Monday, 18 February 2013
"Theor looked across long gray waves to the shore." (p. 36)
However, some of what he sees is directly described by the omniscient narrator to a Terrestrial reader. We are informed that the baggage animals, "kanniks," are "...vaguely like six-legged, squamous tapirs..." (p. 36) Obviously, this is not Theor's description of them.
How do Theor's Jupiter and the real Jupiter differ from Earth? Earth has an oxygen atmosphere, a solid surface much of it covered by liquid water and a dense molten core. Theor's Jupiter has a "...monstrous atmospheric ocean - mostly hydrogen..." in which he rides a beast that flies or swims, turbulent elements, a "...queasy...surface..." much of it covered by liquid ammonia, and, presumably, a dense core of some kind. (pp. 21, 36)
My layman's impression of current scientific understanding is that Jupiter comprises turbulent gasses increasing in density all the way down to a very dense core but without any solid surface on which masses of liquid could congregate? Thus, life, if there is any, would float, fly or swim through the "atmospheric ocean" but would not have legs with which to walk on a (nonexistent) surface?