The Alliance-Union Universe
Yep. This page is meant to be a resource for those of you who (like me) embarked on the course of reading C.J. Cherryh's Alliance-Union series and are mired in confusion. The Alliance-Union universe has a very detailed history, and although most novels are self-contained one needs to know the background to appreciate them fully. If you're starting off, I recommend reading Downbelow Station because a) it explains most of the politics and b) it's pretty good.
The Alliance Union Series
Map of the Alliance-Union Universe
The Science of the A-U Universe (or, what is this Jump thing anyway?)
* subject to much speculation