By Dolores J. Nurss


Note: This glossary changes constantly, receiving new entries all the time. Most of these words will not crop up in all stories. I have not written down all of the unusual words and terms that I have buried in my notes, but have concentrated mainly on those most pertinent to finished novels (which is why you will at first see more notes on Til Territories and the Charadoc than any other cultures) though I am trying to include as much as I can on missions, cultures and lands not yet formally written about--hundreds of cultures exist in my notes, and they all have their peculiar terminology. Please notify me if you find anything unfamiliar in my tales that I haven't yet catalogued for this letter. Thank you.

xanthophane:  A clear, thin, crackly polymer of bluebonnet resin, much used in packaging.  One of the first "plastics" made from trees in the new world.

Xarthikae: A nation of the Northwestern Continent, rich in soil and the produce of the land, lush in its wildernesses and pastoral in its townships. Well known for its warm climate and mild winters. A popular tourist destination.
Xarthikante: The language of Xarthikae.

xenoslum:  A term for a section of a city, city-state,  or country set apart for foreigners or their descendants.  Governments do not like the term, as it implies discrimination and squalor, and in fact many xenoslums are crowded, neglected, and miserable, with residents restricted in their freedom to move outside of it.  However, some governments maintain that in their own cases it's the only way to handle large influxes of refugees without toppling the local economy.  And there are notable cases where a xenoslum has become an economic hub for imports, as well as a social hub for cultural experimentation outside of the local norms.  Most prominent among these is the xenoslum in Naugren Station, which has become justifiably proud of its vibrancy, diversity of trade, night-life, and artistic energy; it has, in fact, become a tourist destination.  However, for the most part xenoslums are sad places.

Note that it is incorrect to refer to the Istislani-occupied  Glass District of Novo Durango as a xenoslum, as no law restricts Istislanin to living, working, or building there; they do so by choice, in their preferred architecture.  Indeed, many Istislanin live outside of the Glass District in other parts of Novo Durango, while waiting for an apartment within the district to become available.

xylophane:  A clear, thin, crackly, watertight material, made in sheets from the polymerized sap of the bluebonnet tree.  Much used in wrappings for food or materials that need shielded from water.  Requires soaking in alcohol to become compostable.

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