FIND in
<--prev V3 next-->

From: Peter Cash <cash@rsn.hp.com>
Subject: (urth) some questions about Death Island, Doctors, and underpeople
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 1997 09:46:31 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

In regard to "Tracking Song": are the "underpeople" animals that are
evolving toward humanity, or humans who are devolving to an animal
state? The cave city is clear evidence of an ancient and technologically
sophisticated civilization existing on the planet. We are led to believe
that the builders of the city simply died out. But perhaps they
genetically altered themselves to better adapt to the changing climate?
If so, then their plans went astray at some point, of course.

I liked "Alien Stones" also, though I found it puzzling (of course, the
more puzzling a Wolfe story, the better I like it.) There is a hint at
the end that all is illusion--that the entire voyage is perhaps a
simulation. What do you all think about that? 

Aside from the Cartesian "dream argument", it seems to me that this is a
story about youth and age--and about how it would be nice if our young
selves could have learned the ropes from their older (and presumably
smarter) counterparts. Also, isn't it true that our young personae
continue to live inside ourselves as we get old and crusty? Maybe we
need to listen to the "understudy" sometimes when we make decisions.

"The Doctor of Death Island" made me furrow my brow also. (Is that the
right title? I don't have the book with me--I'm talking about the story
in which the prisoner was cryogenically preserved and re-awakened after
40 years or so.) For one thing, where's the island?

The prisoner's wife's "daughter"...is she a clone of the wife, created
to be the prisoner's lover? Wolfe never quite comes out and says so. The
"we're all books in a bookshelf" Did I miss something? metaphor was
nice, but seems to get dropped as abruptly as it was brought up. What is
the "brain surgeon" with the deformed hand all about? 

Peter (a.k.a. "Rock")

<--prev V3 next-->