Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Tue Aug 27 21:29:13 BST 2019

Perhaps a suburb.  We don't know precisely what happened in the backstory
of the Sharing Knife series, but the existence of the Western Levels makes
it clear that something went terribly wrong.  (No spoilers, but you may
find Lois' map of the Wide Green World
<http://www.dendarii.com/map_tsk.html> helpful.)

Notably we don't see the Eastern Seaboard at all, and the body of water is
labeled "Dead Lake".  Lake Michigan?  Lake Erie?  A new body of water
formed by destruction of everything in-between those lakes?  We don't
know.  But there don't seem to be any ruins of major cities.  Likely
malices were drawn to concentrations of humans.

What managed to survive depends both on the original location of the
outbreak, and where people managed to destroy malices once they figured out
how.  The fact that the malice distribution seems to thin out towards the
south makes me think that Chicago may have been where the malices began -
and possibly where the discovery of the principles behind the Knifes was
discovered.  The loss of places we don't see might have been due to
inability to transmit such knowledge in time.  At least that's the best
explanation for the Levels I can think of, since both humanity and the
biosphere thin out somewhat in that direction.

Matt G.

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list