Click here to view frame-free site.

Jerry Pournelle's Future History

Jerry Pournelle’s Future History forms a unified projection of a possible "future" based on unique vision of sociology and politics.

This universe is perhaps more pessimistic than the classic SF universes of Heinlein, Asimov, and Niven. Ambition, greed, and bureaucratic indifference abound, leading to horrifying tragedies. Yet there are also great heroes who triumph past intimidating odds, struggling for the survival of the human race.

Crown and Spaceship

Suggested Reading Order

The Future History now fills twenty-one books. What should be read first? What is the sequence of the Falkenberg stories? Should King David's Spaceship be read before The Mote in God's Eye? How do the War World stories fit in with the stories written by Pournelle himself? These questions are answered here.

Timeline of Pournelle's Future History

This timeline of Pournelle's universe is both a chronicle of events and a chronicle of sociology. It records all events which occur in these stories -- whether center-stage or off-stage. It also contains information about how human society changes through the different eras of this "future".

Astronomy and Star-Maps

These maps situate the human-settled planets of Pournelle's future in relation to each other. Distances, travel times, and any precise astronomical locations mentioned in the stories are displayed here.

Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and High Justice

Pournelle began projecting his future in the early 1970's. When the Soviet Union collapsed, this invalidated his "future". Or did it?

Ambiguities and Difficulties

Any future history this detailed is bound to contain contradictions or quasi-contradictions. Many knots are untangled in this document.


A complete listing of stories and novels set in this universe, including a revision history of the older books.

Links to other Jerry Pournelle websites

There aren't many of these out there.... but I've listed the few that I know about.

Crest of the Second Empire

Jerry Pournelle passed away on September 8, 2017. His writing, his ideas, and most of all his unstoppable personality will be missed by his fans and all who met him.

When I heard the news, I had just finished re-reading The Mote in God’s Eye for the umpteenth time. Towards the end, there is a poignant scene when (no spoilers!) Fr. Hardy softly recites the “Requiem aeternam.” After finishing the book I looked at the internet, and learned of Dr. Pournelle's passing. I’ve been reading his books nearly all my life.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.

***** ***** *****


The documents in this Jerry Pournelle Future History site are all written by Larry King.

All names, places, and dates are either real, or copyright by Jerry Pournelle. Presumably, those events which appeared first in Pournelle's works and subsequently occurred in real life will result in legal disputes between Pournelle and God. In any event, my contribution is solely as a historian.

This page was a long time in growing! My first timeline of Pournelle's works was written in 1979 after I read Mote. The copy I read (from the Woodland Hills library) had two sections bound in the wrong order. This added even more mystery to the book....

A number of correspondents have been helpful – especially Scott Hammond, Keith Halperin, Eric Bufford, L. Randall Berg, Kevin Trainor, Bradley Wilson, Roland Denzel, and Richard Oakley. The "Second Empire Crest" on this page was designed by Dan Thompson.

Jerry Pournelle, Jennifer Pournelle, Don Hawthorne, E.R. Stewart, and John F. Carr have been extremely helpful in their correspondence, clarifying several important points. Watch for future books in the series, edited by John F. Carr!

***** ***** *****

Home to the Science Fiction Timeline Site  HOME

EMAIL   Send email to Larry King