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From: m.driussi@genie.geis.com
Subject: (urth) Environment Impacts
Date: Fri,  6 Feb 98 15:36:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #6546311 from URTH@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET01#

Re: the Library rats.  I took them as another example of creatures
being shaped by their unusual environment, the most striking example
being the Man Apes of the Saltus Mine.  The Man Apes are in an
environment laced with mutagenic substances (radiation, toxic wastes,
etc.) and they never get to see the sun.  (Tabloid Layer of TBOTNS:
just as UFO sightings are explained in the text as time travelling
saucer ships doing historical research, and "how people mysteriously
vanish and where they go" is strongly hinted at with the timewarping
Botanical Gardens of Nessus, if one needs more time for evolutionary
mutations ala Man Apes one can just have them living on Earth right
now--Yetis, gnomes, Lovecraftian servitor races, etc.)

The Library rats are in an environment oozing with knowledge, some of
it activated by touch.  They make their home within the laboratory
maze of the =only= library on the planet.

(There were also some large talking moths in the Gardens of the House
Absolute [II, ch. 27]--but maybe they were only talking to each other
as animals talk.)


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