OK, now I want to talk about gender. The original version of this story was written prior to Left Hand of Darkness and is re-printed in the appendix of this volume. This version was re-written after Left Hand was published and it switches from referring to everybody on Gethen as "he" to referring to everybody as "she." Immediately I switched from thinking of the characters as male to thinking of them as female. But they are both and neither.
I've never come across a better illustration of why we need gender-neutral pronouns in English. It's looking like "they" is going to win out despite the consequent singular-plural ambiguity.
Also, good story about the effects of special relativity!