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From: Alastair Reynolds <A.Reynolds@fys.ruu.nl>
Subject: Re: (whorl) A couple of points
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 09:29:36 +0200 (MET DST)

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


> Second, I have a question about how long the _Whorl_ was actually in
> flight, and have not been able to find any discusson of this particular
> piece, nor is my memory of the text good enough to confirm it. Sometime in
> the portion of the novel in which Rose/Marble sees the airship, she thinks
> about how long she's been around, and comes up with an answer of three
> hundred years. Then she realizes that she must have misplaced a decimal
> somewhere. 
> Does anyone else have any memory of this? The dilapidation of the _Whorl_
> is much more credible if it has been in flight for 3000 years. Certainly
> the engineers of the _Whorl_ would not have designed a ship that would be
> completely falling apart less than 10% beyond the expected travel-time of
> the ship?

it didn't seem long enough to me either - not just from the point of view
of how rundown everything was, but how comprehensively the origins of
the Whorl had been forgotten.

Was it not also the case that the Whorl had arrived at its target system
at least a century earlier, long enough for Quetzal to get aboard and
infiltrate things?

al (should re-read these buggers!)

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