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From: John Bishop <jbishop@ch.hp.com>
Subject: (urth) What is "Cim" in Cim Glowing?
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 10:00:47 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

  Over the weekend, I got a clue: "Cim" is capitalized
  the same way that "Nashhwonk" and "Min" are, not the way
  "boat" and "tree" are.  It's not a thing, it's a name.

  And given the other things that are named this way, it's
  an animal (c.f. "kluy", a plant, which is not capitalized
  on reference).

  Firefly sounds nice (thanks, mantis!), but small.
  However, if this is not Earth (for which we have clues),
  and is smaller, then the firefly could be larger and

  But where do the snow monkeys come in?  And what does
  everything eat?  Yeah, the carnivores eat the herbivores,
  but in our world, there isn't a whole lot of "herb" to
  eat in the winter, and the animals as a whole are using
  up resources acquired in the summer.  Even the moss that
  reindeer eat doesn't grow much in the winter.  Years of
  winter would really cut back on the animal presence (e.g.
  the high Arctic or Antarctic: once you leave the sea,
  there's not much life).

  'Course, we are shown plants growing under the snow.  Even
  so, that's only going to create a tiny fraction of the
  number of calories per day per acre produced by plants
  during our summers.  And we see enough animals that there
  have to be lots of plants to support them.

  On another topic, "how can the world be circumnavigated in
  a few days by a sled going not much faster than a crude
  sailing sled?", here's a potential answer:  the action
  isn't taking place at the equator, but close to the pole
  of the planet.  So the Great Sleigh isn't running along
  a great circle route of ten(s) of thousands of miles, but
  just zipping along a thousand or so miles around a pole.

  Or, if you don't like that, it's zipping around the edge
  of a small continent/island: that removes the "always going
  the same direction" component, though.

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