Translation note: words from Human Standard Galactic and Huaoshy Standard Intergalactic have been faithfully translated, but no native speakers were available to help with interpretation of the early human languages. Rather than rely on machine-generated translations, some terms from early human languages were not translated and appear in this glossary with our best guess as to their meanings.

Glossary of terms for The Start of EternityEdit

This glossary provides descriptions of important story elements found in The Start of Eternity.

In alphabetical order:

Aliens that are not male or femaleEdit



The pronoun "thon" is as a Gender-neutral pronoun used for many of the key characters in the story who are not male or female.

Nominative (subject) Accusative (object) Possessive adjective Possessive pronoun Reflexive
he He laughed I called him His eyes gleam That is his He likes himself
she She laughed I called her Her eyes gleam That is hers She likes herself
it It laughed I called it Its eyes gleam That is its It likes itself
thon Thon laughed I called thon Thons eyes gleam That is thons Thon likes thonself


A place for socializing within the underground city at Observer Base.

compact dimensionEdit

an important part of physics, used for hyperspatial travel, telepathy and time travel. Some forms of matter can move through compact dimensions from one point in space-time to another.

Deltrijoshnypwannem speciesEdit


Demographer Wilry

The Deltrijoshnypwannem are a highly genetically modified species. Their engineered brains allow two parallel thought processes, one in each side of the brain. They are capable of carrying on two conversations at the same time. They have a hermaphroditic pattern of reproduction and complete reliance on artificial womb technology for embryo gestation. Demographer Wilry is a member of this species.


The term "downwhen" was used by time traveling Eternals to refer to the past. See also: upwhen.

Encyclopedia GalacticaEdit

When the Foundation was established, the official reason provided for its existence was that Terminus would be a world where all of the galaxy's technological knowledge could be kept safe. Later, most people came to believe that the Encyclopedia Galactica was only a cover story. See The Encyclopedists at Wikipedia.

Eternal life cultsEdit

A common social phenomenon by which members of various species come to believe in eternal life or a way to dramatically increase the length of lives for biological organisms.


Eternals were the residents of Eternity.


"Eternity" is the name that was given by humans to the system that makes time travel possible. Eternity was spatially coupled to Earth, but it existed as a place outside of ordinary time and space where time travelers, known as the Eternals, lived. The Eternals could move back and forth between Eternity and ordinary time and space, entering into any time period of Earth's history. Their mission was to make Reality Changes, changes in the course of history that would result in an improved Reality. See The End of Eternity.


The First Foundation was established on the planet Terminus as a center for the development of microfusion power technology. The Second Foundation was established on Trantor, the Capitol world of the Galactic Empire. The Second Foundation was a center for development of "psychologists" with telepathic abilities. The goal of the Foundations was to allow the previously existing Galactic Empire to crumble and have the Foundations re-form a galaxy-wide civilization that would be ruled by telepathic "psychologists". However, half way along this 1,000 year long process of reformation, the Foundation plan was abandoned in favor of its alternative, Galaxia.

Fundamental Theorem of Species DiversityEdit

The Fundamental Theorem of Species Diversity states that galactic civilizations composed from diverse mixtures of species are the most stable. Across millions of years and tens of thousands of galaxies conditions have proved the soundness of this Theorem as the basis for social engineering policy.


The super-organism that is forming in the Milky Way Galaxy and which requires creation of a group mind for all of humanity. See this Wikipedia article for more information.

Ghreliuw speciesEdit


Ghreliuw species

Bipedal species most known from the Roswell Incident. Genetically engineered to have only a single sex and a single type of gamete. In vivo fertilization is still possible, but rarely practiced. Reproduction almost always involves laboratory-assisted fertilization.

Historian Nadit Daanour is a member of the Ghreliuw species.

Gravitic driveEdit

A "second generation" hyperspatial jump drive technology that allows faster movement between the stars and between galaxies. During the development of Galaxia humans discover gravitic drive technology and use it to begin a tentative expansion of humanity beyond its own home galaxy. The gravitic drive is one of three technologies that is discovered first by the positronic brain robots led by Gohrlay. The Huaoshy only slowly become aware of the importance of positronics for these remarkable technological advances, and ultimately, they decide that their intergalactic civilization cannot absorb these transformational technologies. See Sedrons.

Guiphoa speciesEdit

a relatively rare example of a heavily genetically engineered species that had retained two distinct sexes. Morphology: quadrupeds with a centralized apical combination tentacle, genital and sensory stalk. Reliance on artificial reproductive technology is nearly universal. Individuals such as Fint who have an interest in non-technologically assisted reproduction are viewed as regressive throwbacks to the past.

Guild ObserverEdit

A representative of one Guild who travels with the crew of a spaceship belonging to another Guild. Alkeirs serves as a Guild Observer on Many Sails.


Hierions are a class of bosons that are able to travel at speeds faster than the speed of light.

Home GalaxyEdit

the origin of the Huaoshy species, now roughly at the center of the 90,000 galaxies that have been tamed by the Huaoshy and brought into their vast inter-galactic civilization.

Huaoshy speciesEdit

The Huaoshy species was the first species that developed the hyperspatial jump drive. They developed a galactic exploration process that has grown to include tens of thousands of galaxies populated by millions of space-faring species. This vast inter-galactic culture is united by a common language and almost all of the many species have been carefully engineered by the Huaoshy to be similar to the Huaoshy and each other.


The planet Imfulri, in the Milky Way Galaxy, is the home planet of the Ressese species. However, most Ressese live on worlds of the Large Magellanic Cloud. The Ressese are relatively short and stout.

Sahiwha Nennoad is a member of the Ressese species and the leader of the training mission to Imfulri that is undertaken by the crew of Many Sails..


A computerized listing of all residents at Observer Base.


Interventionists try to find ways to subvert the Rules of Observation and provide help to less technologically advanced cultures.


"Kat" was a word in the Neanderthal language that was in use at the Observer Base for Earth during the time when Neanderthals served as Observers. "Kat" means, roughly, "protector", and was derived from a Neanderthal dialect in which it was specifically used by a female when addressing a male, typically a female who had an intimate relationship with the male and who trusted him to be near her children. Originally the word "kat" was derived from a word meaning "fight" or "warrior" in cultures where Neanderthal males had conflicts with outsiders. At Observer Base the term came to be used in a similar way to the English word "friend". See also: mur and kra.


Time travelers move through time by entering a special chamber. Due to the external appearance of these time travel chambers, they are referred to as "kettles".

Kezetz plotEdit


A Kezetz plot for the human species. The red arrow indicates the point where the Neanderthal subspecies fell off of the "Kezetz cliff". The yellow trajectory is that of the "modern human" subspecies.

A Kezetz plot shows the genetic predisposition of a species towards aggression (vertical axis). The "T" axis on a Kezetz plot can be the time axis, but generally it represents technological advancement from simple tool use and manufacture on towards more complex technological civilizations. The green surfaces below the "Kezetz cliff" represent a high technology domain where aggression is minimized and the species can be merged into intergalactic civilization along with many other space-faring species. The gray surface represents the pre-space age and low technology domain of cultural development during which high levels of aggression are important for allowing the species to dominate its own home planet.


A genetically modified subtype of human specialized for compatibility with electronic neural implants that allow efficient radio communication with robots.

Roboticist Esselle and Geneticist Rewhand are members of the Kighiz subspecies.


"Kra" was a word in the Neanderthal language that was in use at the Observer Base for Earth during the time when Neanderthals served as Observers. "Kra" means, roughly, "wise one", and was derived from a Neanderthal dialect in which it was specifically used by a male when addressing a female, typically a male who had an intimate relationship with the female and was trusted to be near her children. Originally the word "kra" was derived from a word meaning "fire" in cultures where Neanderthal females were the keepers of fire. At Observer Base the term came to be used in a similar way to the English word "friend". See also: mur and kat.

Laws of RoboticsEdit

The Laws of Robotics were devised by Isaac Asimov. Robots such as Daneel Olivaw follow these laws. In particular, the "Zeroth Law" says that a robot must act to promote the interests humanity. This led to Daneel taking control of the development of galactic human civilization so as to make humanity safe from aliens who originated in other galaxies.

Malansohn RealityEdit

The Reality before the Foundation Reality. The Malansohn Reality is not shown in The Start of Eternity. The Malansohn Reality is described in The End of Eternity.

Many SailsEdit

This is the spaceship that is commanded by Captain Hooski.


"Mer" was a word in the Neanderthal language in use at the Observer Base for Earth during the time when Neanderthals served as Observers. "Mer" means, roughly, "youngster", and was derived from a Neanderthal dialect in which it was specifically used by an adult to refer to children who were cared for by the adults of a group. At Observer Base the term came to be used in a similar way to the English word "child". See also: mur, kat and kra.

Mind static weaponEdit

A device that can flood a telepathic mind with "noise", incapacitating the telepath.

Mind transferEdit

"Mind downloading" is the term used by Vicktir Klempse and other roboticists at Observer Base to refer to the process by which the structure of a human brain is copied into a substrate of positronic circuits. See: Mind uploading.


"Mur" was a word in the Neanderthal language in use at the Observer Base for Earth during the time when Neanderthals served as Observers. "Mur" means, roughly, "trustworthy", and was derived from a Neanderthal dialect in which it was specifically used between two intimate females, typical females who would trust each other in helping care for their children. At Observer Base the term came to be used in a similar way to the English word "friend". See also: kat and kra.


Nanites are nano-scale devices (see Nanorobotics). Nanites are used for many purposes at Observer Base, mostly mundane tasks such as cleaning, jobs that the human residents take for granted and hardly notice. Nanites can also function as a means to alter brain function or to alter a person's appearance.

Observer BaseEdit

The home base for Observers. Observer Base for Earth was an underground city on the Moon. Most of the Observer Base residents were genetically modified humans. Some of the important genetic modifications included: adaptations for life in the relatively low gravity of the Moon, enhanced susceptibility to the neurological effects of nanites, absence of genetic predispositions for cancer and degenerative diseases, physical appearance adjusted to conform to that of humans on Earth.


Observers must follow the Rules of Observation. In general, Observers have more advanced technology than the culture they are observing. The Rules of Observation are designed to allow advanced civilizations to study more primitive cultures without allowing the primitives to become aware of the Observers. See also: Overseers. Not to be confused with Guild Observers.

Oodeckru speciesEdit

The Oodeckru were a notoriously difficult species that caused a significant amount of disruption within intergalactic society. The Oodeckru were often discussed as a "textbook" example of a species needing a large amount of social engineering.


A word used by humans at Observer Base as a formal title for the robotic agents of the Huaoshy. The word was derived from an early human word roughly meaning "slave". Before the advent of telepathy, no humans were aware of the Huaoshy.

Ouwui speciesEdit



Highly genetically modified to promote abstract thought and detachment from physical concerns. Greatly reduced chemical and tactile senses, monochromatic visual sense, but highly developed hearing and speech abilities. The auditory sense organ is nearly a complete ring around the crown of the skull. Morphology: bipedal with a radial array of branched tentacles. The Ouwui have a body temperature set point that is significantly higher than the average for species that work with the Huaoshy.

The Ouwui are hermaphroditic with complete conscious control of the reproductive process. They have a consciously-controlled form of sequential hermaphroditism and can switch from producing male gametes to female in about a year and from female to male in a much shorter period of time. At the gross anatomical level they have both male and female structures all the time. The Ouwui species has a strong bias against using artificial reproductive technologies.

Lorn-Kru is a member of the Ouwui species.


A kind of police force that makes sure that Observers do not try to violate the Rules of Observation.


A term used by Eternals to distinguish between the flow of Time in Realities and the flow of time within Eternity. Humans continue to age and time passes within Eternity. This passage of time for the Eternals is "physiological time", or physiotime. When an Eternal moves from Eternity into Time, a personal temporal field generator can anchor the time traveler within "physiotime", meaning that the time traveler is protected from Reality Changes in the same way as anyone who is actually within Eternity.

Positronic brainEdit

Positronic brains are what makes telepathy possible. In the long history of the Huaoshy, electronics have always been used for the production of artificial intelligences. Unlike electronic robotic brains, positronic brains can produce large amounts of T-particles, the basis of telepathic communication.

The PrimitiveEdit

The Primitive Ear is a term used by Eternals to refer to the time before Eternity was was created.


"Reality" is a technical term used by time travelers to refer to the universe of planets and people. Time travel is made possible by the creation of a "bubble universe" that exists as a spatio-temporal anomaly outside of Reality (see Eternity). Time travelers can exist within Eternity where they are protected from changes in Reality. Time travelers can alter events in an existing Reality and trigger a Reality Change that results in a new Reality: a new sequence of events in time.

Reality ChangeEdit

"Reality Change" is a technical term used to describe the creation of an alternative time line. A Reality Change is caused when a time traveler goes back in time and makes a change in the course of events. There are multiple "Realities" that sequentially come into existence when time travel is used as a tool for altering Reality. Realities have a kind of "momentum", so most changes in time do not dramatically alter a Reality.

Ressese speciesEdit

The Ressese species originated on the planet Imfulri. Adapted to the relatively high gravity and atmospheric pressure of Imfulri, the Ressese are squat quadrupeds with an apical array of tentacles that they use for manipulating objects, much in the way humans use their hands.


The first spacefaring species that the Huaoshy come into contact with as they spread into space from their planet of origin. The Retair construct the Uvadekoto as their first interstellar spaceship.


Robots in Asimov's fictional universe are often androids, with human-like bodies. Robots that have been carefully designed to resemble humans are called "humaniform robots" and cannot be distinguished from humans by casual inspection. The names of robots such as R. Gohrlay are often prefixed by "R." as a title indicating that the individual is a robot.

There are several types of robots in The Start of Eternity. The robots with positronic brains are all cognitive descendants of Gohrlay, a genetically modified Neanderthal. Some of the robots are nanoelectronic and were manufactured by aliens. See: Orbho.

Rules of InterventionEdit

so important it needs its own page! This is the basic law of the Huaoshy species. Many less technologically advanced species are not aware of these rules. See also: Rules of Observation.

Rules of ObservationEdit

The Rules of Observation constitute a set of guidelines for Observers. These rules are designed to keep humans on Earth from learning that extraterrestrial forces have been observing Earth for millions of years. Violations of the Rules of Observation are detected by Overseers who function as a kind of police force. The Rules of Observation are a special case of the Rules of Intervention which generally restrict contacts between more technologically advanced life forms and less advanced cultures.


Sedrons are a type of fermion that makes possible the hyperspatial jump.


One of the pop cultural trends of the time, favoring a synthetic look rather than a biologically natural appearance. The term "sint" was used to refer to the entire cultural trend and to individuals who participated in its exploration.

Skydisk CultEdit

The Skydisk Cult originated on the Moon among primitive humans (ancestral to both Neanderthals and Anatomically Modern Humans) who were struggling to understand the relationship between the Moon and Earth and how it was possible for some humans to travel from the Moon to the Earth. Long after the origin of the Skydisk Cult, significant progress was made in selecting for new human variants that were more predisposed to having religious beliefs (Anatomically Modern Humans). Neanderthals were notable in that they were not very predisposed to having religious beliefs.

Social Engineering GuildEdit

One of the major social tasks facing intergalactic civilization is finding ways to engineer millions of different cultures so as to make them compatible. The Social Engineering Guild trains professionals who study conflicts between cultures and design social changes that will remove conflict.


The computerized network used by residents of Observer Base. Each user of the sonet had a conlist, all of their regular partners in electronic conversation.

Standard GalacticEdit

The standard language used by humans on the inhabited worlds of their home galaxy. The use of Standard Galactic by all humans is encouraged by the positronic robots who are guiding humanity towards the formation of Galaxia.

Standard IntergalacticEdit

The standard language used through all of the tens of thousands of galaxies within the sphere of influence of the Huaoshy species.


Telepathy was first discovered by positronic robots because of the favorable interactions between positrons and T-particles. Basic telepathy allows the exchange of information. More advanced forms of telepathy allow "mentalics", the control of another's thoughts by telepathic means.

Temporal attractorEdit

Foundation vortex

The Foundation-Galaxia vortex.

One of the unexplained features of Time is the existence of temporal momentum. Some events in any Reality are difficult to change by sending a time traveler back in time. For the strongest temporal attractors it is impossible to avoid their effects: some events cannot be prevented. The Foundation-Galaxia vortex of the Foundation Reality is an example of a temporal attractor. Any attempt to form Galaxia always required that the Galactic Empire be allowed to collapse and an effort be made to form a new Empire by establishing the First and Second Foundations. See Strange attractor.

Temporal field generatorEdit

A device worn on the wrist by time travelers. It creates a local temporal field that protects time travelers from the effects of Reality Changes.


The planet where the First Foundation was founded.


one of the few planets in the Milky Way Galaxy where visitors from other galaxies are allowed.

The Saga of UvadekotoEdit

The story of "first contact" between two space faring species, the Huaoshy and the Retair. A version of Part One (translated into English) is reproduced here as Chapter 10 to Chapter 13.


T-particles are a form of dark matter. Positronic brains can use T-particles and their associated twitinos for telepathic communication.


The term "upwhen" was used by time traveling Eternals to refer to the future. See also: downwhen.


The first interstellar spaceship built by the Retair.

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Continue to Design Space • - • - • note to authors: underlines indicate heavy construction

Chapters: Design SpaceGohrlay's Diary0Vortex0.00712345678910111213141516171819

Appendices: State of the PlanetThe Last GardenerSkydisk Cult

Other pages: Cover pageTable of ContentsCharactersGlossaryThe entire novel on one pageMain talk page for discussing the story

For authors (warning: plot details!): MetaTimelineDetailed character infoDetailed outlineDisclaimer

The End of Eternity is a novel about time travel that was created by Isaac Asimov. The story and characters from The End of Eternity and his other fiction are probably claimed as the intellectual property of Asimov's estate or other for-profit corporations. Characters from The End of Eternity and other Asimov novels are borrowed for use here in the spirit of Fan Fiction, for the enjoyment of science fiction fans and with no intention for profit.

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