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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@sirius.com>
Subject: (urth) Hethor's tricks
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 1999 08:29:37 

Mitchell A. Bailey,

>While I haven't fathomed where Hethor came from, nor his real name (and
>if it's Kim Lee Soong, why is he never described as resembling a
>Xanthoderm, as Agilus and Agia were?),

Ha-ha!  Yes, this has been a secret understanding between Ranjit and
myself, and I'm glad you've come to see that Agia looks "Korean"!

While I don't want to argue too strongly that Hethor is actually Asian,
still, it is a common perception that people (some more than others) lose a
degree of "ethnicity" as they go beyond middle age--so some old guy might
seem "Chinese" or "French" or whatever, depending upon the setting, because
his features are so blured by the ravages of Time.

As for a bit of sailcloth, hmm.  That's interesting!  I was just thinking
that maybe it was the pocketbook edition of THE BOOK OF MIRRORS . . .
sailcloth certainly fits for issues of size and opportunity of theft, but
as you suggest it would seem to be unweildy and offers some other technical
problems . . .

Getting back to THE BOOK OF MIRRORS, here is a case where the elaborate
"six or eight sided booth" is not required, nor the "laser-like light"
thingie--in fact, the charge grows stronger the longer that the book is
closed (which has possible applications to the folded-bit-of-sailcloth
theory, as well).

Remember, in the Presence Chamber we have:

1) Optically perfect mirrors,
2) Mirrors are arranged in a pattern
3) There is an unusual light source.

Furthermore, forms take shape in the focal point of the mirrors and
s-l-o-w-l-y become concrete.

If we recognize that a manifestation occured when Severian drifted among
the sails in URTH (the genesis of the apport which became Zak), we might
see that there was an unusual light source involved.  Again, the
materialization process was slow.

THE BOOK OF MIRRORS, while it has mirrors (of sailcloth, virtually or
actually), and the mirrors are "looking at each other," still it has no
light source associated with it, nor does anything happen slowly--rather,
it is presented all at once.

(Quite like discovering a pressed butterfly within a specimen book, come to
think of it!)

So we may have two technologies rather than one: the one a birthing of
monsters, the other a window of simultaneous reality (similar to the window
used to transport Severian and Gunnie from the interior of worldship Yesod
to the local area of starship "Tzadkiel").

(Then again, when Hethor seems to be searching for Severian from the sky,
he may be using another aspect of the "window" technique . . . )

Damn good question on how Hethor manages to control the critters once he
has pulled them to Urth!

"Find the one called Severian and I shall give you . . . a tasty Scoobie

"Hmmm . . . grrr . . . urf . . . "

"Oh, all right--=two= Scoobie Snacks."


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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