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Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 09:19:55 -0800
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) FLF: thoughts on the ending

If the quadrumvirate rules over the microverse Oz-as-house (validating the
paranormal thread present at the beginning of the book yet gradually
abandoned for the scientific/conspiratorial threads), or if it fulfills the
witch's prediction without irony as I outlined in Liberty Four and enacts
changes in the fabric of American society, or if it does something else
again, the fact still remains true that the members are in the past.

If they are in the 19th century, certain things become easy (no implosions,
no repeated actions), other things become difficult (how did the three
become improved if there were no implosions, and if there were implosions,
where were they?).  If they are in the past of (arbitrarily) 5 years up to
the minimum of 6 months, then we know where the implosions took place, but
if they are to follow the Whitten doctrine, they must repeat history (or at
least, they must repeat the "wise choice").  At the very least, they must
repeat the history of moving into the house and going through the whole
adventure one more time before free will and chance become possible again
(after the end of the text that we have).

In this sense, then, the novel ends in medias res.  So technically we know
exactly "what happens next": the novel is read again.  It ends without the
epilogue, and in the second reading they all take the plane down to the
ground.  We don't really know what happens after that . . . it forms a sort
of event horizon.  But the Liberty Four scenario is the most vibrant option.

For a while I wondered if the four might be also other characters: for
example, the light/dark/petite/tall pair of Kip and Robin echoes the pair
Candy and the witch (with the reversal that Candy is the tall blonde one).
But no, this would be impossible with implosions going on.  Which is why
each of the five (Little Ozzie, too) must repeat everything exactly: they
become the "architects of Oz" through this.

(Well wait: does that mean that they are both microverse [the course of the
reenactment] and Liberty Four [the second epilogue], rather than an
either/or?  Could be.)



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