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From: "Josh Levitan" <josh_levitan@hotmail.com>
Subject: (whorl) Re: replies to misc. stuff -- Ghosts, rings, etc.
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 14:16:36 PST

Good old Alga wrote:
>Welcome, Sheila,
> > <relatively new subscriber delurking for a question> On Mucor.
> >
> > At WindyCon, GW mentioned at one of his panels
> > that He purposefully put a ghost into the middle
> > of one of his novels so that the reader would
> > not expect only science fiction from the novel.
> > (The panel was about mixing the genres).
> >
> > So perhaps he is mixing sf and the supernatural.
>Well, this remark may have referred to the apparition of Patera Pike (LS1), 
>which has caused a great deal of fingerwork on many keyboards for these 
>archives. (I still think it was Quetzal, though.)

And Nutria wrote:

>Someone also pointed out that Wolfe said that he put a ghost in the middle
>of one of his SF novels. Well, know that Wolfe believes ghosts are real; I
>heard him say so at a panel discussion at a World Fantasy Convention. So,
>when he puts a ghost, or an ancient god-spirit, into a novel, it's not a
>departure from HIS notion of reality or of SF -- not a move into "fantasy,"
>so to speak. But I don't know which novel this is, and am inclined to agree
>with Alga that the ghost of Patera Pike is in fact Quetzal.

But Wolfe said explicitly (I believe in his answers to the last and final 
set of questions put to him by this mailing list) that Pike's ghost wasn't 
Quetzal.  So I think this is what he's referring to -- he threw in Pike's 
ghost to be supernatural and mix up our conceptions of genre in his novels 
(and probably for some other reason as well, perhaps to tie in with the 
eidolons in BOTNS).

Then Nutria wrote:

>	Horn's being cast into a pit is some kind of death-resurrection sequence,
>and has Biblical roots. It happened to Joseph, who was drawn up by his
>brothers and sold into Egypt, and then became a ruler; something similar
>happens to Horn when he becomes Rajan. Perhaps more interesting, it happens
>to Jeremiah, who is rescued by the Ethiopian Ebed-Melech (Jer. 38). As with
>Horn, Jeremiah's life only got worse afterwards, as you can read in the
>book of Jeremiah. The Ethiopian, being a foreigner and a stranger to
>Israel, and who looks different (being dark-skinned), could link with
>Krait, who is also a stranger, looks different, but chooses to have
>compassion on a distressed human. (Obviously, Wolfe is not trying to link
>negroes with vampires! [Do I have to say this?]) I'm not going to go to the
>stake for any of this, but I thought I'd toss it into the mix.

Good point.  It happens a lot in the Bible, to Daniel, in the Lion's Den, 
amongst others, and ties in nicely with what happened during the 
death/resurrection of Silk in the underground tunnels on the Whorl.  And, as 
someone mentioned before, this is most likely a literal death and 
resurrection.  After Horn is rescued, he asks Seawrack why she didn't get 
him out of the pit, and she tells him he was dead.  The interesting thing, 
though, is that Krait says that she's lying about this, and Horn thinks 
she's lying also.  Someone else (sorry for the faulty memory in this post) 
posited that it could be the Outsider who comes and resurrects Horn with the 
Claw.  And another interpretation is that Horn was dead, but somehow Krait 
was able to revive him enough to bring him back to life through a 
transfusion.  Either way, Krait was clearly lying about Horn's death.

If the Outsider saved him, it's a mystery why Krait lied.  If Krait has 
resurrection type powers, then he probably lied because this ties in with 
The Secret, and it does have something to do with human/inhumi blood.

Alex David Groce wrote:

>Actually, the whole ring business is going to bother me until I know what
>is going on with it, because it reminds me of something very strongly:
>Thomas Covenant.  Yes--Horn rapes Seawrack, and she gives him a white/gold
>ring with mysterious powers; as Covenant raped Lena, who (did she?  I don't
>really remember) gives him a white-gold ring with mysterious powers.  If it
>was anything else, I'd say the reference was obvious, but I so disliked the
>Covenant books that I'm really hoping that future events will convince me 
>resemblance is purely accidental.

I didn't like the Covenant books either, and stopped reading after number 
one.  However, I seem to recall that his ring was his wedding ring that he 
brought with him to the other world (I forget the name).  It just happened 
to be white gold, which was a source of great power, and bane to the evil 
guy.  I think that this coincidence was one of the reasons I didn't like the 

My two cents,


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