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From: Ranjit Bhatnagar <ranjit@best.com>
Subject: How big is the whorl?
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 1996 15:29:33 

[Posted from Whorl, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

Some clues: when Sand and Hammerstone are talking to Silk about
soldiers and the Plan of Pas in the tunnels, they mention something
like a couple hundred cities, and about half a million people in
Viron.  If we take that to mean 200 cities with half a million each,
that's a hundred million people... roughly comparable to the
population of Japan (125 million), whose land area is 375,000 square
kilometers/15000 sq mi, about the size of California.  It's often
implied that there's a lot of unpopulated, wild space between cities,
so the cities are probably more evenly distributed in size and
location than cities in Japan or California.  Could the Whorl be about
the size of California rolled up into a tube?

When Silk was lying woozy on Blood's roof, having been whacked by the
White-Headed One, he saw a flier flying "three-score leages" (289
km/179 mi) beneath (above) him.  That sounds unlikely, though -- who
could see a small person 179 miles away?  You can't see people from 5
miles up in an airplane.  Maybe whorlish leagues are a lot smaller, or
the narrator was exaggerating because Silk was so out of it.

Whorl Web: http://moonmilk.volcano.org/whorl/
Questions or problems to whorl-owner@lists.best.com

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