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Date: Sat, 02 Mar 2002 22:17:51 -0600
From: Jeff Wilson 
Subject: (urth) Re: The irrigation of Lune

> From: "Andy Robertson" 

> My position is this.
> In TBOTNS there are three levels of technology:
> 1) the "medaeval" or blacksmith level, to which most of the world has been
> relegated by resource poverty:
> 2) the "terran" level, which humanity still has mastery of, but only the
> rich have the resources to use
> 3) the "galactic" level, which has always been beyond human control, nd
> corresponds to "magic" in a thematic sense.
> This seems pretty sound, because Wolfe actually spells it out.

I'm with you so far,
> The problem is that we can not adduce constraints from "real science" in
> Wolfe's work even at level 2). Wolfe is very cavalier about such things.

No kidding. Some times he is even *gasp* mistaken!
> Now, the Whorl is a product, perhaps the ultimate product,  of level 2).
> The Ship is a product of level 3).
> Therefore the Whorl will not be doing the numinous things the Ship does.  I
> can't *prove* it does not move through time, but there is no real hint of it
> doing so.

The Whorl doesn't need to do anything "numinous," only to be subject to
the plans of the Increate. I am sure you will agree that it is, like
everything else in Briah? Can that plan not include a space warp that
returns the Whorl unknowingly to Urth? 

I have already gone over various other occurences of this theme in Sun
boooks.  This sort of unknowing return, on the part of the traveler or
those who remained, appears in the Bible, Greek myth, classic SF, and
even other Wolfe books. 
> Is Lune a product of level 2) or 3)?
> My argument is that it "feels" like a product of level 2).
> I freely admit that this is based on the way the characters  in TBOTNS talk
> and sspeak about it, not on abstract considerations.
> There is no awe addressed to Lune, nothing holy or remarkable about it.   It
> is just a place.
> "Port of Lune".

Why would the work of the hierodules necessarily have to be revered,
when they themselves are referred to in such glowing terms as
"cacogens"? Urthlings could just lump it in with Skuld and Verthandi as
worlds they see in the sky, but not necessarily terribly important. 

Jeff Wilson
How Am I Posting? 1-800-555-6789
"If your SecOp can see you, so can the enemy." -Cpt Law


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