SolidCold by Richard Tornello


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Post March 30, 2011, 11:22:03 AM

Re: SolidCold by Richard Tornello

I can't recall for certain, but Rick may have said that this was the original, and he cut it down to fit the flash . . . it can certainly happen either way.

The measurement thing is giving me fits in my novel project. Time is another one. C. J. Cherryh got inexcusably lazy in her Chanur series: the main-character species (the Hani) used standard 24-hour time and Metric-system distance as though it were their own. I greatly appreciate Rick's effort in this regard; it goes a long way to making the story feel authentic.

Hint for others tackling this: for time, at least, study sun-dials for a while; you'll get some ideas.
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Post April 07, 2011, 08:39:13 PM

Re: Hani units

vates wrote:
Lester Curtis wrote: ,,, got inexcusably lazy ..
Or it might be a case of deliberate cultural translation?

Well, maybe . . . if so, she threw in a slew of modern North-American speech mannerisms too . . . although, she might have done that just to free up her thinking for all the dense political intrigue in that series. I could excuse her for that, I suppose.
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Post April 14, 2011, 04:10:41 PM

Re: SolidCold by Richard Tornello

Oddly enough, Discover Magazine's May 2011 cover story says that modern human DNA is an amalgam of traces from past hominid species:

http://ebookhorn.com/wp-content/uploads ... y-2011.jpg

One would assume that the natural antifreeze in Ander-Tallis blood (funny they'd call themselves that, since the species was named for a region in France, I think...) was not exactly glycol, but had similar properties in terms of low freezing point, resistance to the formation of crystals, etc. Carriers of the genes would have superior resistance to cold and would be the last ones to die from hypothermia (ensuring that they would then have their pick of the tools and clothing of the frozen dead); a few generations of interbreeding (okay, more than a few), with higher survival rates for those in whom the gene was most strongly expressed, would eventually raise the antifreeze component concentration to the point where one of Them could survive in temperatures that would almost instantly freeze liquid water (i.e., substantially below -50 Fahrenheit?).

I think the "phase transition" thing simply refers to the 'fact' that Ander-Tallis blood and body fluids do not freeze in any naturally-occurring conditions with which the narrator is familiar. (Drop him in liquid nitrogen and we'll see who's kidding whom...). Since those fluids don't freeze (as far as he knows from experience), they don't melt, either.

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