrator that she and her compatriots can leave "in one piece" after they've seen and retrieved Colonel Jax. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, what the ship means is that the entire group will be surgically melded together into a single, monstrous whole.]]
* FantasticReligiousWeirdness:
** ''Revelation Space'' and ''Chasm City'' show a new, monastic-esque faith - the Ice Mendicants - whose clergy and members are dedicated to protecting, helping or healing people who've awakened from [[HumanPopsicle reefersleep after an interstellar journey]] (particularly those who were less lucky). They're [[GeniusBonus sort of like]] the original version of TheKnightsHospitallers during TheCrusades, before they became more of a WarriorMonk order. Also, they're one of the few new religions that are closer to SaintlyChurch rather than CorruptChurch.
** Also, as seen in ''Chasm City'' the various religious cults that sprang up on Sky's Edge after the life, deeds and [[spoiler:[[NotQuiteDead supposed]] ]] death of the colony's controversial founder, Sky Hausmann, passed into legend. Some of the more avid cults even went so far as to engineer special biomechanic nanoviruses to forcefully indoctrinate unsuspecting people or opponents into new followers of their faith. This becomes a major ChekhovsGun in the {{backstory}} of Horris Quaiche from ''Absolution Gap'' [[spoiler:(who founds his own bizzaro religion, based on a mishmash of old Earth faiths and his own traumatic experiences enhanced by the virus)]]. ''Absolution Gap'' generally goes far deeper into this trope, often to the point of {{Deconstruction}} ''and'' subsequent {{Reconstruction}}.
* FantasticSlurs:
** Yellowstonian Demarchists call Conjoiners "spiders" and rogue Demarchists, Skyjacks and Ultras "zombies". The "spider" nickname was also used by the Coalition for Neural Purity seen in the chronologically earliest installments of the series. Conjoiners refer to baseline humans as "the retarded".
** InSeriesNickname: The Yellowstonians (and apparently people from other terrestrial planets as well) often refer to themselves as "Stoners".
* FasterThanLightTravel: Theoretically possible, but very, ''[[RetGone very]]'' [[RetGone risky]], hence the preference [[BoringButPractical for the far more restrictive]] slower than light
Aquila Rift'', ships travel used by humanity. [[spoiler:Skade and her crew [[TemptingFate tries to brake the light barrier]] in ''Redemption Ark'' thanks to some alien AppliedPhlebotinum upgrades built into ''Nightshade''. [[GoneHorriblyWrong It doesn't end well]]...]]
* FiveManBand
** Hard to define, but in general:
** TheHero: Ana Khouri. In ''Redemption Ark'' and ''Absolution Gap'' onward, she and Clavain tend to alternate in being TheHero and the {{Deuteragonist}}/SupportingProtagonist.
** TheLancer: Ilia Volyova to Khouri, Remontoire to Clavain
** TheSmartGuy: Dan Sylveste in ''Revelation Space'', Nevil Clavain in ''Redemption Ark'' and ''Absolution Gap''.
** TheBigGuy: Scorpio (even though he isn't physically tall or big to begin with)
** TheChick: Ana Khouri, Pascale Sylveste, Felka
** SixthRanger: Thorn, Xavier Liu, Antoinette Bax, Vasko Malinin
* FlyingCar: The volantors of pre-plague Chasm City. Appear explicitly in the opening chapter of ''Diamond Dogs''.
* ForgottenSuperweapon:
** The [[NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup "Cache Weapons"]] aboard ''Nostalgia for Infinity''.
** A lesser example in the first ''Revelation Space'' novel, which features PoweredArmor suits that are never mentioned in later books, though there are several stituations in which they would make a huge difference. Then again, they would likely [[spoiler: have been destroyed/corrupted when the Melding Plague / TheCaptain took over the ship]]; this is plausible, since they also appear in ''Diamond Dogs'', which is mostly set in the pre-Plague era.
* ForTheEvulz: Averted by most villainous characters, but played straight by the infamous dictator of the planet Haven, mentioned in ''Turquoise Days''.
* FutureImperfect: Antoinette Bax mentions that the first astronaut was named Neil Gagarin. Also, various throwaway snippets about Earth history by several other characters.
* GeniusLoci: [[spoiler: The ''Nostalgia for Infinity'' from the main trilogy, after the Captain's intelligence is spread throughout its systems by the Melding Plague. Also, many enviroments overtaken by the Melding Plague in general. A more unrelated example of this trope is Blood Spire in ''Diamond Dogs''.]]
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: Horris Quaiche's {{backstory}} in ''Absolution Gap'' concerns his firm slip into depression and insanity after [[spoiler: the woman he loved died by accident while [[SurvivorGuilt he managed to survive and get rescued]] ]]. This is not helped at all by the fact that he's got a special nano virus implanted into his body. It serves to pacify him via indoctrination by presenting hallucinations showing random religious imagery from Earth's history. And it always goes off in situations where he becomes overloaded by grief, anger or other negative emotions. So take a wild guess [[HeroicBSOD what happens to him]] [[SanitySlippage once he finds out about]] [[spoiler:the death of his significant other]].
* AGoodNameForARockBand: The names of the various spacecraft. Seriously: ''The Pelican in Impiety'', ''Storm Bird'', ''Faint Memory of Hokusai'', etc.
* GrandTheftMe:
** What [[spoiler:the Captain]] did to [[spoiler:Sajaki]] prior to the events of ''Revelation Space''.
** Also played straight and subverted by Calvin Sylveste, who [[spoiler:had originally engineered Dan Sylveste as a clone of himself to make it easier to possibly imprint a copy of himself into Dan's brain.]] While he does do this near the end of the book (and already did it once), it's more of a two people/one body relationship.
** In ''Chasm City'' this is [[spoiler:inverted. Cahuella overwrites ''himself'' with Tanner's personality in order to dodge his enemies]], though this may qualify as more of a [[spoiler:MemoryGambit gone wrong, as he gets better, more or less]].
* GratuitousRussian: Volyova, but only when she gets particularly frustrated or angry (so it's mostly limited to swear words or snarky comments), and with [[FakeRussian fairly bad Russian grammar]] at that (she doesn't seem to differentiate
between singular and plural forms of her favourite cussword). [[AuthorsSavingThrow It is mentioned]], however, that her language, "Russish", is not the same as modern Russian.
* GreatOffscreenWar:
worlds using an abandoned FTL network. The first war between the Conjoiners and baseline humanity, on Mars, is this for most of the series. We do see a small bit of it in ''Galactic North'' though.
* GreatWhiteHunter: The hamadryad hunters on Sky's Edge.
* GunPorn: The [[PunnyName Warchive]] aboard the ''Nostalgia for Infinity'', which can reproduce any weapon from recorded human history. Volyova and Khouri make good use of it at the end of ''Revelation Space'', when they
ships need to arm themselves. [[TheyPlottedAPerfectlyGoodWaste Then they destroy it, just in case carry millions of tiny screens which project "runes" onto the attacking force takes control of the entire ship.]]
* HordeOfAlienLocusts: [[spoiler:The Greenfly.]] They become the BiggerBad after the [[spoiler:Inhibitors]] are defeated. DiabolusExMachina, anyone ?
* HumanPopsicle: Most starship passengers, as it's either cryo or spend years or decades awake between stars.
* HuntingTheMostDangerousGame: Shadowplay, in
ship's exterior, which the bored, virtually immortal residents of Chasm City are hunted by professional assassins according to pre-agreed rules. The game is set up so most of the clients survive, in order that people will keep paying for the thrill-seeking experience.
* ChekhovsGun / ChekhovsSkill: Lots and lots in each installment of the series.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder / WeAreStrugglingTogether: The original crew of the ''Nostalgia for Infinity''.
* IThoughtEveryoneCouldDoThat: Rashmika doesn't lie, because she's a LivingLieDetector and assumes everyone else is too.
* InsistentTerminology:
** "Servitors" [[CallARabbitASmeerp for robots]] (non-sentient worker ones, but still).
** What is this "cryogenics" you speak of? It's called "reefersleep", dammit! And flying cars are "[[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench volantors]]", get it?
* IntelligentGerbil: Some of the less out-there
alien species. A subversion, since they're few and far between and by portal network interprets as where the time starfaring humans discover them, they're usualy already extinct.
**
ship wants to go.
* PunnyName:
The Amarantin were an advanced humanoid avian species from the planet later known as Resurgam, a formerly Earth-like world orbiting Delta Pavonis. The reasons behind their disapperance and the planet turning to a barely habitable rocky wasteland drive the central mystery in ''Revelation Space''.
** [[spoiler:Implied to be the original biological form of individual Inhibitors, before they transformed themselves into a completely artificial species. Their former outward appearance was seemingly canine-like, gaining them the nickname "wolves" among humans.]]
* InterfaithSmoothie: Horris Quaiche from ''Absolution Gap'' and the religions founded by him [[spoiler:after he goes mad from grief and the influence of the indoctrination virus]].
* InvisibleAliens [[spoiler:Made necessary by the Inhibitors]].
* JerkAss: Dan Sylveste.
* LittleHeroBigWar: To the point that in ''Absolution Gap'', humanity largely isn't saved by their own efforts at all, but by [[spoiler:the abovementioned Invisible Aliens deciding that the Inhibitors have finally become weak enough for them to reveal themselves and fight them. This is revealed in passing in the epilogue - not so much part of the story as just an incidental fact of how history played out]]--but see the note after DeusExMachina above for an alternate view on that point.
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: Clavain for Felka.
* LivingLieDetector: [[spoiler: Aura]]/Rashmika Els.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: You bet ! And due to the author's love of AnyoneCanDie, the only character from the trilogy still alive by its end is [[spoiler:Ana Khouri]].
* MainliningTheMonster: In ''Chasm City'', an alien marooned on Yellowstone is the only source of a drug that can suppress the [[BodyHorror melding plague]].
* ManInTheMachine: Disembodied brains in [[spoiler:Conjoiner drives]].
* MeaningfulName: In-universe, Cahuella.
* MeanwhileInTheFuture: A given, with all the TimeDilation and AnachronicOrder going on. A big part of the plot for the first third of ''Revelation Space'' and ''Absolution Gap''.
* MemoryGambit: [[spoiler:Tanner Mirabel/Cahuella]] in ''Chasm City'', and [[spoiler:Aura]] in ''Absolution Gap''.
* MindVirus: Features in some of the novels. ''Chasm City'' has a virus that gives it's victims dreams of a cult leader's messiah, along with slowly altering their thoughts until they are believers.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: Doctor Trintignant from ''Diamond Dogs'', Grelier from ''Absolution Gap''.
* MyMasterRightOrWrong: Grelier is surprisingly loyal to Quaiche, even after he learns about what he had planned and done.
* MysteriousAntarctica / GrimUpNorth: Resurgam from ''Revelation Space'' and the moon Hela from ''Absolution Gap'' are a sci-fi variation of this. Diadem from the short story ''Glacial'' starts out with a characterization like this, but it gets subverted at the end.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: "The Inhibitors", "the Shadows", "the Melding Plague" (as well as "the Uncontained"
''Rockhopper'' mining spacecraft from ''Pushing Ice'')
* NamingYourColonyWorld:
** '''Symbolica''': Torquoise, Spindrift, Haven, Diadem, Sky's Edge, Resurgam (Latin for "I will rise again")
** '''Mnemosyme''': Hades, Cerberus (Greek mythology), Hela, Haldora (Norse mythology), Roc (giant bird from Persian/Oriental mythology), Zion, Ararat, Golgotha (Biblical), Fand (Irish mythology)
** '''Named The Same''': Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier (US National Parks), Ararat (since it's an
Ice''. Its mascot is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Ararat actual mountain in org/wiki/Western_Rockhopper_Penguin eponymous]] [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins cute species of penguin]] and... [[DontExplainTheJoke you know]]... the real world]] as well, not only mythical)
** '''Planet ShoutOut''': Tangerine Dream (see ShoutOut section below).
* NiceJobBreakingItHero:
** What [[spoiler:Dan Sylveste and the Nostalgia's crew]] unwillingly put into motion at the end of ''Revelation Space''.
** In the third book of the Revelation Space trilogy, [[spoiler:the Inhibitors are finally wiped out; however, it is implied that their absence is what allows a swarm of von Neumann machines to eventually consume literally the entire universe.]] As such this also counts as an Inferred Holocaust.
* NonActionGuy: Dan Sylveste in ''Revelation Space'' and most of the cast in ''Diamond Dogs''.
* NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup: [[spoiler:[[LostSuperweapon The Hell class weapons]] aboard ''Nostalgia for Infinity''. Justified, as the weapons were built to plans received through Exordium; the Conjoiners were so scared by both what they'd created, and how they had created them, that they deliberately destroyed the plans and made no attempt to build more of them.]]
* OceanPunk:
** Any planet inhabited by the Pattern Jugglers, particularly the ones with established human colonies, e.g. Turquoise (deliberate colonization), Ararat (colonization by necessesity). The Jugglers favour wide open oceanic enviroments, so this is pretty much a given.
** The Subaru Commonwealth colonies in the Pleaides star cluster, glimpsed in the short story ''Galactic North''. They're a Juggler-less example.
* [[OffWithHisHead Off With Your Head]]:
** ''Revelation Space'' has space suits with helmets designed to decapitate a person when the suit is breached, then cryo-freeze the head. This allows the person to be revived with prosthetics.
** [[spoiler:Jane Auntmonier]] in ''The Prefect'', as part of a gambit to [[spoiler:save her life. She gets better]].
* OldShame / CreatorBacklash:
** In the afterword of ''Galactic North'', Reynolds [[WordOfGod admitted]] that his Revelation Space novels are derived in part from a much more space-opera-ish set of unpublished novels which he devoutly intends should never see print, [[http://voxish.tripod.com/id16.html although he regards them as a valuable learning experience]].
** An experimental short story called ''Pandora's Box''. He [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W9CFeSqIMw ceremoniously destroyed every single copy of it]] printed in the English language during his visit at Finn Con 2009. There is a Finnish translation though, so it still exists in Finnish.
** ''[[http://approachingpavonis.blogspot.com/2010/10/computa-two-previously-unpublished.html Computa Two]]'', and its [[http://approachingpavonis.blogspot.com/2011/01/computa-2-continued-and-concluded.html conclusion]].
* OmnidisciplinaryScientist: Dan Sylveste and his father, Calvin.
* OnlySmartPeopleMayPass: The plot of ''Diamond Dogs'' is a deconstruction of this trope [[spoiler:and the characters]].
* TheOphelia: Felka.
* OracularUrchin: Aura again.
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent: The "Denizens", who were created by genetic engineering and are thorough fusions of human and fish DNA, along with sequences to secrete antifreeze and let them breathe hydrogen sulfide instead of oxygen. They look thoroughly monstrous.
* PathOfInspiration: The Quaicheist churches of Hela.
* PigMan: Hyperpigs, most notably Scorpio and Sparver.
* EarthAllAlong: [[spoiler: Looks like the "Shadows" are humanity in the far future, after the DiabolusExMachina of the epilogue curbstomps the universe with nanotech. The brane allowed them to contact their past, yet they didn't think to warn us about the greenfly, did they? Where's the Melding Plague when you really need it? Alternatively, why didn't Exordium warn anyone? [[spoiler: Though they did try the Melding Plague. It didn't work...]]
* PoweredArmor: The [[AMechByAnyOtherName "suits"]] are a very versatile example of this trope.
* PraetorianGuard / KnightTemplar / ChurchMilitant: The Cathedral Guard in ''Absolution Gap''.
* ProfessorGuineaPig: The first Conjoiners and Doctor Trintignant.
* ProjectedMan: Many of the entoptic simulations and personal avatars.
* PsychoForHire: Grelier in ''Absolution Gap'' and pretty much any less than sympathetic Ultranaut or bounty hunter in the series.
* RagnarokProofing: The aversion is a major plot point of ''Revelation Space''. In ''Absolution Gap'', it's played straight with [[spoiler:the Scuttlers' gravity radio (millions of years old)]], but averted with [[spoiler: the Inhibitors devolving and ultimately being defeated after only a quarter of their four-billion-year mission]].
* RealityEnsues: Pretty much the reason why AppliedPhlebotinum is not always an instant solution to everything. The series is generally very down to earth in what humans can achieve even with highly advanced or reverse-engineered alien tech. For instance, Khouri's entire previous life gets wrecked because of a bureaucratic mistake that puts her and her husband on two different lighthuggers. Since CasualInterstellarTravel is non-existant in the series and crossing
ship's routine flights involve "hopping" from one system asteroid or comet to the other can take decades (even next.
* QuantumMechanicsCanDoAnything: Lampshaded
in reefersleep), her chances of meeting him again during her lifetime have dropped to nearly zero.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld:
** The Captain is ''very'' old. He is implied to have been
''Century Rain'':
-->"We call it
a member of NASA, or the near-future equivalent. His middle name is [[ShoutOut Armstrong]], actually.
** Also, Nevil Clavain (born in the 22. century) is one of the oldest still living Conjoiners during the events of the main trilogy (which takes place in the 26.-28. century). When he dies in [[spoiler:''Absolution Gap'']] and the news about his demise appears on the local TV news, Vasko Malinin notes
quantum snapshot, but that it's strange to see a birth and death date separated by five centuries.
** The Ultranaut crews (and pretty much anyone who takes a lighthugger from one planetary system to the other) can live very long lives thanks to the relativistic travel speeds of interstellar spacecraft.
* RetGone: This is a danger of trying to build inertia-dampening fields and similar technology. A bad enough malfunction
doesn't merely vaporize you but retroactively erases you, or your ''[[ApocalypseHow entire civilization]]'', from existence.
* RocksFallEverybodyDies: In ''Absolution Gap'' [[spoiler:, the Greenfly appears, the universe ends and the reader feels like their soul has been removed with pliers.]]
* RussianGuySuffersMost: Averted [[ParodiedTrope to virtually hilarious degrees]] by Volyova in ''Revelation Space''. But even such a skilled and resourceful {{badass}} like her isn't MadeOfIron, so she eventually gets hit hard by this trope in the second half of ''Redemption Ark'' (it's handled pretty subtly though).
* SapientShip: ''Nightingale'', [[spoiler: the ''Nostalgia For Infinity'' after the melding plague takes over]], and [[spoiler: Antoinette's ship]]
* ScaryDogmaticAliens: The [[spoiler:Inhibitors]] [[AbsoluteXenophobe live and breathe this trope]] and even self-justify their ultimate goals in a WellIntentionedExtremist type of way.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: [[HeroWithBadPublicity Nevil Clavain]] is often a tragic AntiHero because he [[ThinkNothingOfIt selflessly sacrifices a lot]] (including many things dear to him) in order to help those in need, even if they're oblivious to the coming threat and don't believe him.
* SchizoTech: A corollary of the UsedFuture setting, and often a result of the Melding Plague's effect on NanoMachines. In ''Chasm City'', the well-off inhabitants of the lower city use ''[[SteamPunk steam powered vehicles]]'', despite there being laser rifles and interstellar travel. The [[TheVirus Melding Plague]] apparently affects everything beyond 20th century technology. And the inhabitants of the Canopy ride around in cars that grip onto cables in the air,
mean we have laser pistols, and live clue one about what was involved in the remains of the horribly mutated buildings of Chasm City.
** SteamNeverDies: * [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]], [[JustifiedTrope justified]] and visually [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] in ''Chasm City'', where the titular metropolis on the planet Yellowstone is connected with its outlying spaceport via
producing it. That's just a train powered by a steam locomotive. While the protagonist is a bit shocked by this fact at first, he discovers that the train's appearance and furnishings are decidedly aerodynamic, hi-tech and modern. The bullet-shaped steam locomotives only came into service because a [[spoiler:nanotech plague]] devastated the city years ago, rendering a lot of sensitive electronics and electric-based equipment aboard the original types too risky name we give it to use. The steam itself is not produced by burning fuel, but is mined from the titular chasm of the planet, which wents it in large quantities, along with organic gases.hide our ignorance."



** ''Diamond Dogs'' has two of them in a sequence where the protagonist's party, about to enter a lethal maze, are dream-fed similar scenarios in case they help:
-->'I had the same dream,' I said, wonderingly. 'And there was another dream in which I was inside somekind- of I halted, waiting for the words to assemble in my head. 'Some kind of underground tomb. I remember being chased down a corridor by an [[IndyEscape enormous stone ball]] which was going to roll over me.'
-->Hirz nodded. '[[IndianaJones The dream with the hat, right?]]'
-->'My God, yes.' I grinned like a madman. 'I lost my hat, and I felt this ridiculous urge to rescue it!'
** And:
-->Celestine broke the silence, turning to Hirz. 'Did you have the one about the cubes, too?'
-->'Christ, yes,' the infiltration specialist said, as if suddenly remembering. 'The cubes. What about you, Richard?' 'Indeed,' I answered, flinching at the memory of that one. [[{{Cube}} I had been one of a party of people trapped inside an endless series of cubic rooms, many of which contained lethal surprises.]] 'I was cut into pieces by a trap, actually. Diced, if I remember accurately.'
-->'Yeah. Not exactly on my top ten list of ways to die, either.'
** There is also another ShoutOut implicit in the title, to DavidBowie's album ''Diamond Dogs'' (which was based loosely on Creator/GeorgeOrwell's ''[[Literature/NineteenEightyFour 1984]]'').
** It doesn't end there: Reynolds is a self-confessed fan of 70s and 80s music, and it shows... A gas giant in the same system as Yellowstone (Epsilon Eridani) is called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tangerine_Dream Tangerine Dream]]. Pre-Plague Yellowstone's ring of orbital habitats is called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glitter_Band The Glitter Band]]. And the very name of the [[StarfishAlien Pattern Jugglers]] may be a reference to a verse from KingCrimson's well-known song ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53q2YuKGejc In The Court Of The Crimson King]]''.
** The name of Roland Childe and his feverish attempts to decipher the secret of Blood Spire in ''Diamond Dogs'' is a reference to a verse from ''Theatre/KingLear'': "''Child Rowland to the dark tower came, His word was still 'Fie, foh, and fum, I smell the blood of a British man.''"
** ''Chasm City'' refers to Ultra-supplied built-in eye night vision as "[[Film/PitchBlack eyeshine]]".
* ShownTheirWork: Reynolds is a former astronomer and a former ESA employee.
* SophisticatedAsHell: Scorpio, natch. Khouri, Volyova and Bax also have their moments.
* SpaceBrasilia: Averted, particularly by the shantytown-like cities on Sky's Edge. The "historical" buildings were actually often built from cargo containers and prefabricated materials and the newer ones are more natural. Most town squares in the oldest cities of Sky's Edge have a triangular shape, since they were built around the triangular atmospheric shuttles that brought the colonists to the planet's surface from the orbiting GenerationShip. Also, Chasm City on the planet Yellowstone has enough variability in its architectural history, even though it's a typical high-tech metropolis.
* SpaceDoesNotWorkThatWay: Averted all the way. Related to the ShownTheirWork entry.
* SpaceElevator: On Sky's Edge in ''Chasm City''.
* SpacePirate: The Banshees pretty much fit the bill and are a thoroughly unromantic version of the trope. The Ultra(naut)s often have elements of this, but are not necessarily antagonistic.
* SpaceWestern:
** Bizarrely, even though the setting looks generally un-westernly, there are some elements of this trope thrown in - particularly in places like the Rust Belt and the Mulch on Yellowstone (lawlesness, smugglers, organized crime), or on Resurgam and Hela in general (pioneer settlements, backwater planets, unexplored wastelands, fairly low-tech infrastructure and econonomy, [[NewOldWest trucker-like travelers and workers]]). In the case of Resurgam and Hela, it's a crossover between SpaceWestern and MysteriousAntarctica: [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot Polar Explorer Western]] [-[[RecycledInSpace IN SPACE]] !-]
** ''Chasm City'' is probably the best example of this, since it's mostly set on the habitable, but commercially backwater planet of Sky's Edge, torn by politicking and territorial wars between the colonists. Though it's kinda a mixed bag there: SpaceWestern, but crossed with a BananaRepublic slash DarkestAfrica kind of enviroment.... [-[[RecycledInSpace IN SPACE]] !-]
* SpiritAdvisor:
** The Mademoiselle's beta-level sim in Ana Khouri's implants [[spoiler: and probably Skade's too]]--not [[DemonicPossession exactly a simple simulation]].
* [[spoiler: StableTimeLoop]]:
** Implied in ''The Prefect'' [[spoiler: Specifically, in relation to the nature of the Mademoiselle and the Melding Plague.]]
** [[spoiler:Also, possibly the origin of the Shadows, as their universe was being eaten by rogue terraformers, and at the end of ''Absolution Gap'', the Greenfly was just starting to consume this universe.]]
* StarfishAliens: Several, most notably the Pattern Jugglers, the Shrouders, the Grubs, the Scuttlers and the Nestbuilders.
* TheStarsAreGoingOut: By the end of [[spoiler:''Absolution Gap'' the stars are going green !]]
* StealthInSpace: Humans discover a loophole in thermodynamics that they use for this. Before that, they sometimes can fake it for short periods of time by using ships with very tightly collimated thrust.
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome: Reynolds has a rather annoying tendency to [[KillEmAll kill off]] a lot of [[DroppedABridgeOnHim the principal characters]] from the main trilogy in each installment. A good indicator of who will die next is when you notice they've been DemotedToExtra.
* TheAtoner: Captain John Brannigan. The only crime mentioned is that he [[spoiler: overwrote the brain patterns of his first mate, and replaced them with his own brain patterns, effectively 'killing' the person as he was.]] It's implied he's done ''worse''.
* TimeDilation: Ubiquitous.
* TitleDrop:
** The last words of the fourth chapter of ''Revelation Space''.
** ''Redemption Ark'' also has a less straightforward one in one of the end chapters. It's also a general motif for what's going on in that novel [[spoiler: captain Brannigan slowly becoming an atoner and the ''Nostalgia'' evacuating Resurgam]].
** At the end of a chapter in ''Absolution Gap'', when Grelier mentions the alternate name of "Ginnungagap Rift" in his internal monologue.
** The middle of the tenth (or so) chapter of ''Diamond Dogs''.
** The ''[[PlayingWithATrope opening quote]]'' of ''Turquoise Days''.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Volyova and Khouri, to an extent. Khouri doesn't fit the stereotype fully, since she's an accomplished and more than capable former soldier.
* TranshumanTreachery: Nearly always averted, but...
** [[spoiler: Aurora]] in ''The Prefect'' is an instance.
** Often invoked in-universe by people opposed to the Conjoiners and their [[HiveMind way of life]].
* TrulySingleParent: Calvin Sylveste in ''Revelation Space''.
* TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive: Oh, you've managed to alert the [[spoiler: Inhibitors]], ey, humanity ? Run, just RUN. And fight back as much as you can. They WILL NOT GIVE UP.
* TheEveryman / UnfazedEveryman:
** Ana Khouri is the most ordinary of the trilogy's main cast. Unsurprisingly, she's also technically TheHero. [[spoiler:And she's the only major character who survives throughout the entire trilogy. If you don't count the good old ''Nostalgia for Infinity'' and captain Brannigan, that is...]]
** Also [[EnsignNewbie Vasko]] [[AudienceSurrogate Malinin]] from ''Absolution Gap''.
* TheUnpronounceable: A lot of Conjoiners' real names, consisting as they do of "a string of interiorised qualia" are this.
* UnflinchingWalk: At the end of ''Absolution Gap''.
* UpliftedAnimal: The hyperpigs and hyperprimates.
* UsedFuture: ''So very used.'' Let's just say that during the era in which the main trilogy is set, most of the glory days of the human interstellar colonies are only a distant memory.
* VillainProtagonist: The short stories ''A Spy in Europa'', ''Grafenwalder's Bestiary'' and large parts of ''Chasm City''.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Khouri towards her daughter Aura.
* WeWillNotUsePhotoshopInTheFuture: Averted in ''The Great Wall of Mars''.
* WhatAPieceOfJunk: The ''Nostalgia For Infinity'' in the ''Revelation Space'' series. It's falling to pieces, with some sections entirely exposed to vacuum or overran by corrupted or broken machines, but it's by far the most powerful and deadly ship in known space - ''before'' it [[spoiler: gets the alien technology]]. The hell-class weapons it carries could presumably raze the surface of a planet.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse / LeftHanging: Several storylines in the trilogy weren't resolved at all, particularly the whole case about The Mademoiselle.
* WretchedHive: The crime and decay ridden lower and ground-level parts of post-Plague Chasm City, known collectively as [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast The Mulch]].
* XMeetsY: ''SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'' meets ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' meets ''Film/EventHorizon'' meets regular SpaceOpera.
* ZenSurvivor: [[JerkAssWoobie Horris Quiache]] from ''Absolution Gap'' is a particularly [[MissionFromGod dark]] and [[TearJerker tragic]] [[LoveMakesYouCrazy example]] of this.
* ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld: Airships of the blimp variety (so not actual zeppelins) are used for transport and research purposes on Turquoise and for military scouting and gunship support on Sky's Edge.

----
!!Reynolds' stand-alone works feature the following tropes:
* AlternateHistory: A [[PlayingWithATrope pseudo-version of this]] is is used in the novel ''Century Rain'', with Earth-Two, an exact copy of planet Earth in a different part of the Galaxy, on which the only difference is a 1940s-50s level of society and technology and the non-existance of WorldWarTwo (it ''started'', but the Nazi offensive bogged down in the Ardennes, bringing an early end to the conflict, with far-from-happy consequences). It is later revealed to be [[spoiler: one of many 'quantum snapshots' of Earth at different time periods, all done by a mysterious missing alien race.]]
* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: Blue Remembered Earth. The weird bit is that the mind reader is [[spoiler:an elephant]].
* BrownNote: Comes in song format in the short story ''Digital to Analogue''.
* DieselPunk: In a FilmNoir variation, the quantum "snapshot" Earth in ''Century Rain''.
* DreadfulMusician: Averted in Century Rain: in an early scene the protagonist is walking into a superior's office while he plays a violin, with her InternalMonologue noting how grating and painful the music is. It is then revealed that she, along with a large portion of the rest of the human race, were infected with a designer-disease called 'amusica', which prevented people from enjoying music, to ruin their side's morale. After all, someone who can't appreciate music can't get patriotic fervor from their anthems, now can they?
* EldritchAbomination: Doubtless whatever it is that exists outside the [[spoiler:megastructure]] in ''Pushing Ice''.
* EmergencyTransformation: In ''Pushing Ice'', [[spoiler:near the end, Bella is killed and her brain damaged to the point that it can no longer be reconstructed, until Svetlana tells the alien doctors to fill in the gaps with her own brain patterns. This brings her back, but as a confused amalgam of two people]].
* GreyGoo: Caused the abandonment of Earth in ''Century Rain''; one type of nanobots in the air to affect weather patterns went rogue, so they made nanobots to combat those, which went rogue, and so on and so forth. The Grey Goo is then ''weaponized'' decades later by the descendants of the survivors and used as a weapon of mass destruction.
* LinkedListClueMethodology: The plot of ''Blue Remembered Earth''.
* MechanicalEvolution: Played with in ''Zima Blue''. [[spoiler: Zima was originally a ''pool cleaning robot'', who was upgraded over decades by the descendants of his creator. Eventually, he does the upgrades on his own.]]
* NeoAfrica: One of the primary settings of ''Blue Remembered Earth''.
* OurWormholesAreDifferent: In the short story ''Beyond the Aquila Rift'', ships travel between worlds using an abandoned FTL network. The ships need to carry millions of tiny screens which project "runes" onto the ship's exterior, which the alien portal network interprets as where the ship wants to go.
* PunnyName: The ''Rockhopper'' mining spacecraft from ''Pushing Ice''. Its mascot is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Rockhopper_Penguin eponymous]] [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins cute species of penguin]] and... [[DontExplainTheJoke you know]]... the ship's routine flights involve "hopping" from one asteroid or comet to the next.
* QuantumMechanicsCanDoAnything: Lampshaded in ''Century Rain'':
-->"We call it a quantum snapshot, but that doesn't mean we have clue one about what was involved in producing it. That's just a name we give it to hide our ignorance."
* ShoutOut:
23rd Jun '13 2:53:14 PM MRAustin
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* TheUnpronounceable: Slasher names in ''Century Rain''.

to:

* TheUnpronounceable: Slasher names in ''Century Rain''. To speed up communication, they have modified themselves to have a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrinx_%28bird_anatomy%29 Syrinx]], so their names are literally unpronouncable to regular humans, who just don't have the necessary equipment to reproduce those sounds.
23rd Jun '13 2:42:23 PM MRAustin
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* DeathWorld: The AllPlanetsAreEarthLike trope gets a major kick in the shins in this series. The most Earth-like planet mentioned is Sky's Edge, which is full of hostile life that is biologically incompatible with Earth life. Eating it will kill you (and vice versa) or do nothing. Then there are the Pattern Jugglers - algae-like StarfishAliens inhabiting planets with global oceans - that usually act benign, but once in a while someone who swims with them doesn't come back, [[CameBackWrong comes back wrong]], [[EmptyShell or worse]]. Also, Yellowstone, the most important and most populated interstellar colony of humanity, has an atmosphere and surface very similar to Saturn's moon Titan, so only the giant domed settlements (like Chasm City or [[{{Egopolis}} Loreanville]]) and orbital habitats are actualy populated. Pretty much all planets in the series are either uninhabitable, barely habitable (without advanced tech) or habitable, but full of EverythingTryingToKillYou.

to:

* DeathWorld: The AllPlanetsAreEarthLike trope gets a major kick in the shins in this series. The most Earth-like planet mentioned is Sky's Edge, which is full of hostile life that is biologically incompatible with Earth life. Eating it will kill you (and vice versa) or versa, but the local predators haven't figured this out and will happily eat you - yes, they will die almost instantly, but that's hardly likely to be a comfort to you) or, possibly, do nothing. Then there are the Pattern Jugglers - algae-like StarfishAliens inhabiting planets with global oceans - that usually act benign, but once in a while someone who swims with them doesn't come back, [[CameBackWrong comes back wrong]], [[EmptyShell or worse]]. Also, Yellowstone, the most important and most populated interstellar colony of humanity, has an atmosphere and surface very similar to Saturn's moon Titan, so only the giant domed settlements (like Chasm City or [[{{Egopolis}} Loreanville]]) and orbital habitats are actualy populated. Pretty much all planets in the series are either uninhabitable, barely habitable (without advanced tech) or habitable, but full of EverythingTryingToKillYou.
23rd Jun '13 2:39:04 PM MRAustin
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* AlternateHistory: A [[PlayingWithATrope pseudo-version of this]] is is used in the novel ''Century Rain'', with Earth-Two, an exact copy of planet Earth in a different part of the Galaxy, on which the only difference is a 1940s-50s level of society and technology and the non-existance of WorldWarTwo. It is later revealed to be [[spoiler: one of many 'quantum snapshots' of Earth at different time periods, all done by a mysterious missing alien race.]]

to:

* AlternateHistory: A [[PlayingWithATrope pseudo-version of this]] is is used in the novel ''Century Rain'', with Earth-Two, an exact copy of planet Earth in a different part of the Galaxy, on which the only difference is a 1940s-50s level of society and technology and the non-existance of WorldWarTwo.WorldWarTwo (it ''started'', but the Nazi offensive bogged down in the Ardennes, bringing an early end to the conflict, with far-from-happy consequences). It is later revealed to be [[spoiler: one of many 'quantum snapshots' of Earth at different time periods, all done by a mysterious missing alien race.]]
25th May '13 8:27:46 AM morenohijazo
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Added DiffLines:

* MainliningTheMonster: In ''Chasm City'', an alien marooned on Yellowstone is the only source of a drug that can suppress the [[BodyHorror melding plague]].
This list shows the last 10 events of 303. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.AlastairReynolds