World 4470

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World 4470 (Cetian charting; Hainish/Terran labelling KG-E-96651) is a planet outside of Hainish space that was visited by the crew of the Gum during the time of the League.VEMS


[edit] Geography

From space, World 4470 appears dark-green, and is compared to jade. There are oceans, although the percentage of the surface that is ocean is unknown. It is described as "warm", presumably in comparison to Earth, especially as there are no polar caps and the North Pole has a tundra biome.

Named geographic features include the North Circumpolar Forest. There are at least seven major continents, labeled by the Gum as Continents A through G.

[edit] Biology

The biosphere is completely vegetative or phytotic, without any animals. There are large plains of something like grass, along with heaths and forests. None of the plants are flowering, and they appear to mostly be pollinated by the wind (anemophily). The colors of the plants are described as "green, violet, purple, brown, red." If green is the primary color, then the primary of World 4470 is most likely similar in size, color and composition to the Sun.

[edit] Study by and Interaction with Humanity

The Gum was sent during the early part of the League to investigate the world as an Extreme Survey mission. Having landed on Continent D, they made a number of survey expeditions to various parts of the planet, and set up a large building as their base camp, consisting of a long main hall and ten sleeping-cubicles (in contrast to the two-bunk sleeping quarters of the ship).

However, tensions rose after one crewmember thought he was almost attacked by a creature in the jungle, and another was attacked and bloodied. Despite that attack being committed by another crewmember, Osden's empathic abilities show him that the forest is in fact one giant vegetative sentient being.

The forest (and to some extent the plains) of Continent D become highly fearful of the human visitors. It sees them as "rootless things", like hurricanes or forest fires, and thus inherently dangerous. Osden is able to pick up on this fear that therefore emanates from the forest when the humans are there.

The series of events prompts the crew to move the Gum across the planet to Continent G. Upon moving, however, they find that the fear has spread there, and thus the entire biosphere is a single solipsistic mind. Eventually, Osden joins with the sentience, and Harfex dies of fear, before the other crewmembers leave the planet to return to Earth.

[edit] Since Gum

Nothing is known about the fate of the world since the Gum mission; it is implied in the story that it is not again visited during the League, and probably not during the Ekumen either.

[edit] Possible Location

Given that the ship is slightly over 256 lightyears from Terra, four stars are known to fall into the range 256-260 light-years. They are as follows:

  • Woolley 9340, a G2V star similar to the Sun, at 256 lightyears;
  • Gliese 336.2, a K0V star, smaller than cooler than the sun but similar to Epsilon Eridani, at 257 lightyears;
  • HD 32387 a G8V star at 258 lightyears, about which little is known;
  • 69 Virginis, a K1-III giant star, at 258 lightyears - this is the least likely of the possible matches.

Given that only one distance (to Earth) is given, it is impossible to attempt to triangulate World 4470's location.

World 4470
Vaster than Empires and More Slow
Asnanifoil | Jenny Chong | Eskwana | Harfex | Mannon | Olleroo | Osden | Porlock | Poswet To | Haito Tomiko
Beldene | Smeming Port
Aka | Alterra | Anarres | Athshe | Beldene | Chiffewar | Cime | Eleven-Soro | Ensbo | Faraday | Four-Taurus-Iao | Ganam | Gao | Gde | Gethen | Hain | Huthu | Ishth | Kapetyn | Kheakh | New South Georgia | O | Ollul | Orint | Prestno | Rokanan | S | Seggri | Sheashel Haven | Terra | Urras | Uttermosts | Ve | Werel | World 4470 | Yeowe
Planets in bold have a full novel or story dedicated to them; those that are not are merely referenced.

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