Category: Sci Fi & Fantasy

Rereading Revelation Space: Chapter 7-9

In an effort to stop reading so many books at a time, I focused on finishing Altered Carbon before continuing on with these chapter summaries. These chapters were very expository so I read through them at once, particularly chapter 7 where Reynolds descibes the Stoners wedding ceremonies and Sylveste’s backstory in painstaking detail.

Nekhebet Isthmus, Resurgam, 2566

At Sylveste and Pascale’s wedding, there is an attack. Janequin’s peacocks were used as biological weapons with poisoned barbs in their feathers. Sylveste and Pascale escape into the Amarantin dig.

Sylveste used his infrared vision to escape through the labyrinthine tunnels in a random path. In the end, they were caught in a dead-end, and Sylveste admits to Pascale that it was himself, not Lefevre, that broke down during his trip to the Shroud, and because he was too scared to pull the explosive charges to separate the ship from Lefevre the ship was pulled apart by gravity torsions and he doesn’t know why survived.

Then, they find them. Sleeping gas begins to fill their lungs and Sylveste gets shot in the face by some kind of flared weapon.

He was blinded by the shot, and kidnapped. Taken by True Path who lead the coup against Girardieau, which turns out to be lead by Sluka.

Falkender, a Docter under Sluka, fixes Sylveste’s eyes just enough to see in black and white, and in slow fps.

On Nostalgia

Khouri learns of the crew’s plan to get Sylveste to heal the Captain, and that he’s done it before. She also learns that the Captain had visited the pattern jugglers with Sajaki, and that Sajaki hasn’t been the same ever since.

The Mademoiselle clarifies her instructions to Khouri – she is to kill Sylveste in a very precise manner, with complete surprise, on Resurgam, and in complete isolation as to prevent a transfer of his conciousness.

Khouri spent so much time in the gunnery that it had begun to ‘invade her dreams’.

Sun Stealer was trapped in the gunnery due to the isolated nature of its firewall which allowed for data to only flow into the gunnery (since the gunnery would operate outside of the ship, this was to prevent other ships from attacking via a virus). Sun Stealer used the Mademoiselle’s ‘dogs’, a viral AI used to scour networks and retrieve information, to hitchhike out of the gunnery and into Khouri’s brain. The Mademoiselle concludes that this is what drove Nagorney mad.

Info: the reason Sylveste went missing was because they brought him aboard Nostalgia before to fix Captain Brannigan 20 years after Sylveste returned from the Shrouders – in 2460.

At this point, Khouri has been in reefersleep for 2 years with 2 and a half more to go before reaching Resurgam. The Mademoiselle woke her up to tell her this information, that the bulk of Sun Stealer remains in the gunnery, and that she has implanted an avatar of herself into the gunnery so that she might control it if needed.


Rereading Revelation Space: Chapter 6

On Nostalgia. En Route to Delta Pavonis, 2546

Volyova has been administering the loyalty treatments to Khouri. She takes her into the spider room to show her the ghosts (echoes of other space-farers). Volyova uses the spider room to speak in private, as nobody else on the ship knows of its existence.

Volyova mentions Sun Stealer to Khouri, and then shows her the Gunnery, which contains some of the most destructive weapons known. Khouri learns that controlling the gunnery means controlling every weapon on the Nostalgia.


18 months passed since Girardieau showed Sylveste the Amarantine sphere, a year since Sylveste’s and Pascale’s wedding, and the biography, Descent into Darkness, had been completed, and Sylveste was again publishing scientific articles. Sylveste shows Pascale the obilisk data in a 3d form. There is a figureine on top of a spire in the middle of the city. The figurine has wings while none of the other carvings or reliefs do. Sylveste suggests the figurine “Is a big two fingered salute to whatever god they used to believe in”, and that a new god moved in. Different graphicforms around the alien city depict “Sun Stealer”.


Rereading Revelation Space: Chapter(s) 4, 5

Carousel New Brazilia, Yellowstone, Epsilon Eridani, 2546

The Nostalgia has arrived at Yellowstone. They dock at the carousel – a sort of orbiting space station, and take a large elevator down to the planets surface. We are introduced to a variety of factions – Skyjacks, Conjoiners, Demarchists. The Triumverate go to a bar named “The Juggler and the Shrouder” where Hegazi and Khouri discuss the tensions with Sajaki, and we learn that Sajaki visited the pattern jugglers with the captain, and hasn’t been the same since.

Sajaki discovers that Sylveste isn’t on Yellowstone, and has left to Resurgam 50 years ago.

Khouri wakes up 22 years later (in the current year) from a reefersleep that she does not remember entering, in the Mademoiselle’s chamber.

The Mademoiselle had lied to Khouri. She has her husband in reefersleep, and has promised to kill Fazil if Khouri does not complete her mission to kill Sylveste. Khouri follows the Mademoiselle’s instructions, and goes to The Juggler and the Shrouder where she is recruited by Volyova.

Volyova and Khouri leave the Juggler and the Shrouder, and Khouri learns that the Mademoiselle has implanted a beta sim of herself into Khouri’s brain. Khouri finds out she is to become the Nostalgia’s new gunnery officer. Sajaki knocks her unconcious.

On Nostalgia

Khouri wakes up on the Nostalgia. Although she is extremely upset that she was kidnapped, the Mademoiselle tells her that her infiltration is successful if she will just go along with the idea that she is Volyova’s recruit for the position of Gunnery Officer. Khouri has implants that will nullify any loyalty treatments, but needs to pretend that the loyalty treatments are working to maintain the ruse.


Pascale is working on Sylveste’s biography, which is more of a fully immersive experience where a viewer can spectate from a variety of points of view.

Sylveste’s Biography Flashback

We learn that his father started the SISS – the Sylveste Institute for Shrouder Studies, answering the question of what ‘institute’ had its data wiped by House Reivich in 2439-40. The SISS has established monitoring stations around all the Shrouds so far discovered.

Sylveste meets with Philip Lascaille, the first human to ‘successfully’ interact with a Shroud, in the institute. He hasn’t been the same since. He is usually found in the gardens, mostly naked and in a zombie like state, drawing complex patterns in chalk. Sylveste would wait hours for himi to wake up.

Lascaille came the closest to the Shroud before he was shot out with a mixed up brain. A cult has risen grown up around him, believing that his experience with the Shroud was religious. Despite the cult growing, Lascaille’s existense was almost forgotten about by all except Sylveste, who visited him often in the SISS.

One day, without warning, Lascaille had woken up for a brief moment of clarity and explained everything to Sylveste. He called the space around the Shroud “Revelation Space”. He drew a multi-limbed, tentacled, armourplated, spined, barely symmetrical, and truly monstrous creature and told Sylveste to dedicate it to memory. He explained that Pattern Jugglers were capable of storing personalities of entities that they have interacted with, and that by visiting the jugglers, a human can have impressions of the Shrouders implanted in their brains and may be able to fool the Shrouders into letting them in.

The Shroud’s boundary is almost a living thing that responds to the thought patterns of those entering it, which Lascaille says has assumed the role of galactic matron to keep harmful technologies that are far beyond human comprehension a secret.

Lascaille tells Sylveste that if he is to visit the jugglers, he should bring an information-dense gift. He was found dead a month later.
Sylveste visits the Shroud. He had visited the pattern jugglers on the planet Spindrift to imbed the mental impression of the Shrouders thought patterns into his brain, along with a group of 3 other volunteer scientists.

Sylveste’s partner delegate dies in their attempt to enter the Shroud. Sylveste barely escapes, but was able to enter Revelation Space.

Back in Cuvier, real-time

Sylveste makes a deal with Pascale – she will provide him with full access to the data about the obelisk and he will provide her with full access to Calvin’s beta sim.

From the data, Sylveste learns that the Pavonis system is a binary star, with one of them being a burnt out neutron that didn’t show up on interstellar probes, but the Amarantine knew about it. He also learns that Pascale is Girardieau’s daughter. Sylveste confronts Pascale, and confirms that the biography was Girardieau’s idea.

Pascale takes Sylveste to the dig site, and they meet with Girardieau.

(Cuvier is now known as Resurgam City, after political changes.)

While Sylveste was in prison, Girardieau had continued to investigate the obelisk. The obelisk had been buried after The Event, and is a record of something that is buried at this location. They enter an elevator and go down “only a couple of kilometres”.

Exiting the elevator, Sylveste sees the 400 meter wide black hemisphere that is buried beneath the obelisk. They do not yet know what material the sphere is made of, but it appears to be a form of molecular technology. Inside the sphere is a labyrinth that leads them into an alien city.