[LMB] time

Lois McMaster Bujold lbujold at myinfmail.com
Sun Jun 5 16:54:39 BST 2011

[LMB] time, was What's next?
Karen Hunt huntkc at gmail.com
Sun Jun 5 13:39:17 BST 2011

On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 10:49 PM, Meg Justus <mmegaera at nwlink.com> wrote:
 >> One thing I'd like a chat about is time on Barrayar. We know it's a
 >> 26-hour day, and we
 >> hear about weeks, months and years, but I'm wondering how they all 
line up
 >> with
 >> Earth time. I'm presuming that all ages given are in Earth time, but 
 >> seem to line
 >> up with Barrayar years too... any ideas on it all?
 >> Gwynne (hopeful, as always)

Well, in Mirror Dance, Kareen declares her age to be 18-standard.
Presumably that's how one says "this is Earth years".

LMB:  Correct.

 > 26.7, to be precise.  I've always wondered what an analog Barrayaran 
 > would look like, but that's just me being literal <g>.

LMB:  An interesting challenge.  Digital clocks are no problem, they 
just go back to the start at 26.7 hours.

Barrayarans keep so-called "military" time to their digital clocks.  
Never any question as to whether it's 4 AM or 4 PM that's meant.

What they did during the Time of Isolation is up for speculation, but 
they will have started it with the original tech version, certainly.

 > Megaera

I've actually wondered about quite a few things Barrayaran-time-wise.
How many days is a month, how many days/months in a year?

The sequence of seasons as noted in Barrayar (meaning the book, this
time) suggests that 9 months of pregnancy roughly match up with 3/4 of
a year.

One question before jumping into planet-side date-time calculations:
What happens to gestation times?  Presumably the growing fetus doesn't
care about the night-day cycle and simply grows at the rate that it
grows, except....  The mother's body does care.  Since pregnancy works
the same in arctic climes (here on Earth) as it does lower down,
presumably the baby's body wins the argument.

I would suppose, then, that a Barrayaran year is approximately the
same total amount of time as an Earth year.  Maybe months are adjusted
in their number of days so as to roughly make 12 per year?

Karen Hunt

LMB:  I actually worked it out, once... that piece of paper is long 
lost, but as I recall, the Barrayarans had set up a 12-month year of 
even days and weeks, probably 28 days and 4 weeks, with the leftovers 
gathered up at Winterfair into a sort of intercalary 
rump-season/monthlet of possibly-varying length -- more than a couple of 
days, less than three weeks -- to keep the years evenly on-track with 
the planet's yearly trip around its sun.

The Barrayaran year is not too very far off from an Earth year in hours 
-- a couple hundred hours longer, iirc.  (Fewer days but longer ones.)  
The year would be 48 weeks plus Winterfair.

Ta, L.

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