The Gap Cycle

The Gap Cycle (published 19911996 by Bantam Books and reprinted by Gollancz in 2008[1]) is a science fiction series, written by Stephen R. Donaldson. It is an epic set in a future where humans have pushed far out into space in the name of commerce and follows two concurrent story arcs. The first concerns an ensign in the United Mining Companies Police (UMCP), Morn Hyland, who is attempting to stay alive after being captured by a marauder named Angus Thermopyle. The second follows the fate of three people who are affected by the Byzantine political maneuvering of the head of the UMCP, Warden Dios, as he attempts to thwart the machinations of his boss, the CEO of United Mining Companies (UMC) itself, Holt Fasner.

Books in seriesEdit

  1. The Gap into Conflict: The Real Story, Bantam/Spectra, 1990
  2. The Gap into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge, Bantam/Spectra, 1991
  3. The Gap into Power: A Dark and Hungry God Arises, Bantam/Spectra, 1992
  4. The Gap into Madness: Chaos and Order, Bantam/Spectra, 1994
  5. The Gap into Ruin: This Day All Gods Die, Bantam/Spectra, 1996

The Victor Gollancz Ltd (UK) reprints of the series combine the first two books into a single volume. According to Donaldson's website, this was done at the author's request.[citation needed]

According to the author's afterword in The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story (1990), the series was originally imagined as a novella in which characters representing villain, victim, and rescuer would switch places during the course of the narrative. When Donaldson found the result unsatisfying, the book was shelved until he had the idea of setting a retelling of Wagner's Ring Cycle in the same universe and casting the characters from The Real Story in roles from Wagner's opera.

The Real Story novella became Volume 1, and the rest of the series explores the Wagner theme. The series is not the Ring Cycle explicitly retold, but more an interpretation set in a future universe. (Nowadays The Real Story and Forbidden Knowledge are usually sold as a single volume.)


  1. ^ "Bestselling Fiction & Non-Fiction Authors". The Orion Publishing Group. Retrieved 27 June 2016.

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