All timeline dates use monkey calendar dating, After the Damning.
For a more detailed listing of Known Space Man-Kzin Wars stories, go to the
Known Space Man-Kzin
Wars stories bibliographical Page.
Here's Russell Martin's Known Space Man-Kzin Wars Timeline
version 2.0 August 28, 1999. "WARNING! Various events in the Man-Kzin
Wars stories (but no actual plots) are mentioned in this chronology, so you
should probably skip it if you haven't read all or most of the series."
Spoiler space inserted:
Russell got in touch with me to update his current eddress, which is rmartin#inorbit.com [change this antispam version to send to his real eddress]. He also says " In fact, there is now another MKW book out, so I will have to do Version 3.0 at some point... " 04/15/03 Feel free to email him with comments and suggestions about the best ordering and dating of the stories.
"I finally got around to doing a new version that incorporates the stories in Choosing Names, and also changes a couple of dates that I've had second thoughts about." Man-Kzin Wars Chronology Version 2.0 by Russell Martin August 28, 1999 _The Man-Kzin Wars_ is copyright by Larry Niven and the authors of the stories; I'm just having some fun in his playground! Spoiler Warning: various events in the Man-Kzin Wars stories (but no actual plots) are mentioned in this chronology, so you should probably skip it if you haven't read all or most of the series. Second Warning: some of this will be hard to follow if you don't have copies of the books handy! I have given page references where necessary. All of these are to the Baen Books editions published in the U.S. and Canada. Changes since the first version of the timeline: Added stories from _Choosing Names_. Revised dates for "The Warriors" and "The Colonel's Tiger." Added citations for Fifth and Sixth Wars. Abbreviations: MKW: Man-Kzin War(s) MKW1: Man-Kzin Wars, Vol. 1 (and so on up to Vol. 7) CN: Choosing Names, Man-Kzin Wars Vol. 8 AGFE: A Gift From Earth, by Larry Niven GLNR: The Guide to Larry Niven's Ringworld, by Kevin Stein MHIP: Madness Has Its Place, by Larry Niven, MKW3 TOKS: Tales of Known Space, by Larry Niven TW: The Warriors, by Larry Niven, MKW1 Assumptions: 1. Because Larry Niven is the creator of the Known Space universe, in which the Man-Kzin Wars take place, anything written by him "pulls rank" over anything written by anyone else, unless there is some overwhelming reason for it not to. Because _The Guide to Larry Niven's Ringworld_ (which contains a great deal of information about Known Space in general, not just the Ringworld) offers a number of specific dates, and seems to carry Niven's seal of approval (he wrote the introduction), I have used it as a resource as well, although not necessarily an infallible one. Other than that, it's a matter of what seems (to me) to best explain the inconsistencies. As we shall see, there are some places where you just have to pick one datum over another. 2. "Years" in stories (characters' ages, years since something happened, etc.) are Earth years, not some other planet's, and not relativistically dilated, unless they can be shown to be otherwise. Wunderland's year is said to be about 1.2 Earth years long in MKW5, p. 50, and 1.44 Earth years in GLNR, but this discrepancy does not seem to matter much. The Timeline (condensed version) If you're not interested in a detailed justification of my dating, you may just want to read this part! Thousands of years ago: "Jotok" by Paul Chafe (CN) 1878: part of "The Colonel's Tiger," by Hal Colebatch 2341-51: _Protector_ by Larry Niven, 2nd half 2360: "The Warriors" by Larry Niven (MKW1) 2360: "Telepath's Dance" by Hal Colebatch (CN) 2367: Kzin conquest of Wunderland 2373: "The Colonel's Tiger" by Hal Colebatch 2375: "Madness Has Its Place" by Larry Niven, chapters 1 and 2 (MKW3) Late 2370s, early 2380s: MHIP, chapter 3 2385: the Kzin First Fleet is destroyed by the Strather Array Shortly after the First Fleet attack: "Choosing Names" by Larry Niven (CN) 2391: "The Man Who Would be Kzin" by Greg Bear and S.M. Stirling (MKW4); Kzin Second Fleet is destroyed. 2391-2435: "The Survivor" by Donald Kingsbury (MKW4) 2398: Kzin Third Fleet is destroyed (barely). Shortly after 2402: "Trojan Cat," by Gregory Benford and Mark O. Martin (MKW6) 2404: Kzin Fourth Fleet departs Alpha Centauri system for Earth; when it arrives at Sol system (2410?), it loses First decade of the 2400s: "A Darker Geometry" by Gregory Benford and Mark O. Martin (MKW7), "Galley Slave" by Jean Lamb (CN) 2410: _A Gift From Earth_ (TOKS and GLNR timelines); Outsiders sell hyperdrive to human colony on We Made It. Around 2410: "Slowboat Nightmare" by Warren W. James (CN) Late in the 2410's: "The Children's Hour" by Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling (MKW2) 2420: "The Asteroid Queen" by Pournelle and Stirling (MKW3) 2420: Wunderland liberated; end of the First Man-Kzin War About 2421: "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Pournelle and Stirling (MKW5) 2433: the MacDonald-Rishshi Treaty 2435-2439: "The Heroic Myth of Lt. Nora Argamentine," by Donald Kingsbury (MKW6) 2440: "Iron" (MKW1) and "Inconstant Star" (MKW3) by Poul Anderson 2449-2475: Second Man-Kzin War (GLNR) 2491-2531: Third Man-Kzin War (GLNR) 2531: Kzin-ruled planet Canyon is annexed into Human Space (GLNR) Between the Third and Fourth Wars: "Cathouse" (MKW1) and "Briar Patch" by Dean Ing (MKW2); "Hey Diddle Diddle" by Thomas T. Thomas (MKW5) 2560-2584: Fourth Man-Kzin War (GLNR) Unknown: Fifth and Sixth Man-Kzin Wars (_Ringworld_, p. 19) After the Sixth War: "Prisoner of War," by Paul Chafe (MKW7) The Timeline (with justifications) Thousands of years ago: "Jotok" by Paul Chafe (CN) 1878: part of "The Colonel's Tiger," by Hal Colebatch (MKW7, p. 3) 2341-51: _Protector_ by Larry Niven, 2nd half (TOKS, GLNR timelines) 2360: "The Warriors" by Larry Niven, MKW1. In the previous version of this timeline, I argued that while the TOKS and GLNR chronologies give the date of this story as 2360, the evidence showed that it took place a decade earlier. I based this argument on the fact that the colony ship is said to be 11 years from Pluto and 8 from We Made It in the Procyon system (p. 19) and that Jim has aged 11 years on the voyage (p. 13); calculating backwards from this and the fact that the Pencil was traveling at 0.8c (MKW3, p. 12), I figured that the ship had been in space for at least 15 years from the point of view of a stationary observer. The trouble was, Procyon is only about 12 light years from Earth, so why was it taking them so long to get there? I chose to disregard this and assume that the 11/8 figure and the statement of Jim's age were correct; that the Pencil's signal must therefore have taken about 15 years to get back to Earth; and that since it arrived about a decade before MHIP begins (MKW3, p. 6), it must have been sent around 2350. I now prefer to approach the matter from another direction. In MHIP, Jack Strather says in 2375 that the Pencil was launched twenty years ago (MKW3, p. 6). The signals from the Pencil had arrived at Earth more than a decade before MHIP begins (say in 2364), and the Pencil was traveling at 0.8c. Therefore, the likeliest scenario is that the Pencil was launched in early 2355, spent a bit more than five years traveling four light years (given that it had to accelerate up to its cruising speed). It met the kzinti in late 2360 and sent the report of the incident back to Earth. The report got to Earth in 2364. This backs up the date given for TW in TOKS and GLNR. It means that we have to disregard the 11/8 figure and the statement about Jim's age, but the above scenario is more consistent with the actual distance to Procyon and with MHIP, a more recent Niven story than TW. The two stories by Hal Colebatch both have the Pencil heading to Epsilon Eridani, not Procyon, but I'm taking Niven's datum here as authoritative. In any case, Epsilon Eridani is also well under 15 light years from Earth, so most of the above problems would be the same. 2360: "Telepath's Dance" by Hal Colebatch (CN) takes place immediately following "The Warriors." 2367: Kzin conquest of Wunderland (GLNR, p. 17; MKW4, p. 94) 2373: "The Colonel's Tiger" by Hal Colebatch. In the first version of this chronology, I had put this story around the same time as chapter 3 of MHIP, but on reflection, I've given it an earlier date; the Angel's Pencil was launched 18 years before the story starts (MKW7, p. 8). The events of MHIP would appear to be among the plots unfolding at the end of "The Colonel's Tiger," 18 months after the main body of the story (pp. 75-76). What were the ARM brass thinking, sitting on the Pencil's report for almost a decade? Bureaucrats! 2375: "Madness Has Its Place" by Larry Niven, chapters 1 and 2, MKW3 (p.5) Late 2370s, early 2380s: MHIP, chapter 3 (p. 29: "Time brought me to Mercury, and the lasers, eight years ago"; we don't know how much time elapses between Jack Strather's departure from Earth and his arrival on Mercury, but call it two years, and say ten years in all elapse). (Question: Does the use of the word "time" imply longer than two years? Say, five or six years? That would affect all the kzin fleet attack dates). 2385: assuming what I put forth in the previous paragraph, this is the year the Kzin First Fleet is destroyed by the Strather Array (MKW7, p. 91). (PROBLEM: consider that the following events need to happen: radio signals travel 4.3 light years from Sol to Alpha Centauri to inform the kzinti of the fate of the First Fleet; the Second Fleet is put together; the Second Fleet travels to Earth at 0.8c or thereabouts (with no need for long periods of acceleration and deceleration, thanks to the gravity planer; call it 5.4 years). Total elapsed time, even assuming the Second Fleet had already been assembled when the kzinti got the bad news, is almost ten years. But we are told on p. 92 of MKW7 that only six years elapsed between the coming of the First and Second Fleets. I guess that, kzinti lack of foresight or no, they had already sent the Second Fleet before learning the fate of the First.) Shortly after the First Fleet attack: "Choosing Names" by Larry Niven (CN). I'm placing this one very early in the First MKW because of the human characters' almost complete ignorance about the kzinti. The attacks by Gutfoot's Horde and Pareet's Pride appear to be attacks by rogue elements not under the orders of the Patriarchy, not part of the First Fleet proper. The mention by Telepath of various kinds of reaction-motor defenses probably refers to Phoebe Garrison's asteroid mining setup (MKW3, p. 34) and the results of the ARM planning hinted at in MHIP (ditto) and in the last chapter of "The Colonel's Tiger." 2391: Assuming the First Fleet was destroyed in 2385, six more years (MKW7, p. 92) bring us to this year. "The Man Who Would be Kzin" by Greg Bear and S.M. Stirling, MKW4; Kzin Second Fleet is destroyed. 2391-2435: "The Survivor" by Donald Kingsbury, MKW4 2398: Seven years from 2391 (MKW7, p. 92) bring us here. Kzin Third Fleet is destroyed (barely). Shortly after 2402: "Trojan Cat," by Gregory Benford and Mark O. Martin, MKW6 (the Herrenmannen spaceship had left Wunderland around the time of the conquest and had been en route for over 35 years, p. 263. I interpret these as Earth and not Wunderland years because on p. 259 the travel time from Wunderland to Earth is given as "40 years" at 0.1 c. The character thinking this would have to be making a rough estimate, as it would actually be over 43 years, given the distance of 4.3 ly between Sol and Alpha Centauri; since the Wunderland year is at least six-fifths of the Earth year [MKW5, p. 50], it's likely that such a rough estimate in Wunderland years would be "30 years.") 2404 (MKW4, p. 123, 129): Kzin Fourth Fleet departs Alpha Centauri system for Earth; when it arrives at Sol system (2410?), it loses. First decade of the 2400s: "A Darker Geometry" by Gregory Benford and Mark O. Martin (MKW7) takes place while stragglers of the Third Fleet are still limping back to Alpha Centauri, and some years before the Outsiders sell the hyperdrive to the Crashlanders (MKW7, p. 306-7). From the fact that Bruno remembers the Third Fleet but considers a Fourth Fleet only a possibility (MKW7, p. 90), we can infer that this story takes place before the Fourth Fleet's attack, i.e. before 2410. Also, given that he's a third of the way to Alpha Centauri traveling at 0.7c (MKW7, pp. 85 and 90), it must be at least two years after the Third Fleet was defeated. First decade of the 2400s: "Galley Slave" by Jean Lamb (CN). It's been "less than a generation" since the kzinti had "disrupted everything" on Earth. I'm taking that to mean about 20 years since the First Fleet arrived in 2385, so I'm putting this story around 2405. 2410: _A Gift From Earth_ (TOKS and GLNR timelines); Outsiders sell hyperdrive to human colony on We Made It. Around 2410: "Slowboat Nightmare" by Warren W. James (CN). This story would have to take place during the First MKW. It can't be during a subsequent war, since the kzinti have the gravity planer but not the hyperdrive (p. 207). It can't take place earlier than the start of the First MKW, or between two of the wars, because the kzinti inform the humans that their species are at war (p. 205). About the only thing I can offer to nail the date down more is this: on p. 200, the narrator says that humanity had been sending out ramrobots for "several hundred years" at the time the slowboat to Vega was launched. According to TOKS, p. 81, the first ramrobots were launched during the mid-21st century. If we interpret several as meaning more than two, then it would be "several hundred years" only from the viewpoint of someone living in the mid-24th century or later. So let's hypothesize a launch date of 2350 for the Vega slowboat. Now, Vega is about 26 light years from Sol. The kzinti intercepted the slowboat six months' traveling time (p. 206) from its destination. According to AGFE, slowboats travel at "less than half the speed of light" (p. 12). (Anybody got a more precise figure?) So let's say they go at 40 percent of lightspeed, meaning it took this one about 60 years to make the trip. That brings the (very approximate) date of the story to around 2410. In a pinch, I could put it a couple of decades later -- but not much more than that, since the ARM would have stopped all slowboat launches by the 2370s, and the first MKW officially ended in 2433. Late in the 2410's: "The Children's Hour" by Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling (MKW2) (this story takes place after the Fourth Fleet is beaten [see p. 142] and not long before the liberation of Wunderland) 2420: "The Asteroid Queen" (MKW3) by Pournelle and Stirling (ends around the time of the liberation of Wunderland) 2420: Wunderland liberated; end of the First Man-Kzin War (GLNR, p. 17) Problem: "Iron" and "Inconstant Star" are said to take place 20 years after the liberation of Wunderland [see the ages for Ulf Reichsstein Markham given on pp. 41-43 of MKW1, and the figure on p. 184 of MKW3] and 33 years after AGFE [MKW1, p. 36]. If we accept the TOKS date of 2410 for AGFE, "Iron" and "Inconstant Star" take place in 2443, and therefore Wunderland was liberated in 2423. Because Poul Anderson gives us round numbers in the passages in question, I take Markham's ages as generalizations meaning that he was around 30 at the time of the liberation, and around 50 at the time of "Iron," and similarly interpret Saxtorph's "20 years" in "Inconstant Star." About 2421: "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Pournelle and Stirling (Markham is "a little over 35" when this story begins (MKW5, p. 23), and is (about?) 50 at the time of "Iron" (MKW1, p. 41). P. 23 of MKW5 suggests that "In the Hall of the Mountain King" takes place about a year after "The Asteroid Queen." PROBLEM: Wunderland has already been liberated when this story takes place. If the gap between "Hall" and "Iron" is 15 Wunderland years, that's about 18 Earth years. But both scenes where Markham's age is given are seen from the viewpoint of Earth-born characters, so it's more likely (although not inevitable) that they'd be thinking in Earth years. 2433: the MacDonald-Rishshi Treaty is said to have ended the First MKW (date of the treaty: MKW4, p. 241; the war ended ten years after the kzinti were driven from Alpha Centauri, MKW3, p. 184). This appears to be inconsistent with much of the above, and with the date the war ended given in GLNR. Perhaps all fighting ended in 2420, but hostilities did not officially end until the treaty was signed, and the "ten years" is an approximation for the actual figure of thirteen. 2435-2439: "The Heroic Myth of Lt. Nora Argamentine," by Donald Kingsbury (MKW6). 2440: "Iron" and "Inconstant Star" by Poul Anderson (MKW1 and 3, respectively) (see entry for 2420 for justification for this dating). Note on the subsequent Man-Kzin Wars: the TOKS chronology gives the Second through Fourth Wars as taking place in the 2500s, while the GLNR has the Second and Third taking place in the 2400s. I am accepting the latter for two reasons: (1) the dates are more specific, and (2) the book is more recent than TOKS, and therefore may reflect Niven's more recent thoughts on the subject. 2449-2475: Second Man-Kzin War (GLNR) 2491-2531: Third Man-Kzin War (GLNR) 2531: Kzin-ruled planet Canyon is annexed into Human Space (GLNR) Between the Third and Fourth Wars: "Cathouse" by Dean Ing (MKW1) (p. 182: "It looks like the goddam tabbies want a fourth war"); "Briar Patch" by Dean Ing (MKW2); "Hey Diddle Diddle" by Thomas T. Thomas (MKW5) ("Over the decades since the Third Man-Kzin War..." MKW5, p. 206; this would place it in the 2550's). 2560-2584: Fourth Man-Kzin War (GLNR) Unknown: Fifth and Sixth Man-Kzin Wars (_Ringworld_, p. 19). Given that the GLNR only cites four wars, I'm guessing that the fifth and sixth were really more abortive attacks, possibly by rogue elements not officially sanctioned by the Patriarchy. Or perhaps Larry Niven has changed his mind about how many wars there were! After the Sixth War: "Prisoner of War," by Paul Chafe (MKW7). There is a reference to "after six wars" on p. 333, but on p. 341 this becomes "six invasions." This may support my guess that the fifth and sixth wars were really not worthy of the name. Any input on the problems I mention is more than welcome!
Russell Martin rmartin#inorbit.com [correct this antispam version of my eddress to contact me.]
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