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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) "Donner, party of 4?"
Date: Mon,  3 Nov 97 18:13:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #2052399 from URTH@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET00#

John Bishop,

Re: upper-case Cim blowing among trees, but wait--those other
upper-cases you mention are group names . . . so are you saying that
Cim is a group name (i.e., tribe) of some aerial or airborne
creatures (like the singing moths in the Gardens of the House
Absolute)?  (There is also the dread typo possibility--maybe the Cim
blowing should have been cim blowing.)

The female name "Red Kluy" and the plant "kluy" point to a Vironese
style of naming (which is not necessarily the only form available to
the tribes).  Cross-tribe naming, while certainly possible, at
least in theory leads to odd moments: "Hi, I'm Pueblo Lacota" (where
these are two tribes widely separated by culture/geography); "Hello
there, I'm Mousey Cat."

Re: the geography.  I'm afraid we'll have to nix that polar circle
notion (though it is clever!) since the sun would be in the south
instead of directly (well . . . more or less) overhead.  (I mean, if
the sun is ever =really= directly overhead, then we "have no
shadows," we are somewhere between the tropics, and it is local

Hey, you could probably estimate how much Cutthroat has traveled by
estimating planetary diameter (say Mars, just for fun) and then
factoring in the amount of travel/time it takes for him to spot the
geostationary reflector in the sky: it is, in effect, a fixed object
he is heading towards, obscured only by (clouds and) the curvature of
the planet.

Re: food base.  Your points are valid, and I think that readers are
meant to feel that desperate hunger, that nightmarish drive to
cannibalism as a last resort (seeing the "animals" as human as
members of the Donner party in the Sierras, or airline passangers
stranded in the Andes). On the other hand, Siberia, nobody's idea of
a picnic, is mainly south of the arctic circle, has lots of permafrost,
yet still manages to have an eco-system considered robust when
compared to the cold deserts of the poles.

Then again again, the story is =dreamy=.  The "plants" have a mineral
aspect, at least when they grow in the cave, don't they?  Weird.


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