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From: "Josh Levitan" <josh_levitan@hotmail.com>
Subject: RE: (whorl) Revealed at Last! What (Would Have) Killed the Inhumi	!
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2000 16:51:36 PST

Been lurking for a while.  First post to the list.  Hopefully it's not too 

Thoughts on inhumi hibernating and whether or not this is The Secret  --

Jim Henley wrote:

>3) Green is full of jungles and dinosaurs. I infer that it is warmer >than
>Blue. I'm inclined to think that the Rajan even describes it as >warmer, 
>I could be misremembering. (One other thought: cross-reference >jungles,
>dinosaurs, swamps and hot green planets in The Big Book of Science >Fiction
>Tropes and you find the entry for - Venus.)

>4) They must be able to essentially shut down their metabolism on the
>trajectory from Green to Blue. And it could be that it's the heat of >early
>reentry that revives them.

>5) It's a perhaps slightly more practical secret to have than, "Hey, >if we
>start loving each other, you guys are dead meat!"

Like Alga was saying, it's a good idea, and seems rather obvious.  However, 
how would this translate into a secret that would destroy the inhumi?  After 
all, when the Rajan begins telling the secret to the inhumi, they are afraid 
of him acting on it, including Jahlee who just came out of hibernation (and 
didn't seem that much worse for the wear after only getting a little 
cowblood in her system).  And, the gardener and Evensong are there when she 
does come out of hibernation, and I believe that the Rajan sends them away 
before telling the secret.  Also, this doesn't really work with the Rajan's 
comment that they would be nothing more than dumb animals, no more harmful 
than crocodiles...  So that doesn't fit.  I think a slightly better 
interpretation than this theory would be that they require a certain amount 
of warmth or sunlight for energy, like dimetrodons or iguanas, however I 
don't really see how the colonists could act on that in response to the 
entire population of inhumi.

I have a feeling that Wolfe's given us enough info to figure out what the 
secret is currently.  It reminds me of that Borges story, "The Mystery of 
The Phoenix(?)" (something like that) in Ficciones, where he talks around 
the secret rite of the cult of the Phoenix and supposedly gives enough info 
to figure out what the rite is (although I've always been too dense to 
figure it out).  Anybody read OBW more than once yet and have another guess 
other than the hibernating/you-are-what-you-eat/do unto others guesses?

The Venus thing is an interesting guess.  Perhaps, through the relativistic 
effects of vast interstellar travel over the three hundred years or so the 
ship was in transit (if I'm remembering correctly), it did manage to do a 
boomerang/Planet of the Apes deal and head back to Urth after the new sun 
arrived, encountering a flooded Urth (which fits with New Sun) and a green 
Venus.  However, what happened to the remaining seven planets?

Josh, who hasn't thought of a Vironese name yet...  Suggestions?
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