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Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 12:10:23 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) TBOTSS and colonialism

Interesting thread.

In genre terms, it seems to me that Gene Wolfe is working off of (or in the
same vein as) Blish's A CASE OF CONSCIENCE, but keeping to that work's
strong first part (with attendant ambiguities) and avoiding the less
thrilling final part (with its total and final resolution).

Back to the Neighbors.  It is easy for us to interpret the Neighbors as
being a Vingean "transcendent" species, a group who followed the
technological curve to the point of exiting the material plane of
existence.  But they might not have actually gone that far--we don't really

So the hand-off of Blue to the humans is less the sale of Manhattan by
American Indians for some beads than it is the gift of, say, Africa, to
humanity from all the pre-homo sapiens sapiens humanoids.

But remind me what the inhumi were to the Neighbors.  Aside from being a
pain--they were a bother, weren't they?

In any event, the inhumi represent "discarded" or "left behind" creatures,
whether they be barnyard animals or uplifted critters or what-have-you.
Yet, iirc, the Neighbors' current attitude towards inhumi is that they are
the hammer (or anvil, or both) that made the Neighbors what they are and as
such will also spur the humans on.  The Neighbors didn't erradicate the
inhumi, clearly, although they may have fenced them in.


Sirius Fiction
booklets on Gene Wolfe, John Crowley
31 copies of "Snake's-hands" until OP!


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