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From: David Wells <ADW@ovum.com>
Subject: (whorl) Inhumi secret and "which Silk?"
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 12:39:38 

a) I agree with several posters that the "you are what you eat" theory is by
far the most morally/philosophically interesting candidate for the inhumi
secret, and also the most consistent with what I would expect from Wolfe.
But it doesn't seem to fit with Horn's description of the secret, as has
also been pointed out. (And let's assume that this isn't just because Horn
is far from the brightest bulb in the chandelier, and is also a somewhat
incoherent and inconsistent narrator).
A much more boring variation, but one which might fit the known facts
better, is a bit more physical/literal. Suppose that it's _particular
chemicals_ - e.g. adrenaline - which make the inhumi more
intelligent/humanlike. So if the humans organise themselves to stay a bit
calmer and be a little less afraid of the inhumi, the latter would become
gradually less intelligent (and maybe eventually even our heroic narrator
would be able to outsmart them ;-).
I know this sounds like an old Star Trek script, and I rather hope it's
_not_ the secret, but it seems to work a little better with respect to
Horn's description of the secret. It allows the humans to continue to be
intrinsically sinful creatures, but encourages them to try not to _act out_
their sins, because this would fill their bloodstreams with
inhumi-stimulating chemicals. Hmmm...

b) How many Silks? I've always liked the much-debated theory that the
"special embryos" of which Silk is one (and Hyacinth is another? My memory
fails me on this point) were designed as receptacles for the Mainframe Gods
to download into as part of the Plan of Pas. (The main sticking point being
whether Mainframe is required to engineer/maintain a theophany). If the
embryos are designed for this, you would expect there to be a degree of
redundancy. So maybe there's more than one Silk running around on the Whorl
and/or on Green/Blue? There's no evidence for this that I can recall, but it
seems an interesting possibility.
Maybe there's an alternate reading of BOTLS in which different "Silks" take
part in different parts of the story without Horn noticing :-).

auld newt

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