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From: Joel Priddy <jpriddy@saturn.vcu.edu>
Subject: (whorl) beating a dead horse
Date: Fri, 9 May 97 10:08:39 EDT

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

Thanks for the great and thorough answers in response to my
Pas/Typhon questions. Now that the connection between the two
series has been nailed down, I have a slightly stickier question:
why? What is served by the two series being connected? 
  Thematically: There are some similar themes of course, but does
one flesh out or serve the other in any way that requires them to
be connected? New Sun and Long Sun do may be variations on a
theme, but so is a lot of Wolfe's work.
Is there any narrative advantage to the connection? Developed
histories/universes are one of the fun toys of science fiction (I
still recall reading _I,_Robot_ as a kid and being wowed at
following a fictional history over a span of centuries), but New
Sun and Long Sun are so removed from each other in so many
details of history, tech, culture, and scope that I'm not sure
the connection satisfies any shared-history sweet-tooth.
Following with a series taking place on Blue and Green would be a
satisfying connection to Long Sun, but New Sun/ Long Sun strikes
me as saying _The_Last_Temptation_Of_Christ_ takes place in the
same "universe" as _The_Catcher_In_The_Rye_. Sure, that could be
the case, but it doesn't add anything to either story to be
presented with that of information.
I don't see any reason that requires a New Sun/ Long Sun
connection except as a promotional thing, letting Long Sun ride
on New Sun's coattails for a while, but I assume that if Wolfe
bothered to make a connection, there must be a more relevant
purpose behind it...
Of course, I'm making the error of second geussing Wolfe. Who
knows how many books he has planned in the same universe, or how
much both Long Sun and New Sun will inform them. I think I'm
probably just still mad at the publisher for putting that blurb
on the cover of Nightside. It set me up to expect something
different that what I got, and as several other people have
expressed here, it took me awhile to switch gears so that I could
enjoy Long Sun in and of itself. Had I just been reading happily
along what I thought was an unrelated Wolfe book and stumbled
across a reference to Briah, it would have been an exciting
revelation. It all comes down to expectation, I geuss.


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