Page 226. " A 3D fire flickered in the central hearth, surrounded by hovering maglev furniture. "
A Japanese maglev train in use
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeA Japanese maglev train in use - Credit: Salim Virji, flickr

Maglev is short for magnetic levitation, which can be used to suspend objects midair. It has been used successfully in the operation of faster, quieter and more efficient forms of transport. The JR-maglev train in Yamanishi, Japan reached speeds of up to 581km per hour.

Page 227. " She had chosen the Rothko canvases in the hope I would find them meditative. "
Artwork by Rothko hung in gallery
Creative Commons AttributionArtwork by Rothko hung in gallery - Credit: Procsilas Moscas, flickr

Mark Rothko (1903-1970), a Latvian-born American artist whose favoured genre was abstract expressionism.  

Click to see pictures of Rothko and his work.

Page 227. " Sixth Month 18th , Epic of Gilgamesh; Seventh Month 2nd, Ireno Funes' Remembrances. Ninth Month 1st, Gibbon's Decline and Fall. "
One of the 12 tablets on which the Epic of Gilmahesh survives
Public DomainOne of the 12 tablets on which the Epic of Gilmahesh survives
Jorge Luis Borges
Public DomainJorge Luis Borges - Credit: Grete Stern
Originally titled Surpassing All Other Kings, the Epic of Gilhamesh is an epic poem and one of the oldest surviving works of literature in the world. Written in an ancient Semitic language called Akkadian, it survives on twelve stone tablets dated between 1300 and 1000 BCE. Remembrances or Funes, His Memory is a short story by Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986). Ireneo Funes is a fictional version of Borge himself and the short story explores the character's prodigious facility for study and recall. Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall is mentioned by Cavendish and is discussed briefly here (bookmark p155).  
Page 230. " and a book whose title I could now read: Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen. "
The Little Maid - wished to acquire a human soul so she could live as a human. Many of his fairytales are about desire and escape.

Public Domain The Little Maid - wished to acquire a human soul so she could live as a human. Many of Andersen's fairytales are about desire and escape. 

 Credit: Edmund Dulac

Among the fairy tales penned by Danish author and poet Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) are 'The Snow Queen', 'The Steadfast Tin Soldier', 'The Little Match Girl', 'The Ugly Duckling' and 'Thumbelina'. Recent scholarship has attempted to interpret his stories in the light of frustrated sexual desire for both men and women.
Page 236. " oracular models of the Beloved Chairman and statuettes of the Immanent Prime Chairman "

In a corpocratic state, where powerful family businesses (or Chaebol as they are known in South Korea) work in tandem with the government, the Immanent Prime Chairman is likely to be the Beloved Chairman's son. Present examples of Chaebol in South Korea include Samsung, Hyundae and LG. The market value and therefore Juche-worthiness of a Chaebol is reliant not only on its current helmsman but on the perceived merit of its future leaders.

Page 236. " Hour twenty-one chimed, "

Reminiscent of one of the most famous openings to a novel ever. Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four begins: 'It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.'


Page 249. " Evenin' catched us up early so we tented on the southly bank o'Sloosha's Crossin', cos Waipio river was furyin' with days o' hard rain an' swollen by a spring tide. "

Waipio River runs through Waipio Valley (see pictures here), the largest valley on The Big Island of Hawaii and the southern most of the Nine Valleys. The coast running alongside the valley is often used by film production companies and was used as one of the settings towards the end of the ill fated movie Waterworld. Waipi'o means 'curved water' in the native language, and indeed the river 'curves' its way through the valley and into the ocean on the northeastern side of the island. The valley itself is often referred to as the Valley of the Kings because it has been the home to many Hawaiian rulers. It is regarded as a sacred valley and is said to bestow a kind of mystical safety upon all those who dwell within it, and in fact despite being hit once by a major tsunami and later by severe flooding, no fatalities were recorded. If you scroll towards the bottom right of the map you can also see Honokaa from which Zachry has just come.   

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