Spoiler alert if you haven't read the books yet!

In Pandora's Star, it is written as follows:

Then it happened: the strangest weapon of all was used. The enemy alienPrimes [from the star system of Dyson B] established a force field around the entire star system [of Dyson A]. Nothing could penetrate it; not nuclear weapons, nor quantum field interference. It was impervious to everything Prime science could strike it with. MorningLightMountain and all the others were trapped inside, while the alienPrime immotiles remained free to spread themselves and their contagion across the universe. There was nothing the original Primes could do except repair the damage to their civilization, expand their territories across the frozen outer planetoids, research new weapons, and wait. — Chapter 18, p. 762.

The 'alienPrimes' are the descendants of Morning Light Mountain that colonised Dyson B. The story above is told by the all-knowing author, or perhaps it is an extract from Morning Light Mountain's memories. But it is part of an elaborate history lesson that appears to be 'true' and fits the rest of the dilogy in other respects.

However, in Judas Unchained, the Silfen 'Clouddancer' tells Ozzie that an alien race called the 'Anomines' created the barriers around Dyson A and Dyson B. In addition, the Silfen says that this ancient race has (partly) transcended into another state of being and is no longer involved in the universe on a human scale; they will not help to restore the barrier or fight the Primes. Even though this story is told to Ozzie in what may be a dream, it is apparently taken from the communal memory of the Silfen race; it is taken as fact throughout the rest of Judas Unchained.

How are we to understand this apparent discrepancy? Have the Alien Primes on Dyson B evolved into a peaceful race after all and are they the Anomines, even though the Starflyer, an Alien Prime, has retained the original Prime truculence? That does not seem likely. And why would the Alien Primes erect a second barrier, around their own star system? They should be just as warsome and expansive as their ancestral Primes from Dyson A.

  • 2
    There is even a third version of the story in a later book. (-:
    – JdeBP
    Sep 15, 2017 at 15:33

3 Answers 3


From the quoted section, this statement is obviously false:

MorningLightMountain and all the others were trapped inside, while the alienPrime immotiles remained free to spread themselves and their contagion across the universe.

Since both of the Dyson Pair were enveloped at the same time, it's evident that this paragraph therefore does not represent some form of "elaborate history lesson that appears to be 'true'" but is instead written from the perspective of MorningLightMountain.

Subsequently in Chapter 18, and after the fields are opened, we learn the following, which supports this conclusion:

Strangest of all, there was no sign of the alienPrimes. Defences around every planetary and space territory were brought up to their full capability in readiness for the surely imminent attack. But no weapons of any kind tested them. There was nothing. All the alliances combined their sensor information. Everything remained blank.

MorningLightMountain was uncertain how to proceed. It had planned for what it considered every eventuality when the force field was removed. It could fight and flee, it had a grand alliance ready to build a fleet to exterminate all alienPrime life at the second star, and wherever else they had corrupted. That the alienPrimes would do nothing was confusing it considerably.

Its most powerful telescopes were hurriedly trained on the neighbouring star for any clue of their activity. That produced the greatest surprise of all. A force field had encased the alienPrime system as well.

None of the immotiles had ever considered there might be a second alien life, one that was more powerful than Primes.

We can therefore say, with a very high degree of confidence, that the earlier statement was made from the perspective of MorningLightMountain and that MorningLightMountain was just simply wrong.

  • 6
    You clearly have a vested interest in this community, you know how it works, you've spent a lot of time here, go through the effort of uploading a profile picture every time. Why don't you simply merge your accounts and be given the privileges you earned. Your "exile" or "protest" doesn't really work when you're trying to spite people by answering questions as that is the aim of the community. BTW thanks for all the first post reviews, this must be the 30th or 40th time I'm asking you to merge your accounts.
    – Edlothiad
    Sep 11, 2017 at 10:46

The text you quote from Pandora's Star is written from the point of view of MorningLightMountain, and describes his assumption that the force field that suddenly appeared was created by the only aliens he knew about, the alienPrimes. He was wrong in that assumption. Obviously, he had no way to actually know who created the force field, since he was stuck on the inside and had no instruments that could detect anything outside it.

  • I thought of that too; it is possible. But the rest of the account seems to be all 'true'. And it isn't necessarily only MLM's knowledge, but other perspectives are mentioned, too, including ones that one would assume to exceed MLM's knowledge and experience. An example: "It began an extensive research project into the trisymmetric creatures themselves. There was a lot for MorningLightMountain8658 to learn, concepts and ideas that both alarmed and intrigued it."
    – Cerberus
    Sep 11, 2017 at 6:02

As others wrote, the quoted passage seems to be written from the point of view of MorningLightMountain. I think the word "alienPrimes" is used as synonym of "aliens", to show that MorningLightMountain does not consider the possibility that there may be other sentient life forms. So because the barrier was not set up by Primes in the system, the only other possibility (to MorningLightMountain) is that it was set up by alienPrimes.

(Yeah, it is too subtle...)

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