FIND in
<--prev V16 next-->

From: Dan Parmenter <dan@lec.com>
Subject: (urth) Flying Saucers Rock and Roll
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 08:20:30 

From: m.driussi@genie.com

>The saucer, otoh, is just a time rover they are using to explore
>Urth.  They came in on the big ship Tzadkiel, after all.  (This idea
>of flying saucers as time machines from our future rather than space
>machines from alien worlds is straight from Jacques Vallee, I

Thanks for reminding me about Vallee.  This idea is also given some
ink by Strieber, but he tends to avoid giving too much creedence to
any one hypothesis (much to his credit).

Okay, so the saucers are just time rovers, but I still like the idea
of it being a specific instance of the future or present influencing
the past, and since this is one of the central points being made by
the incident with the Hierodules at Baldander's castle, it must be
intentional.  More of Wolfe's magnificent riffing on "standard" skiffy

Another question about ships:

How does one sign on to the ship Tzadkiel?  Somehow the idea of
Hierodule pressgangs appeals to me; you don't sign on, they come and
get you.  Gunnie and the other sailors are rather vague on this point,
unless I've missed something.  Alternately, given the confusion
between sea and star-going vessels and the fact that Wolfe tells us
that the basic qualifications (tolerance of long stretches of boredom
and an ability to work with rope), perhaps the recruiters simply talk
as if they're recruiting for Urthly ships and then get vague and wave
their hands when asked about specifics.

Finally, one last question about a particular sailor: I think we've
touched on this before, but I've become increasingly convinced in the
"how obvious" sense that Jonas is based on Pinnochio.  Jonas = Jonah,
i.e. someone swallowed by a whale - like Pinochio.  His father was a
craftsman and he desires to "be whole", much as Pinochio desires to be
a real little boy.

I wonder if Wolfe is at all familiar with the work of the late
Japanese cartoonist/animator Osamu Tezuka who touched on some
interesting variations on this theme in a couple of his
comics/animated series.  The most obvious of course is Tetsuwan Atom
(Mighty Atom), or Astro Boy as he was called here, a robot boy built
by a scientist to replace his own son who had been killed.  He is
rejected by his father because he doesn't grow up like a real little
boy.  A lesser-known Tezuka series is called "Dororo" about a
Pinochio-like wooden boy in ancient Japan who goes around beating the
tar out of bad guys and is rewarded by gradually having his artificial
parts replaced by living human ones.

For pictures, point your browser at:


I have no diea if this is anything out of Japanese folklore or just
something that Dr. Tezuka came up with as a variation on Pinochio (the
latter seems quite likely actually) and I doubt very much that Wolfe
was or is aware of these things (it's conceivable that he remembers
Astro Boy from American television - anybody whose memory goes back
that far might also recall "Kimba the White Lion", another Tezuka
project that Disney ripped-off for "The Lion King").


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

<--prev V16 next-->