- While talking about the planets Swan voices her love for the atmosphere. How she loved the feeling of breathing in the air around her. She also talked about the freedom of just lying on the ground. "The wind shoved it into you! Breathe and get drunk, oh my, to be free of all restraint, minimally clothed, lying on the bare surface of a planet, sucking in its atmosphere as if it were an aqua vitae, feeling in your chest how it kept you alive" (82)
- Swan uses her body to experiment with augmentations. "You are not the same person you used to be; you have to admit. You’ve stuffed your brain with augmentations—" (88)
- New York's many characteristics, the "tough guys", the futuristic appearance, and the fact people were still there after a flood. "Tough guys, it made her laugh. Swan was not a tough guy, and not a New Yorker, and this place was astonishing, and she knew the locals knew it. Talk about landscape art".
- The landscape is used to help convey what a futuristic world looks like. “The anchor rocks at the upper ends of the elevator cables were like giant spaceliners, as very little of their original asteroidal surfaces were left visible; their exteriors were covered with buildings, power units, elevator loading zones and the like” (80)
- The alteration of the human body has allowed people to live much longer than normally possible.
- The sunwalkers spend their lives pursuing the sun. Getting as close to it as they can, whether or not it was dangerous.
- Technology has allowed people to live on other planets somewhat comfortably. An example of this is the people who live on mars. This ability to live on other planets has allowed the human race to expand exponentially.
- New York is still similar to what it was so many years before. The society was still very similar despite the years of advancement.
2. I think that Capitalism plays a big role on where the world is in the story. I believe that the connection between money and power drove the human race to expand quickly. This quick expansion left the Earth with much of its unrenewable resources gone. The Earth is but a shell of itself in the story. “No, Earth was a mess, a sad place. And yet still the center of the story.” (81) The author clearly depicts the Earth as a sullen, sad, shell of its former glorious self. The human race’s vast expansion has proven detrimental to the Earth’s health. Capitalism has driven the race to move off-world rather than changing how we use Earth’s limited resources.