A mawkishly sentimental education, consisting of anecdotal travelogue with unconvincing sf embellishments--set in Snow World, a permanently frozen planet that resembles Michigan in winter. Here lives Tano, one of four orphans adopted by rambunctious farmer-hunter Omo, his lazy wife Ponna, and their dim-witted son Nord. But when Tano is mistakenly accused of molesting orphan Mara (Nord was the guilty party), he flees--to picaresque travels: he meets a snowcat, who chases him into a snowdrift; he bumps into a party of slovenly soldiers, who introduce him to strong drink and rob him; barely escaping the hotly pursuing Omo, he's picked up by painted, slinky Erotica--who drops him off at the ruined, radioactive City of the Ancients; now friends with the snowcat, Tano rescues the comely Bolera and escapes with her into an Ancient subway. But eventually they part company as Tano heads for the big city of Timberline, where he gawps at the sights and is befriended by mad painter Boki. And finally Omo arrives to capture him: they end up in court. . . where the judge turns out to be President Elena, Tano's long-lost mother. Overlong (447 pp.) and underpowered, juvenile despite the comic sex capers--and mostly just plain silly.