aoujou nambien & Cordwainer Smith

In Cordwainer Smith’s (fabulous!) future history, consisting of such wonderful stories as “The Ballad of Lost C’mell” and the novel “Nortstrilia,” at one point he mentions that the continent of Australia consists of little more than the vast ruins of the “Chinesian City of Aoujou Nambien.”

Smith was a punster, and his names tended to have a hidden meaning. Some are gibes involving homophones: thus, “Meeya Meefla” for “Miami, Fla.” Some involve languages: one of his characters is named “Sto Odin,” which is Russian for “one hundred and one.”

What is the hidden meaning, if any, of Aoujou Nambien?


“Aozhou” is Chinese for “Australia” (see Google) but I don’t know about the other bit.

His real name was Paul Linebarger and he was a brilliant and troubled man. This site has a great deal of information about his life and his work.