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From: Peter Westlake <peter@harlequin.co.uk>
Subject: Re: (urth) sybil as inhumus
Date: Mon, 06 Jul 1998 11:06:48 +0100

At 11:52 1998-06-28 -0400, alga wrote:
>Oh ye of little faith, observe. These are citations from the text, Claw,
>Timescape edition.
>284: "...and as I studied her face I had come to doubt that she was an old
>woman at all, and to recall only too clearly the hideous faces of the
>cacogens who had removed their masks when Baldanders had rushed among them."
>286: [says Hildegrin of Jolenta] "'And a bat bite did it? They've grown
>uncommon strong lately then. I've been bit a couple of times myself.'"
>291: "As I suspected, the Cumaean was not a woman at all; yet neither was
>she one of the horrors I had beheld in the gardens of the House Absolute.
>Something sleekly reptilian coiled about the glowing rod. I looked for the
>head but found none, though each of the patternings on the reptile's back
>was a face, and the eyes of each face seemed lost in rapture."

The Cumaean is certainly extraterrestrial (it says so in one of the
afterwords) and the reptile/inhumu link has been mentioned before;
but tying in the bat bite is very ingenious! I would really like to
believe that this is a deliberate link, but there are difficulties.
I discount that this happens some distance from where they meet
the Cumaean. Severian doesn't see any wings, but that's not an
insuperable objection. What makes me think it was a real vampire
bat is that the blood would not clot. That's true of vampire bats,
but I don't recall it being mentioned for inhumu.

>Remark, please, the difference between entirely plausible suspicion (even if
>slightly jocular) and fan fiction. If you can figure it out.

We need a new term for "things that might have happened because the
story doesn't say they didn't". "Reichenbach" is too long and too
hard to spell; how about "gap fiction"?


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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