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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (whorl) Welcome Joel
Date: Wed,  7 May 97 23:59:00 GMT

[Posted from WHORL, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

Reply:  Item #0435467 from WHORL@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET02#

Welcome aboard, Joel.

Gee, tons of stuff here.  I don't think I'll have the ergs to (try
to) answer them all.

Yes, our alga (temporarily away at the moment) is the multi-talented
historian of Hell.

Re: is Pas =really= Typhon?  Add to the "similarities" list: title
"Monarch."  Oh, enough toying--"Daddy [Pas] was Typhon the first,
back home [Urth]" LAKE, ch. 11, 275.

Re: is Pas/Typhon the only link so far?  Nope.  Scylla is mentioned
one time in NEW SUN.  FWIW, and I suspect you are looking for a lot
more than that.

Re: Typhon's interstellar empire possible without FTL ships and/or
communication?  Well first off, Typhon was trying to rebuild a fallen
interstellar empire--so it had already been done at least once
before; the so-called First Empire.  Second, it seems that
near-lightspeed STL travel (using those photonic sails) is possible within
the skin of the Briah universe, and at near-lightspeed, starships need not
be "generational" to get around (time dilation makes shiptime pass
quite quickly).  Third, FTL seems to be a technological leap above
these magical photonic sails and basically amounts to leaving Briah
and entering a tachyon universe (Yesod-as-hyperspace) where time
flows backward.

In New Sun, Typhon talks of people with ships abandoning him and
leaving Urth.  So it would seem that the starfaring remnant of the
First Empire (and/or the angelic fleets of Yesod) that he had
enlisted cut and ran when rebellion broke out (or maybe their leaving
triggered the rebellion?).

Re: "If Typhon had access to the sort of technology that even the
Councilors had," I'm afraid I don't understand this part.

Re: Blue/Green as mutual satellites.  The word used to describe the
conditions wherein inhuma cross from Green to Blue is "conjunction."
(I don't recall seeing the term "air bridge" in Long Sun [although it
might be used for a location of the House Absolute in New Sun].)

While "conjunction" can be used to describe two Earth/Luna positions,
it is more often used to describe positions between Earth and any other
full fledged planet.  For one reason: Earth/Luna conjunctions occur
with great frequency, once a month; Earth/Mars conjunctions occur once
every 779.9 days (two years or so); Earth/Venus conjunctions every
584 days.

Why does this matter?  Well, in the real world of space travel, the most
energy efficient mode of travel between two planets is called the
Hohmann Transfer Orbit (HTO).  It uses conjunctions of the planets to
their full advantage--even so, travel time is measured in months:
Earth/Venus = 146 days, Earth/Mars = 260 days.

So I don't think there is an air bridge between Blue and Green.  I
think they are separate planets, like Venus/Earth or Earth/Mars; I
think that the inhuma swim through the relatively hard vacuum of space
in dog-paddling imitation of the more stately ("breast stroke"?)
undines and hierogrammates; and that, if the conjunctions were every
month, as happens with Earth/Luna, or even every two months, the place
would be crawling with so many vampires that what would be the point of
noting a new conjuction?  But all of this is just my opinion.

The text also mentions that when Green is close it is almost like a
second sun at night and it exerts monster tides.  Hmmm.  This factoid
points towards a highly eccentric orbit, methinks.  Green could be a
moon of Blue, but then the tides would =always= be monstrous.  Seems
to me more likely that Blue and Green have a complex orbit like that
of Pluto and Neptune, where sometimes wild Pluto is inside of
Neptune's orbit.

Re: the wormy thing in Father Inire's workshop.  No, it was a
butterfly woman.  I.e., Tzadkiel.

Re: shiprock.  I was more reminded of the concrete onboard the
starship "Tzadkiel," myself.  (Which in turn is different from the
stressed ice of the starship in "Silhouette," fwiw.)


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