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From: "Tony Ellis" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Liev's Postpostulate
Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 16:31:48 +0100

Sorry to seem at loggerheads with you again, Adam, but a few quibbles spring
immediately to mind:

If Victor thinks he is descended from French settlers gone native, why, when
he thinks no one is reading what he writes any more, does he cite Dollo's
Law as the reason for his bad penmanship? We can't be expected to believe
that the French all unevolved the ability to use tools in a few generations.

How come all the people we think of as Annese seem to have the ability to
change how they appear? Cassilla seems to have it, Victor's mother had it,
and Victor writes that he has "the same ability, though not to the extent
she did." I've never been able to come up with a satisfactory reason why the
descendants of prehistoric humans should have this ability either, but at
least they had the time period in which to evolve it. And why the green eyes

'Liev' implies a reversal of Veil's Postulate, it's true, but it's possible
Wolfe only used Liev so that he could work in the pun "I am Liev and I have
left." 'Postpostulate' suggests, at least to me, something that goes
_beyond_ Veil's Postulate, rather than reversing it.

>I admit I don't know how Mrs. Blount's
>interview fits into this.

Mrs Blount doesn't just talk about the Annese or Shadow Children her father
shot. She also says:

"When I was growing up those little French girls that had been too small to
fight was growing up too, and weren't they the cutest things? They got most
of the handsome boys, you know, and all of the rich ones. You could go to a
dance in your prettiest dress, and one of those Frenchies would come in,
just in rags, you know, but with a ribbon and a flower in her hair, and
every boy's head would turn."

That has always sounded to me like another example of the Annese ability to
look more attractive at will. When I read it and then flip back to the
passage that sent me there -- "I have read the interview with Mrs Blount - a
hundred times when I was in the hills - and I know who I believe the Free
People to be," -- the implication seems pretty strong that he means the Free
People are, or are now, human-Annese half-breeds like himself. The 'French'
girls were either Annese or, which seems more likely to me, themselves the
children of Annese-settler interbreeding.

Possibly we're supposed to read the Mrs Blount passage as meaning that the
little French girls are French settlers who went native and are now coming
in from the cold again, but I can't really see how we or Victor are supposed
to draw that conclusion from what is said.


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