The Light trilogy is a parody of space opera, its history, politics, mores & assumptions. It is a dystopia which, in the tradition, ironically offers aspects of the present as a “future”. (Resource-based capital fosters the cultural & economic background for social & individual outrages the reader recognises instantly as unacceptable.) For that reason, none of its characters is intended to be sympathetic, relatable or reader-identificatory; neither are they intended to be any more than cartoons. This is customary in satire, as one of the ways of signalling that it is satire. We understand that there is no Kefahuchi Tract, nor are there any “New Men” or space police in powder blue uniforms, or powerful alien races who have designed humanity as an “uplift” programme: these inventions & cliches act as a constant reminder to the reader of the trilogy’s pastiches, parodies and mimicries; and, more generally, of the essentially infantile nature of space opera as a medium. A reading of the book as if it is naturalistic, or as if it is offered as a manual for acceptable—or even plausible—human behaviour will produce an unsatisfactory result.