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From: Peter Cash <cash@rsn.hp.com>
Subject: (whorl) Blue & Green same as worlds in Fifth Head of Cerberus?
Date: Wed, 02 Jul 1997 14:12:05 

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

David Langford wrote:
>...Like I suspect many readers, my reaction
>when we learn that Whorl has arrived at what appears to the
>same double-planet system as featured in The Fifth Head of Cerberus
>was one of surprise (I think "bloody hell" was the phrase!) but
>I wonder, is there a consensus on whether Wolfe "means" this,
>or is he just playing with a similar theme?...Personally
>I have trouble seeing how Whorl, Severian etc can fit in the same
>universe as Fifth Head, which seemed much more recognisably
>linked to the present, but, again, I really must reread it.

Actually, I could suggest a way that the worlds depicted in Fifth Head
could be the same as the destination of the Whorl. Assume that the
arrival of the Whorl is a considerable time after the events depicted in
Fifth Head. Suppose that in the interval, the inhumi (the
shape-shifters) absorbed all the humans on Blue and Green. That would
account for Quetzal's ability to mimick humans so well, and his
knowledge of human culture, and for the absence of indigenous humans on
Blue. In fact, Quetzal is probably pretty confused about what he is, if
he's one of the shape shifters described in Fifth Head...

This is one of the questions that will be asked of Mr. Wolfe, so we'll
see. (Then again, maybe we won't!)


            Peter T. Cash -- Documentation Systems Development
   	             Hewlett-Packard, Convex Division, 
		 P.O.Box 833851 Richardson, TX 75083-3851
     voice: (214) 497-4389 - FAX: (214) 497-4500 - cash@rsn.hp.com

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