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From: Dan Parmenter <dan@lec.com>
Subject: (whorl) Inhumechanics
Date: 28 Mar 2001 10:43:05 

Blattid writes:

> Ummmm. A great big "huh?" just hit me.
> The inhumi can imitate us.
> The inhumi can imitate Neighbors.
> How many limbs have the inhumi? And how can they imitate both us
> and the Neighbors? Or ... can they?

Oddly enough, this hit me this weekend too.  I had come to think of
the Inhumi in their natural state as a kind of shapeless bat.  I
suppose that the question again emerges: how much actual
shape-shifting can they do?  And what exactly do they have to work
with?  We hear of limbs being stretched, but how many "limbs" do they
have?  I'm imagining a "radial" design, a kind of soft umbrella shape
which might give them as many possible "limbs" as they need, though
the shaping of hands, even poorly-functioning ones seems dicey as does
any kind of walking, though it seems that the Inhumi can do both, if
badly.  We hear on numerous occasions of reshaping facial features and
the wearing of powders and wigs, but I never assumed that they were
just flying silly-putty with a head.  There's also the seeming
"telepathic" component.  Wasn't it Borski who thought that this may
well be their primary mode of "shape-shifting".
> How much "information" do the inhumi get from their victims? We
> know that they get some kind of intelligence/memory/personality
> download; do they get some kind of genetic/somatic download also?
> Is this yet another case of Wolfe playing Lysenko games?

Lamarck games I hope.  Wolfe has never advocated Lysenkoism and has
touched on the differences in several interviews and articles.  But
yes, Lamarckism is clearly one of Wolfe's recurring themes.


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