Aliens that are not male or female - The pronoun "thon" is as a gender-neutral pronoun that is used for many of the key characters in the story who are not male or female.
For example, members of the Ouwui species are all sequential hermaphrodites, able to change sex at will.
Cliph - an Observer who helps Gohrlay visit Earth.
downwhen - The term "downwhen" was used by time traveling Eternals to refer to the past. See also: upwhen.
Encyclopedia Galactica - 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 moving the Encyclopedia project to the edge of the galaxy was only convenient cover for launching the First Foundation as a political entity.
Eternals - Eternals were the residents of Eternity.
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.
Foundation - The First Foundation was established on the planet Terminus and became 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.
Galaxia - The super-organism that is forming in the Milky Way Galaxy and which requires creation of a group mind for all of humanity. Galaxia develops as an alternative and a replacement for the Foundations and the Second Galactic Empire of Seldon's Plan.
gravitic drive - 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.
Guild Observers - 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 - Hierions are a family of bosons. Some hierions are able to travel at speeds faster than the speed of light, allowing for faster-than-light communication.
Huaoshy - The Huaoshy species was the first biological 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 Huaoshy have long since transformed themselves and many other lifeforms into a form of artificial life that is known as "Huaoshy". The Kac'hin are often mistakenly identified as Huaoshy by primitive creatures like Homo sapiens.
kat - "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.
kra - "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.
kettle - 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 Plot - 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
Laws of Robotics - Robots such as Daveed follow these laws. In particular, the "Zeroth Law" says that a robot must act to promote the interests humanity. This led to Daveed taking control of the development of galactic human civilization so as to make humanity safe from aliens who originated in other galaxies.
Malansohn Reality - The Reality before the Foundation Reality. The Malansohn Reality is not shown in The Foundations of Eternity.
Many Sails - This is the spaceship that is commanded by Captain Hooski.
mur - "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 - (also called bots) nanites are nano-scale devices that 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 Base - a hidden city under the surface of the Moon. The home base for
Observers. Most of the Observer Base residents are 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 - 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.
orbho - 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 species - 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.
Overseers - A kind of police force that makes sure that Observers do not try to violate the Rules of Observation.
physiotime - "physiological time", the passage of time within Eternity-type time bubbles. A "temporal field generator", in the jargon of the Eternals, was a portable generator of a local space-time bubble that could protect individuals in Time from a Reality Change.
The Primitive - The Primitive Era is a term used by Eternals to refer to the time before Eternity was was created.
Reality - "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 Change - "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.
robot - during the Foundation Era, androids, with human-like bodies, were known as robots. Robots that have been carefully designed to resemble humans were called "humaniform robots" and could not 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 Foundations 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 Observation - 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.
sedron - Sedrons are a family of fermions that makes possible faster-than-light travel via the hyperspatial jump. The artificial lifeform that is Huaoshy is composed of sedronic matter.
sint - 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 Cult - 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.
Standard Galactic - 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 Intergalactic - The standard language used through all of the tens of thousands of galaxies within the sphere of influence of the Huaoshy species.
telepathy - 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 attractor - 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. Temporal attractors are technically examples of strange attractors.
temporal field generator - 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.
Terminus - Planet where the First Foundation was established.
Tokishira - one of the few planets in the Milky Way Galaxy where visitors from other galaxies are allowed.
The Saga of Uvadekoto - The story of "first contact" between two space faring species, the Huaoshy and the Retair.
T-particle - T-particles are a form of sedronic matter. Positronic brains can use T-particles and their associated twitinos for telepathic communication.
upwhen - The term "upwhen" was used by time traveling Eternals to refer to the future. See also: downwhen.