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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Aria, volume 2

By Kozue Amano 

19 Oct, 2016



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Aqua’s year is twice as long as Earth’s, but it too has its seasons. In the previous volume, winter was looming. In this one, it arrives. What grim fate awaits poor Akari in this, the second volume of Kozue Amano’s Aria?

Navigation 06: Snow Bug 

Winter’s chill brings the annual migration of snow bugs (an exceptionally large aphid) from their summer home to their winter home, via Akari’s home. The bugs are endearing but their presence will be all too brief. 


Akari is the sort of person who can tell one aphid from another. 

The artist’s snow bugs are in no way inhibited by actual arthropod anatomy.

Navigation 07: Utopia 

Akari and her friends enjoy a pleasant day at a hot spring. 


I wonder: are those hot springs (the ones beneath the crumbling mansion) natural? or are they a side effect of the tremendous changes humans have wrought on Mars? It’s possible that there were no springs in the area until melt water seeped down far enough to reach hot rocks. The springs being of recent origin would explain why someone built a mansion on ground later be-springed. 

This raises the possibility of that Aqua might expect extremely energetic events involving melt water + previously arid subterranean heat sources. Less hot spring and more Krakatoa.….

Navigation 08: Voices of the Stars 

Akari tours the world of the gnomes, the diminutive people whose job it is to keep Aqua’s gravity high enough that it can retain its atmosphere. 


Gnomes are tiny because they spend their whole lives underground. Gosh. And they seem to be born into their jobs. Well, at least the hints that some jobs on Aqua are birthright (and involuntary) distracted me from the explanation of how it is they maintain Mars’ current gravity levels. 

Aqua’s seasons are twice as long as Earth’s. Seasonal Affective Disorder must really suck on Aqua.

Navigation 09: Auguri Di Buon Anno 

Akari and her friends and the whole city come together in a glorious celebration of the New Year. 


Or as I would think of it, that moment when spring is somewhere between six to eight months away. 

Question about Aquan seasons: to what extent are they determined by 

  1. the planet’s axial tilt? 
  2. its orbit, which has an eccentricity of 0.09?

(That’s the second largest orbital eccentricity of all the planets in our solar system; only Mercury‘s is larger.) 

Contributions invited from the peanut gallery. Show your work.

Navigation 10: Carnival 

Every year, Neo-Venezia’s people don masks and celebrate Carnival! All of its people. 

As Akari discovers, not all of its people are human.… 


Yeah, I have no idea what’s up with the cats, let alone the King of the Cats.

Special Navigation: A Day in the Life of the President 

Little moments in the life of the Aria company’s President, who, like all Presidents, is a cat. 


I think a lot of people in the US would happily embrace the idea of a household pet as President, given that they do not like any of the humans running for office. 

Poor President Aria. President Hime will never feel the same way towards him as he does towards her, perhaps because he is a bumbling oaf who pushes her out of her orange crate and keeps the choicest food for himself.

General comments

Another pleasant collection in which nothing very dramatic occurs. There’s a possibility, given the worldbuilding, for excessively interesting developments, from blizzards to abrupt geological events … but I don’t think the author would be interested in that sort of thing. As long as I get vistas like this 

I don’t care.

Aria Volume Two is available here.