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The planet’s name, Marna thought, must have been picked out by a publicity agent. Everspring would have been more accurate, or Everfall, or perhaps Constancy. Maybe even Boredom.
The planet, with its rotational axis almost perpendicular to its orbital plane, had no seasons. The poles were bitterly cold, glaciated wastelands where the sun forever rolled around the horizon. The equatorial belt was an unchanging steam bath, the permanent home of daily tropical thunderstorms, varied by hurricanes along its poleward borders. The desert belts, inevitable result of the conflict between the planet’s rotation and its unequal heating by its sun, were broad and sharply defined, with no transition zones where the rains came seasonally. The temperate zones, between desert and polar ice, were swept year round by equinoctial storms, varied only by occasional droughts. No monsoons, no seasonal blanket of snow to protect the dormant land, no regular alternation of wet and dry seasons.
All of the settled planets Marna had known or studied—long-lost R’il’n itself, Riya, Central, Falaron, Kovee, Earth—had axial tilts between fifteen and thirty degrees, and a regular progression of seasons. Those seasons might be subtle in the tropics, but they were present. And she was beginning to think they were a lot more important than she had ever realized.