In Niven's The Integral Trees and The Smoke Ring, how long have the humans been living there since the colony was founded? Clearly, long enough for villages to form and different tribes to develop. But is this thousands of years, just a couple generations, or what?

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“Sharls would not enter that inner region. The maelstrom of forces could damage his ship. He couldn't guess how long the seeder ramship must survive to accomplish his mission. He had waited more than half a thousand years already.”


“The crew must have disconnected the autopilot system on every one of the CARMs, half a thousand years ago.”


“Oh ho! The video link hadn't been disconnected! A block must have been programmed in, half a thousand years ago, by the mutineers. Certainly their descendants wouldn't know how to do that.”

Excerpts From: Larry Niven's The Integral Trees

More than 500 years.

  • Interesting that the period is repeatedly referred to as a half thousand rather than more commonly at "over 500."
    – Broklynite
    Jun 6, 2016 at 11:01
  • @Broklynite Niven probably believed we would talk like that in the future. Another example of their speech is how they measure distances in klomters.
    – Mr Lister
    Jun 6, 2016 at 15:30
  • Interesting. Could never quite get into Integral trees somehow, though I know many enjoy it
    – Broklynite
    Jun 6, 2016 at 16:02

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