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

David Stockhoff dstockhoff at verizon.net
Mon Dec 7 14:40:09 PST 2020

Thanks. I was trying to find out where in the text a 6-point compass was 
mentioned. I agree that if you have six you could just as well have 
seven---but 8 is pretty much universal for obvious reasons.

On 12/7/2020 5:35 PM, Mark Millman wrote:
> Folks,
> 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
> Eden.
> 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.
> Best,
> Mark Millman
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