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The Prefect (March 2010) > Events and Narrative Sequence in the Revelation Space series ***SPOILERS, but not in Introduction***

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message 1: by Richard (last edited Apr 12, 2010 09:22PM) (new)

Richard (mrredwood) | 123 comments Introduction to this thread

I finished The Prefect several weeks ago and am about to finish Revelation Space , but I'm confused about which takes place first.

I'm hoping for help from those who haven't yet read The Prefect, especially, and the other books more generally.

Reynold's tosses in dates somewhat sporadically, and due to long voyage times in interstellar space these times can be pretty widely spread out.

But if you can, please note these dates when you spot them, and then briefly note the major events that transpire along with which major characters are involved.

Especially note anything to do with the Clockmaker, the Shrouds, the Eighty, and the Sylveste clan.

Beyond this point, there'll be Spoilers.

message 2: by Richard (new)

Richard (mrredwood) | 123 comments According to the Wikipedia page for The Prefect:
It is the fifth novel set in the Revelation Space universe, and takes place prior to the four previously released Revelation Space novels, but after some of the short stories. It is a standalone novel, containing no characters from any other Revelation Space works.
Maire wrote elsewhere: "...Prefect is taking place 11 years after the ... clockmaker incident. 20 years I think it is (?) after the Lascaille incident."

The latter point is interesting, since that evidence is also relatively recent history in Revelation Space. One of the major characters, Dan Sylveste, had interacted with Philip Lascaille after he had originally come back from his encounter with the Shroud that then received his name.

Did the Clockmaker incident take place very long after Philip Lascaille's apparent death? If I recall the sequence, Philip's death was faked, he was brought back to the Shroud and turned into the Clockmaker? Did I get that right?

But Dan Sylveste apparently knows nothing of this. Didn't he spend several decades in Yellowstone before his expedition to Resurgam? Is his new home such a backwater that it doesn't even hear of the tragedy taking place around Yellowstone?

I understand that The Prefect was written seven years after Revelation Space, so perhaps these are events that "should have" been known to take place in the earlier novel but hadn't yet been conceived of during its writing, but I'd just like confirmation.

message 3: by Richard (last edited Apr 14, 2010 06:16PM) (new)

Richard (mrredwood) | 123 comments A few notes from RS before I return it to the library:

P. 1: the central action, on Resurgam, starts in 2551. The other two narrative threads start a bit early (Reynolds appears to be completely ignoring the problem of simultaneity), but those actors have decades of traveling before their action comes together later at Resurgam.

P. 7: Still in 2551, the transport on the vessel Lorean from Yellowstone is described as arriving forty years earlier (c. 2511); the mutiny and loss of the Lorean was about twenty years after that (c. 2531). (Official timeline states "2491 – departure of Resurgam expedition", implying transit time of twenty years, which agrees with several mentions in RS).

P. 26 & 57: Khouri's story arc begins in Yellowstone in 2524; her assassination target states that "a few of the Eighty are still running" after about 150 years, thus c. 2374. (Official timeline states 2372).

P. 95: Dan Sylveste is described as being 12 in 2373, implying birth c. 2361. However, the official timeline claims "2351 – Dan Sylveste born in Chasm City, Yellowstone".

P. 104: Sylveste is remembering the events leading up to his Shroud experience, and recalls the expedition had left Yellowstone 12 years after the Eighty (incl. Calvin's death) and the critical discussion with Philip Lascaille and the latter's subsequent death. But the official timeline states "2372 – the Eighty" and "2405 – Departure of Sylveste expedition to Lascaille’s Shroud", which is 33 years. Possible explanation: 2405 perhaps should be arrival of expedition at the Shroud? Leaving much more time for the voyage first to Spindrift/Jugglers and then to the Shroud.

P. 164/175: During his wedding ceremony on Resurgam in 2566, Dan Sylveste states his calendar age as 215 (ergo birth c. 2351, consistent with official timeline) and born "in the hundred and twenty-first standard year after the resettlement of Yellowstone.

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