Tuesday 30 June 2020

Welcome, Fand

A multiplanet system of super-Earths orbiting the brightest red dwarf star GJ 887

(aka Lacaille 9352, location of Fand in the Revelation Space books).

For the last decade or so it's been obvious that there'll come a point (if it hasn't already happened) where our knowledge of exoplanets conflicts with the alien solar system worldbuilding in the RS series, which has its origins in stories written more than thirty years ago.

Given how little we ever expected to know about exoplanets when I started studying astronomy. I couldn't be happier about that.


  1. Be awesome if they discover a glitter band around the star.

  2. I guess this has been going around for a few years now, but I hadn't seen it. There's a tick that can make you allergic to meat. It really reminds me of the ideological viruses in the Revelation Space universe.


    When I joined the Q&A with Adrian Tchaikovsky I saw that there were only 7 questions and I thought "we need more questions", so I added 3 more. One that you didn't get to was "What is a sci-fi concept that you came up with on your own (even if someone already came up with it first) that you're particularly proud of and why?". The idea of ideological viruses was something that struck me as particularly innovative while still being possible.

  3. Hi Joel

    Thanks for that link, and for tossing us a few more question during the A&A. It's a shame we didn't have more time. Not sure what answer I'd have given - might need a bit more thought! The indoctrinal virus idea isn't original to me, in any case. For instance, there'a story by David Brin about a virus that promotes altruism, and makes people more likely to be blood donors, thus helping the virus propagate!

  4. Awesome. :-) I always have a smile on my face when I learn they've found planets in one of the systems mentioned in your RS series or youe other works. It is rather remarkable how much progress we've made in exoplanet science in just three decades.

    P.S. Didn't know about the Brin story. Nice bit of inspiration for your own fictional engineered virus.

  5. I've been playing a fair bit of "Elite: Dangerous" and naturally I have been doing a bit of a tour of real star systems used in science fiction. And of course, I've traveled to some of those used in your work. I was a tad disappointed not to see Epsilon Eridani have a bright orange planet!

  6. Have they located Tangerine Dream around Epsilon Eridani.