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From: "David Lebling" <David_Lebling@avid.com>
Subject: (whorl) Covers; Inhumi; Who is Horn?
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 10:07:32 

alga (I think) wrote that the cover illustration is wrong because it shows Horn
with a beard.  Just a little correction: the cover is clearly illustrating
Seawrack's return (about p. 240).  Just a few pages earlier Horn refers to his
beard.  (Besides, the fact that Horn shaves doesn't mean he can't have a beard
-- lots of people with beards shave part of their face to keep the beard safely
confined to a limited area).  Horn should be bald, though, and Babbie could use
a few more legs.  The boat looks a bit too big to me as well, to add another
nitpick; this is a boat that seems in danger of swamping every other chapter.
'Way too much freeboard in that sucker on the cover for that!

On the subject of Babbie's limbs, I find it interesting (but wholly appropriate)
that the Neighbors also have eight  (four legs and four arms, to be exact).
They also have fur.  I think Babbie is to a Neighbor as a chimpanzee is to a

* *

Dan Rabin wrote:
<<Morally repugnant to whom?  My interpretation of Krait's "cattle" metaphor
and his comment "I must eat" is that the inhumi's drinking of blood is as
matter-of-fact to them as eating fish is to Horn.  When leatherskins kill
humans, are they being immoral?>>

At one point Krait remarks that inhumi prey on humans preferentially, because
they like human blood better than that of other "cattle."  I think this is at
least morally suspect on their part.  This is worse than humans preferentially
eating chimpanzees or dolphins, I think: inhumi show little evidence (so far) of
being more intelligent than humans.

* *

mantis opines:
<<Ah, the Horn who is writing (aka "the Rajan of Gaon") is one eyed and white
haired, like Odin.  But he also has a hurt ankle, is sometimes confused
with Silk by others (just because he's wearing the clothes, walking the
walk, talking the talk <g>), often confuses the names of his own twins
("Horn [sic] and Hide") as well as writing of Horn in the third person, and
even, in the very end, says that =he= caught the ball (at the beginning of
TBOTLS)!  He =is= Silk, in some as-yet-unspecified way. Not to mention the
intriguing "Passilk"!>>

I think that Passilk is the merging of Silk and Pas, hinted at in _Exodus_ and
nearly confirmed (by denial of first-hand knowledge) in _Blue_.  By extension, I
think that the "Horn" who is writing _Short Sun_ is Horn's mind in Silk's body
-- this must have happened at, near, or because of the death of Horn that he
speaks of on several occasions in _Blue_.  As to whether Silk's mind is there
too, mantis's point about the ball is telling.

* *

On the subject of the inhumi's secret, I have to disagree with alga.  There are
several places (as I've previously pointed out) where Horn states that the
secret is something that would, if known, give humans some sort of advantage
against the inhumi.  It's explosive enough that Horn fears the inhumi will try
to kill him if it becomes known that he has it.  I doubt that inhumi survival
when inhumed (couldn't resist) is enough of a secret.  After all, inhumation is
only used in Gaon, and doesn't really seem to confer any sort of immunity.  Like
any sort of hostage-taking, it only confers an advantage if the victims allow it
to, and it suffers from the same disadvantage that kidnapping has here on Earth:
first you have to catch your rabbit.

I'll dig up the references (Horn's hints on the secret) tonight, if I have time.

     --Dave Lebling
     (aka vizcacha)

ps: I'm already reading it a second time.  I couldn't stop myself.

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