Hyperspace is the fourth-dimensional space of meta-space.[1]

Infraspace and ultraspaceEdit

Infraspace[2] (or inferior hyperspace)[3] and ultraspace[2] (or superior hyperspace)[3] describe portions of hyperspace relative to the skein of a particular universe.[4]

When a universe is created, its skein is the surface of a hypersphere. Hyperspace within the sphere is infraspace, while that without is ultraspace.[4] Therefore, hyperspace extends beyond the energy grid boundaries of a universe.[3]

For universes with typical life-cycles, the Cosmic Centre births younger universes into the infraspaces of older universes.[4]

Perspective from hyperspaceEdit

The energy grid appears as an uneven curved plane from hyperspace.[5]

Three-dimensional real space–the skein–appears as transparent[2] plane. Objects in real space also appear as two-dimensional objects.[6] Stars and supernovae are readily noticeable on the skein. Black holes appear as tornadoes reaching toward the energy grid.[5]

Most real space objects have minimal effects on hyperspace,[7] although entering hyperspace close to real space objects may be dangerous.[2]

The energy grid and the skein appear as surfaces curving to the horizon; the curvature is reminiscent of, but not as pronounced as, that experienced in a planetary environment.[5] The curvature reflects the fact that a universe is the surface layer of a larger hypersphere.[4]


Light travels faster in hyperspace than in real-space;[8] hyperspatial light is not infinitely fast.[9] This is used in hyperspatial communication.[10]

The flatness of the skein may be used by hyperspatial sensors to look inside real space objects.[6] Similarly, objects in hyperspace may be moved inside real space objects by first moving underneath the real space object in hyperspace.[11][12]

Hyperspace also facilitates superluminal propulsion,[7] and computing.[10]


  1. The Hydrogen Sonata, chapter 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Excession, chapter 7.2
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Excession, chapter 3.4
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "A Few Notes on the Culture"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Consider Phlebas, chapter 8
  6. 6.0 6.1 Look to Windward, chapter 11
  7. 7.0 7.1 Consider Phlebas, chapter 9
  8. The Player of Games, chapter 2
  9. Surface Detail, chapter 26
  10. 10.0 10.1 Consider Phlebas, chapter 1
  11. Consider Phlebas, State of play: one
  12. Excession, chapter 3.2