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GLOSSARY OF CONVENTIONS, INSTITUTIONS, AND DEVICES



android See Q-R.

bee (baa, boo) A kind of electronic, self-carrying handbag used by both sexes. It can contain anything from a bottle of wine to a full-length mirror; and will also run errands and carry messages. In Four BEE these things are known as bees, in Four BAA as baas, in Four BOO as boos.

body change and sex change The essential elementlife spark or consciousnesscan be taken from one body and replaced in another fresh body, specifically designed by the prospective occupant, via the Limbo Tub at Limbo. The chosen body may be either male or female, depending on the mood of the human concerned. In the earlier part of the autobiography the writer stated that the time supposed to elapse between each body replacement was officially thirty units, but this limit was constantly abused by suiciders.

circle Jang custom: A circle is a group of friends who more or less stick together as a clique, and are reckoned to do most things as one. Admitting fresh members to the circle is a complex ritual, although not mentioned by the writer. Cutting original members out, however, is easy, and the outcast is traditionally expected to dissolve in tears.

displacement machine Originally intended for human travel, on the disintegration-reintegration principle, it proved unpopular, since the process tended to make the passengers vomitaccording to the writer.

Dream Rooms The place where citizens can buy and experience dreams previously designed and plotted by themselvesa kind of cerebral Adventure Palace.

flashes News bulletins, appearing as electrically projected signs in the sky, on walls, etc. They can also be picked up in the home. Nothing much ever appears to happen in the cities, so anything even slightly unusual is worth reporting on, and zoom-scanners and Flash Center bees are constantly on the alert. There is a Flash Center in each of the four sectors of each of the cities.

Four BEE, Four BAA, Four BOO The three great dome cities. Obviously in size gargantuan, they exist beneath stabilized electricity wave shieldsthe domeswhich protect them from all the hazards of the planet, eruption, storm, earthquake, and so on. Entirely self-sufficient, their inner conditions are made as natural as possible, complete with parks and gardens, days and nights, artificial sun, moon, and stars. Outside Four BAA are the lesser domes which contain the breeding-tank farms for the creation of Q-Rs and also glamorous android animals made to delight the populace. Four BOO is famous for the trapping of real desert animalsfor petsand additionally, in point of fact, for fur and other animal products such as scent.

hypno-school First active stage of city life, where children are taught incredibly sophisticated items, such as extraordinary forms of mathematics, for which apparently they never find any use afterward. Teaching by hypnosis leaves most of the school activity a complete blank in the childs mind, though knowledge is retained. This phase only lasts one-twentieth of a rorl (about five years).

Jang Second stage of city life. Adolescence has become a compulsory part of growing up, lasting anything up to half a rorl or longer, and is called Jang. Jang have their own customs, culture, traditional modes of behavior (having ecstasy, marriage, etc.), and virtually their own language (Jang slang). Any who depart from the norm are frowned on by all strata of society.

makers Parents. Relevant cells are taken from a male and a female who wish to become makers, and joined in a crystallize tank to make a child. This is supposed to create a bond between the two makers, but evidently rarely does for long. Only one maker is obliged to remain as the childs guardian, and then actually only until hypno-school is finished.

marriage Jang custom. Jang traditionally always marry before having lovethe sexual act. Sometimes they marry for a substantial period of timea vrek, mid-vrek, etc.sometimes only for an afternoon or unit, in which case the marriage must be paid for both before and after. The marriage ceremony consists mainly of one speech, as follows: I promise to have love with you and no other for the period aforesaid, unless I seek annulment, which may be granted on alternate units throughout the marriage, and which must be paid for. Older People are not required to marry.

Older People Final and longest stage of city life, which can continue more or less indefinitely, until the person concerned, worn out with living and memories, voluntarily seeks Personality Dissolution, in which his current ego is erased and his conscious mind washed clean of all recollection. After this he returns to the child stage once more, this time with a Q-R guardian.

paying There is no monetary system in Four BEE, etc. However, since the cities run on power, emotional energy is taken from the payer and fed into the city power banks. The weird process is accomplished simply by the purchaser entering a pay-booth and going into a hysteria of thank-yous. Ecstasy or other drug stimulants are generally used to ensure the success of this peculiar rite.

Picture-Vision A sort of nonstop TV extravaganza of beauty and eroticism, with no story line.

Q-R Quasi-robot, or android. Grown in the breeding tanks at BAA, from chemical cells, the Q-R externally resembles a human. Useful circuitry is built into them, however, and even their blood is a form of self-servicing metallic plasma. Not being created from male and female tissue and therefore without a consciousnessor life sparkthe Q-Rs are brought to life by an electric charge of colossal force.

sabotage Is carried out by Jang, and is another, though unofficial, Jang custom. It entails breaking into the lookout posts of the cities, damaging the machinery, and thereby disturbing the protective waves of the dome long enough to allow in bad weather, or worse. The dome defenses quickly block the sabotage, and harm of any telling proportion is never done.

suiciding Literally suicidingkilling the bodybut without the normal connotations, since it is only a means to get an off-the-cuff body replacement inside the thirty-unit limit. Limbo robots immediately home in on any suicide or death, and take the victim to Limbo, where they rescue the life spark and replace it in flesh.


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