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From: matthew.malthouse@guardian.co.uk
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 12:10:03 +0000
Subject: Re: (urth) "a right good thrashing..."

On 20/03/2002 02:36:42 Gage Kerrigan wrote:

>Hmmm... Interesting
>   The name of the piece was "On Encompassing the
>Universe". Perhaps some of you have heard of it? I
>encourage you to re-read it.
>   My theory was that Urth had steadily worsened
>environmentally throughout all of its existance (even
>as Earth) and did so steadily untill Typhon's regime,
>in which the sun first begins to show signs of decay,
>after which the environment gets screwy for a while...

Fine.  Consistant with what TBotNS tells us.

>   I stated the source of this problem as being human
>   I asserted that this trend is a continuation of our
>current situation, that overpopulation and dirty
>technology was considered all right by many, and that
>not only would a solution to pollution (inadvertant
>rhyme) not be found, but that HUMANITY WOULD STAY ON
>'cept maybe not phrased quite like that, more like the
>space program is dead blah blah humanity will remain
>until Earth no longer supports human life... or
>something (I don't have a copy, I'm paraphrasing from

>   I was ripped to bloody pieces, tattered remnants of
>a former self...

>Larry McCaffery:
>   "...Once we exhaust our resources, we'll be left in
>the kind of world you're describing in The Book of the
>New Sun."
>Gene Wolfe:
>   "...I was trying to come to grips with the
>end-result of the do-nothing attidtude so many
>people-on-the-street have about the future. These
>people seem to feel that space exploration is a lot of
>bullshit ("there's nothing really out there we can
>use"), that undersea exploration is a lot of bullshit
>("there's nothing down there for us"), that we should
>just go about our business the way we are and be
>"sensible." But what is going to happen if we keep on
>being "sensible" in the way they're suggesting? If we
>keep clinging to our old home (the planet Earth) and
>sit around waiting for the money and resources to run
>out? The Urth I invented in The Book of the New Sun is
>the world which has followed that course, a world in
>which people have been so limited in their vision of
>the future that they saw no other option except what
>was immediately in front of them."

We also know from TBoyNS that Man went into space, there were human
empires of which Typhon's was neither the first nor the greatest.

Nothing in the quotation contradicts this idea.  Indeed Urth would be an
exmplar of those who feel "there's nothing there for us".  They were the
ones who didn't go, who remained because they couldn't see the advantages
of going: and that is the population which continued the degredation of
the ecosphere and held the mindset that inderlies the culture of Urth in

Far from bloody shreds 'twas more a mild laceration disputing only your
contention that mankind did not make it in space at all because the idea
is flatly contradicted both in the reported history in TBotNS and in the
person of Jonas.



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