Ouaddai
   
(Eggen/Greenstein 471 white dwarf) 50.5ly from Sol
A wonderful two weeks; the people on Ouaddai love their music, for sure!
The towns were a continual buzz of concerts, busking, singing and dancing; we had to self-medicate sometimes to keep up with them (mind you, to make sure everybody appreciates the natural joy of musical harmony they don't allow psychomimetic drugs there).

This is the oldest Ringworld in the galaxy, by the way; we did see a lot of the vast, still countryside, as well - but it is only two million kilometres across, with the white dwarf in the middle wrapped in a power swarm. Every night the swarm thickens and the star turns dark red directly over your head- we spent many balmy Red Nights by the coast of the Benin Ocean.

To be honest I expected more Old African ethnic influence in the culture- it is a shame, but nearly every inner sphere world seems to be losing its old character thanks to the ubiquitous mediacorps and interstellar netlinks. Eh, and I suppose tourism is having an effect, too. We found plenty of restaurants and clubs with names like Mayo-Boneye, Youssou, Monts de Lam, and N'djamena; but the old Republique du Tchad lifestyle seems diluted, a sentimental memory only.

And of course, so many of the oldest and the greatest people have ascended to posthuman status; they mostly live on the Letheian cinderworld Aouzou far out at the edge of Ouaddai system, but we didn't have time (or permission) to go there.

By Steve Bowers

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