(urth) [EXTERNAL] from the Centipede Press weekly newsletter

Mark Millman markjmillman at gmail.com
Mon Dec 7 14:35:19 PST 2020


On Sunday 6 December 2020, Rick Norwood wrote:

> The most important thing is to have six cardinal
> points of the compass, not four. Second, to have
> south be up.

And on Monday 7 December 2020, David Stockhoff asked:

> Can you explain more about the 6 compass
> points? Sounds like it would lend itself to a hex-
> map, which I have not seen done.

To which Rick replied:

> In Urth of the New Son, Wolfe did almost every-
> thing differently from what the reading expected,
> including a compass having six points and south
> being at the south. . . .

I imagine this is a typo for "top".  You're probably aware that maps
with south at the top are the classical Chinese standard, which was
influential in east Asia (and remember that there's evidence that
Korea may have been a dominant power on Urth for a while, including
having launched Jonas' ship).  For that matter, medieval European maps
often put east at the top, taking their orientation from Jerusalem and

But my impression of the six-pointed compass is that it's a spherical
compass that indicates up and down as well as south, north, west, and
east.  Six coplanar cardinal points seems too arbitrary to appeal to
Wolfe's engineering brain.


Mark Millman

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