George R. R. Martin's 'Thousand Worlds' Universe Wiki

Cloud Castle perched above the mists of Wraithworld [Artwork by Marc Simonetti, from the French cover of A Song for Lya and Other Stories]

The Federal Empire was the political unit that ruled human space during the early centuries of starflight. It colonised most of the first- and second-generation worlds and some of the third, and conducted the Double War, during the course of which it finally collapsed. The term itself was a convenient misnomer; the so-called empire was more correctly a democratic-socialist-cybernetic bureaucracy. The ultimate decision maker was the Chief Administrator, who was elected by and responsible to a tricameral legislature meeting in Geneva, Old Earth, but most of the day-to-day administration on Earth itself was conducted by the Artificial Intelligences, vast computer constructs. In the waning years of the Double War, the Federal Empire grew increasingly repressive and lost touch with its own colonies and even with its military arms.[1]

"Thousand World" stories which take place during the Federal Empire include:

Partial Timeline (bi-1000+)

  • The stardrive is invented, giving human space crafts the capacity for interstellar travel
  • Newholme, located 4.3 light years from Earth, is settled, becoming Earth's first interstellar colony
  • Baldur is colonised from Earth
  • Rommel and Wellington are colonised from Earth, and used as penal colonies
  • Fenris is colonised
  • Daronne is colonised from Earth (it would be colonised thrice by aliens and once more by humans)
  • Letheland is colonised, probably from Earth
  • Abbatoir is discovered; Earth makes three attempts to colonize it, but every attempt ends in failure
  • Avalon is colonized from Newholme
  • Tara is colonised
  • Poseidon is colonised
  • Deirdre is colonised
  • Bastion is colonised
  • Shkea is discovered and a colony is attempted
  • Stormjones is colonised by followers of Erika Stormjones
  • Rhiannon is colonised from Deirdre
  • Jamison’s World is colonised from Poseidon
  • Erikan is colonised by followers of Erika Stormjones
  • The colony on Sarissa rebels against Earth and the warship Alecto is deployed to end the conflict
  • Artificial intelligence computers on the warships Alecto and Golem rebel against their human crews, forcing humans to abandon AI


  1. Martin, George R. R., Dying of the Light, Glossary