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From: "Tony Ellis" <tellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) Of lost books and millenia
Date: 4 Feb 1998 10:58:36 +0100

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

 Of lost books and millenia

Alga wrote:
>teliss, I love your locution, but Ultan's mythic Alexandrian Library is
>hardly Thecla's "local library!"

The point I was really trying to make is that you don't ask for
a "lost" book from any kind of library. If Ultan's library really does
extend to other times and places, well and good, but if even 
someone as un-academically minded as Thecla knows that
you can find TBOTNS there, TBOTNS is surely not lost.

I suppose one answer might be that Thecla never asked for
TBOTNS by name, but for some differently-named book which
just happened to be a BOTNS text, or perhaps simply for 
"a book on the Conciliator". 

David Lebling wrote:
>On geography, to CRCulver:  The action of the tetralogy takes place in
>South America, and yet there is a great river that flows southwestward
>over a plain, and great mountains to the north and east of the plain.
>This isn't _our_ South America. 

I hate to use the "C" word, but is there any chance you could
provide citations for the mountains-to-the-east claim? Or at least
point me in the right direction? 

>Deep Time:  The hardest thing to believe about TBOTNS taking place 50
>million years in the future is that _so little_ has changed.  People are
>still people, exactly as they are now.  The average species lasts on the
>order of three million years.  Even with all sorts of advanced
>technology, would 50 million years have changed so little?

The average species hasn't discovered civilisation. Evolution 
requires a nasty, cuthroat competitive environment, where the
least genetic advantage or disadvantage decides who survives and
who doesn't. Humanity more-or-less stopped evolving when it
started caring for the sick and the weak.) Whoops, that sounds
a tad pro-Nazi, sorry...)

Having said that, I think you're right anyway that 50 million 
years is just too damn far in future. My money is on any 
number between two to nine million.

Mantis wrote:
>Re: the polychrome sand, I know what you mean, but no, I don't know
>where it is at the moment.

TCOTA, the chapter near the end where Severian is on the beach
and re-discovers the Claw. I think.

Date: 02/02/98 22:23 
To: Tony Ellis
From: urth@lists.best.com

!!! Original message was too large.
!!! It is contained in the enclosure whose name
!!! is the same as the subject of this message.
!!! A preview of the message follows:

-------------- BEGIN urth.v006.n026 --------------

    001 - m.driussi@genie.geis.com  - (urth) Cumaean's Star
    002 - raster@highfiber.com (Cha - Old now is Urth, and none may count =
her days
    003 - David_Lebling@avid.com    - Time
    004 - m.driussi@genie.geis.com  - (urth) Time & Map Tidbits
    005 - Paul C Duggan <pduggan@wo - 1000 to 2000 years from Typhon to =
    006 - "Kieran Cleary" <kierannw - Re: (urth) Time
    007 - "Alice Turner" <al@interp - Deep Thoughts: The Play, the Worm, =
the Rose
    008 - "Alice Turner" <al@interp - p.s.on The Play
    009 - "Kieran Cleary" <kierannw - Re: (urth) Time
    010 - "Kieran Cleary" <kierannw - Re: (urth) Time

URTH Digest -- for discussion of Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works

--------------- MESSAGE urth.v006.n026.1 ---------------

From: m.driussi@genie.geis.com
Subject: (urth) Cumaean's Star
Date: Sun,  1 Feb 98 15:45:00 GMT
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"us-ascii"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit


The Cumaean might be addressing the White Fountain in a metaphoric
manner, but on the surface the real star she is talking about is the
Fish's Mouth, aka Fomalhaut (or "Formalhaut" for epopts of the
typos--you know who you are).  The target of their ftl (faster than
light) telephone call attempt; once again, unobstructed line of sight
is required.


You are raising most of the points about posthistory that I raised in
"Additions, Errata, &cetera: volume 2," which I applaud.  Now all
that remains is for you to whip up the timeline that you believe
strongly enough to take the whipping for!  Go to!  Look forward to
seeing it!


--------------- MESSAGE urth.v006.n026.2 ---------------

From: raster@highfiber.com (Charles Dye)
Subject: Old now is Urth, and none may count her days
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 1998 11:06:49 -0700 (MST)
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"us-ascii"

CRCulver@aol.com asks:

>>Charles Dye said:
>>Severian's careless hint in chapter 1 that the universe no longer =
>>File this one in the tens-of-gigayears-to-never range.
>That's news to me. Would you mind typing that sentence or paragraph in?

A more useful reference wouldn't hurt either, huh?  That's chapter 1 of
"Urth."  Severian, recalling his determination to launch his manuscript
entirely out of his universe, ponders:

   ... And I marveled to recall that all this had seemed too small for
   my ambition, and wondered whether it had grown (thought the mystes
   declare it no longer grows) or I had.

At first I figured that this is what comes of receiving your "scientific"
education from leeches.  But Severian credits "the mystes" for this =
not Mal & Pal.  He's either picked this up from a book, or during his =
at the House Absolute.  (Still can't be right, though.  Can it?)


--------------- MESSAGE urth.v006.n026.3 ---------------

From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: Time
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 98 13:37:54 -0500
In-Reply-To: <199801311711.JAA10043@lists1.best.com>

What a great flurry of new activity! And some new blood as well. Yumbo!

On the illness of the sun:  It is stated in several places that the sun
is being devoured by a black hole.  That much is impossible to argue
with.  The debatable point is whether it's natural causes or murder.  It
seems pretty clear to me that it was done on purpose to weaken Typhon's
empire.  The coincidence is too unlikely otherwise.  Who dunnit?  The
obvious SFnal idea is that it's "the rebels," whomever they might be. 
The unobvious idea is that it's Severian himself, or more generally the
forces of good.  It's pretty clear that the sort of empire Typhon was
ruling is one you don't want as a neighbor, so...

On the mountains:  This may just be me reading things into the text that
aren't there (what! never!), but the mountains are clearly "all" carved
in the shape of people.  And it isn't just autarchs, either.  You could
look it up.

On geography, to CRCulver:  The action of the tetralogy takes place in
South America, and yet there is a great rive

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