One of the background aspects of the Jack of Harts universe can be found in modern medical research. We are working on stem cells right now that promise the ability to grow new organs for transplant that come from us and therefore will never be rejected. Imagine how long we could live if we could just implant a new fresh heart every thirty years or so? How about new lungs or kidneys or livers when they start getting old? In Jack of Harts, that and other medical advances resulted in a greatly expanding age curve for those who could afford it. The rich. The connected. Some who saw World War II survived long enough to receive these advances. More who saw Vietnam, and a very great many who lived through the Gulf Wars, Islamic Jihad, and the Cybernetic Wars went to the stars or were still on Earth to see the Peloran make Contact two centuries later.