Re: MacLeod's Cassini Division

From: S.J. Van Sickle (
Date: Tue Oct 03 2000 - 08:15:24 MDT

On Tue, 3 Oct 2000, Amara Graps wrote:

> Side question:
> Why is the novel titled _The Cassini Division_ ??
> I didn't see anything about Saturn's rings in your description....
> (Perhaps it's something only a planetary scientist might wonder about.)

>From the novel:

"The Cassini Division...In astronomy, the Cassini Dvision is a dark band
in the rings of Saturn. In the astronautics of the Heliocene Epoch, the
Cassini Division was the proud name - originally given in jest - of a dark
band indeed, a military force in the ring of Jupiter. You know about the
ring of Jupiter - but to us it was more than a remarkable product of
planetary engineering, it was a standing reminder of the power of our
enemies. It was our Guantanamo, our Berlin Wall. (Look them up. Earth
history. There are files.)

The Cassini Division was the Solar Union's front-line force, our
collective fist in the enemy's face. In our classless society it was the
closest thing to an elite; in our anarchy, the nearest we came to a state;
in our commonwealth, it held the greastest share of riches. Its recruits
chose themselves, and not many could meet a standard of that rigour. In
terms of sheer fire power the Division could have flattened all the states
Earth ever knew, and still had enough left over for a bit of target
practice to occupy the afternoon. The resources it controlled could have
bought everything on Earth, in the age when that world was owned - and it
still stood ready for the exchange, to give as good as it got, to pit our
human might against the puny wrath of gods.

In other words...the Division was there to kick post-human ass. And we

(And yes. I'm still proud of it.)"

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