September 21st, 2010

Planets of Peril

I do not think that word means what you think it means...

Small thought on re-reading Weinbaum's Flight on Titan to refresh my memory on a couple of points.

Is it just me that finds it incongruous that the main settlement on Titan, repeatedly described as a city - e.g. "Nivia, the City of Snow" - is revealed towards the end of the story to have a population of fifty.

According to Wikipedia there's actual precedent for this in the USA: Maza, North Dakota, with only 5 inhabitants, was a city as by North Dakota law any incorporated location is deemed a city regardless of size. I suppose that the name might represent a hope for the future, but I can't help feeling that it's asking to be ridiculed. Any thoughts on this? Or examples of so-called cities that started that size but went on to justify the name?