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Date: Sun, 05 May 2002 09:12:36 -0500
Subject: Re: (urth) 5HC: Shadow Children in the Lupiverse?
From: Adam Stephanides 

on 5/4/02 4:17 PM, Tony Ellis at LittleSense@necronomicon.co.uk wrote:

> Adam Stephanides wrote:
>> But that's what writers of fiction do. The Soldier series must contain
>> dozens of "externally verifiable" details, but we don't conclude that Latro
>> existed.
> That's not the same thing. When Wolfe weaves the siege of Sestos into
> Soldier of the Mist, he's using a real historical fact. When Victor weaves
> the pit seen in 'V.R.T.' into 'A Story', that's Wolfe using a 'fact' in one
> story that he has himself created in another story.
But what Victor is doing within the world of 5HC is analogous to what Wolfe
did in Soldier.

> Instead of the Soldier series, consider the Long Sun books. We don't believe
> Silk exists any more than we do Latro, but we accept that, within the
> context of that fictional world, Horn is writing an account of a real
> person. I see 'A Story' in the same light.

There is nothing to suggest that Silk is a fictional character invented by
Horn, and such a reading would contribute nothing to the interpretation of
the Long Sun books: all we would be able to say is that a person about whom
we know nothing wrote a novel for some reason.  Neither of these is true for
"A Story."

>> But in either case, there's no need to
>> believe in prehistoric starcrossers, or in Shadow Children telepathically
>> shooing away spaceships.
> Well, there's no need for Wolfe to have made the Croix\Anne system remain
> unknown "when planets more distant from Earth had been colonized for
> decades" either. Having the system so mysteriously overlooked doesn't
> contribute anything important to 'V.R.T.' (that I can think of).

It's not so mysterious.  Exploration need not have proceeded in neat
concentric spheres.  Croix/Anne might have been ignored because distant
observation made it seem an undesirable spot for colonization.  (Mantis,
iirc, suggested that the pink sun and longer year could indicate that the
twin planets were on the edge of the life-supporting zone.)

And the overlooking reinforces the picture of Croix/Anne as a backwater
colony, which adds to the book's political dimension and helps to explain
Number Five's father's frustration and Victor's interrogator's inferiority
complex and over-compensatory bluster vis-a-vis Earth.

> The other thing about the prehistoric colonisation idea is that it gets
> raised in all three novellas. That makes me feel it's an idea we're supposed
> to consider seriously.

Note, though, that the OWO's list begins with two "homelands" which are at
least literarily plausible, and proceeds to three which aren't: either too
old, too known, or fictional (and then we have the enigmatic Country of
Friends).  It seems to me that the list is in this order to undercut the
idea of prehistoric colonization: "Yeah, the Annese came from Atlantis--or
was it Never-Never Land?"

I'd suggest that the idea is repeatedly brought up, not because we're
supposed to consider it seriously, but because it's one way the
colonists/Annese are trying to fabricate a distinguished history for
themselves and their system (like Rome's invented descent from the Trojans).
It's another instance of the theme of self-delusion which runs through the



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