Nilt is a cold and isolated planet outside the Radch Empire, as of the events of Ancillary Justice. It is dominated by ice. It is populated by a people called Nilters; short, fat, and pale in complexion.
One building material common on Nilt is ice blocks, used particularly in more rural settlements. Travelers' accommodations range in price and luxury; the rooms vary from the size of a suspension pod up to two square meters or larger. Some are furnished with prefab plastic while others are furnished with more comfortable materials, and the cleanliness of rooms is not always guaranteed. On Nilt it is standard practice to charge extra for blankets, and often heat.
Nilters have some visual and social indications of gender, and their social structure has two gendered pronoun forms. Some males wear angular mazelike patterns in their clothing as a gender indicator. Nilt society places some signifigance on the professsion on singing. Some styles of music feature long, slow, uneven phrases. One instrument used on Nilt is a bowed, stringed instrument which produces a harsh, edged tone, and whose design is unique to the planet.
The vast majority of the planet is covered in ice and snow. The only place on Nilt that sustains above-freezing temperatures during some seasons is the equator, where it is warm enough to grow grain. This area is regarded by Nilters as a sort of tropical paradise, where the temperature can exceed 9 degrees Celsius (48 degrees Fahrenheit). The grain grown here is used in the production of beer as well as bread, which on Nilt is produced in rock-hard loaves which must be soaked to be eaten.
The equatorial ring hosts the majority of Nilt's large cities, as well as a series of tourist attractions commonly referred to as the glass bridges. This region includes a large part of the geographical feature called the Ribbon, a kilometers-wide and deep trench running across the planet.
Outside the equatorial ring was not suited for agriculture (or much else) due to the extreme cold. The regions to the north primarily subsisted on Bov herding, as well as various Bov-oriented trades such as woven Bov-hair products and fermented Bov milk, a favorite beverage among Nilters.
Foods eaten on Nilt often revolve around Bov meat, cheese, or milk, grain, and some vegetables including cabbage.