By Velvet Belle Tree

& Brantley Thompson Elkins

Scalantrans and their Calendar


The Scalantrans are an extra-galactic species. They have become completely disassociated from the planet of their origin. 

The Scalantrans are described in Companions thusly:

The aliens were at least 2 feet taller than normal men.  Their very slender bodies were covered by fine, brick red fur.  And their hands!  The crowd was astonished to see six fingers on each hand with two opposable thumbs.  Their eyes were very large and round and of a startling yellow color.


The Scalantran Calendar begins when they, and many others of their species, left their planet of origin; an event known as The Swarming.  Since they are no longer attached to any particular planet, they no longer use the concept of the solar year.

The basic unit of their Calendar is something that can be translated into English as a Generation.  This is actually the time it takes for a Scalantran to become sexually mature.  At that point, the youths are initiated sexually and leave the parental mate-group for youth groups which are on a planet.  There are two cohorts of children on a ship, spaced half a Generation apart.

A Generation is close to 13 Earth years.  Based on the dates in Shadar's Shore Leave, the Scalantrans left their home planet approximately 14,000 years ago. One group of Scalantrans entered the Milky Way approximately 6,000 years ago. They then spent time exploring, establishing planets needed for the education of their youths, establishing Meetpoints, and trading with various species that they found during their explorations. One offshoot of them gradually worked its way towards our region of the Galaxy, arriving here a few thousand years ago.

As can be seen from the description of the Scalantrans, it is natural that their numeric system is in base 12. A Generation is divided into 12 sub-generations.  Conveniently, these are within approximately 11% of the length of Earth years. The Scalantrans then divide each sub-generation into a unit we would translate as Shift.  There are 1728 (12 cubed) of these in a sub-generation.

 Adaptation by Terrans


Since the Scalantrans are the traders who travel between planets inhabited by people of Terran origins and are the primary connection between these peoples, their calendar has been adapted by Terrans as their universal calendar.

The Terrans employ their own terminology in place of Scalantran. "Generation" has no meaning to the Terrans so they use Cycles. One twelfth of a Cycle is a Galactic Year or G-Year. There are 400 Galactic Days or G-Days – a Terran interpolation -- in a Galactic Year. Each G-Day is divided into 24 hours, each hour into 60 minutes and each minute into 60 seconds – like G-Days, these divisions were never used by the Scalantrans, but because the G-Day is so close to the Terran day in length, the Terran diaspora simply incorporated them, based on ancestral experience dating back to ancient Egypt. Terrans on each world count local time in terms of local years and days and other divisons. The universal calendar, however, is used aboard ships, and as a common basis for dating historical events of interstellar significance, to avoid confusion from world to world, and to provide a common start-date unrelated to those for Terran calendars.

A Galactic Year or G-year is equal to 1.11 Terran years, and 405.15 Terran  days.

A Cycle is equal to 13.32 Terran years

A Galactic day or G-Day is equal to about 1.013 Terran days


Working Example

In Shore Leave, where the calendar was first used, the Cycle is 1052, which in Terran years would be 14,012.64. The Earth Year is 2007, meaning that in Terran terms the Scalantran calendar dates back to about 12,006 B.C.

Here is an analysis of the first stardate cited in Shore Leave:

 (Date: 1052-11-01, 06:30 Ship's Time)

1052 = Cycle

11 = G-Year

01 = G-Day

6:30 = Hours

Since this date is at the very beginning of the 11th G-Year of the 1052nd Cycle, the tenth G-Year has just ended. Cycle 1052, therefore, must have begun 11.1 Terran years earlier, or 1996. To make conversions as simple as possible, let us assume that Jan. 1, 1996 is the equivalent of 1052-1-1. Ten G-years amount to 4054.5 Terran days, counting three leap years (1996, 2000, 2004). So the Terran date would be about 39 or 40 days into 2007, about Feb. 8 or 9.

Fortunately, it's unlikely that weÕll ever have to get more exact than that!

The tricky part will that there isnÕt any equivalent of a month; therefore, dates can run as high as, for example, 1052-11-400, 23:59.