("Southern") hemisphere map. [The scale here is
three-quarters of that used in the northern hemisphere map,
because, the cities of Starside being scattered over a wider
area than those of Syoom, the Starside map has to represent greater
The maps actually used by Uranians contain
"peril-contours" (or "safety-contours") called "sfy", which join
places of equal danger. The data for these are gathered by
wayfarers, in the simplest possible manner: either the wayfarer arrives at
his destination or nen does not. Each arrival or non-arrival is
reported, and plotted into a map by a cartographer. The most
important contour is sfy-50, the boundary between Syoom and Fyaym, for the
definition of Syoom is "the land in which a lone wayfarer has a more than
50 per cent likelihood of completing a 1000-mile journey alive".
Here we will not attempt to reproduce map in the
Uranian style - a style which, to the Terran lay reader, would
appear as too subjective
and in many respects incomprehensible.
Our maps of Ooranye
simply use the data we have gleaned
about the relative positions of the Uranian cities and the distances between them.
(For the distances themselves, see the text for individual Cities.) However, there is one
Uranian artistic convention which we have followed: the basic colouring
of their maps is rather reminiscent of some decorative star maps,
the cities being the stars, the land between them space. It is
symbolic of the cities' role amid the vast, lonely plains of
Note that the Uranians do not use latitude and longitude.
Nor do they have a magnetic North. Since their planet
faces always the same side to the Sun, the place they hold equivalent
in importance to our "North Pole" is the subsolar point, where the
Sun is at the zenith: namely, the city of Skyyon. And on the opposite
side of the planet is the Starward hemisphere, centred on the antipodes
of Skyyon, namely, the fabled land of Arclour.
The wayfarers of
Ooranye steer by means of a device which we have decided to translate by the word "compass"
though it uses not magnetism but an analogous force, attuned not to a magnetic
pole but (in the cheaper, most widespread versions) to 3 out of the 25 individual "chelthan-lodes"
in each of the 25 disc-on-stem cities of Ooranye. Thus, a glance at
the dial will show the wayfarer his distance from those three cities, and
these data are sufficient for him to calculate his position.
Apart from compasses, it needs to be admitted that
Uranians have a superior ability to carry around in their heads a
reticular plan of the distances between the cities of Syoom. This
partly explains why they have never evolved a latitude-longitude grid:
they have never felt the need for one.
Lastly, mention needs to be made of the extremely rare and
priceless device known as the banyssyen, only a few of which
were made, and which circulate in a dramatic manner through Uranian
history, turning up at times of fateful decision. A banessyen
("moving-map") is a lenticular object which, when held in the hand,
depicts by means of shifting lines and shapes and colours, the situation
of the holder. The codes it uses are understood subliminally, in a
different way for each individual. Obviously such a device must
count among those artefacts of the Phosphorus Era which draw their power
from an extra-dimensional source. As described in the saga
Petraym Lairvdon in Zaalv:
He moved through the gloom of the mist-shrouded
forest, giving almost all his attention to the disc he held, rather
than to the obscure forms which loomed to either side of his
route. The banessyen's flashing centre-dot marked his position,
and his companions were so close to him that their dots merged with
his; round them, crawling on the lens-shaped surface, were shapes
which a human eye and brain were apt to regard as pictorial
Unlikelihoods, Confusions, various clumps of Poignant Uneasiness - all
subliminally grasped without translation by any reason. The
device was a tool for survival, not
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