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From: "Alice Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v005.n041
Date: Sat, 1 Nov 1997 14:17:58 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]


> Interesting! Can anybody confirm that Saltimbanque =3D counterfeit
> for us?

It's related, but a noun. It means mountebank or quack (cked OED)

> The strongest parallels I can see are with Australian aboriginal culture,
> and more specifically with its destruction at the hands of white
> settlers. 

Me too. Which is why when I read Paul Park's -Celestis- it seemed to me to
be written almost as an homage to Fifth Head  (the collection, not just the
title novella).


> And since this message has no Wolfe content anyway, I'll continue with
> observation, after reading Cordwainer Smith's "A Planet Named Shayol," 
> that where at one time people wrote gory descriptions of Hell with the
> purpose of putting a genuine fear of God into people, several modern
> science fiction writers have written gory stories about Hell with the
> (seemingly intended) effect of making the reader say, "surely this cannot
> be." 

Who else? I'm curious.


> I hate to be always the contrarian (lie: I love it)...but I think "Cim"
> is an electrical phenomenon, like St. Elmo's Fire or ball lightning.
> Either could fit the description of a "soft star" moving from tree to
> tree. In addition there is Cim's weapon: perhaps the totemic naming
> conveys an analogous power on the named one, and thus Cim's weapon is
> electrical.

That's definitely an interesting take, though I still think that it we
could ever find what language Wolfe was using, it might refer to something
on the snowy side. That's a question (the language, not Cim specifically)
any of you who plan to go to a convention to see him, etc., might ask. A
one-word answer would suffice, and so would "I made it up."


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