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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) Hello There
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 98 23:00:00 GMT

Wow, go away for a few days and come back to find lots of stuff!  Now
that's a happy thing.

First off, a long overdue report on WFC98.  I'll start with details
and maybe later I'll get back to the main overview.  Alga was there
and Patrick O'Leary was there and we all saw each other and I had a
good time (oops, maybe that was the overview?).  As usual, I tried to
pressure alga into writing a Wolfe essay, and the same for Patrick.
<Bo-ring!>  (It was during lunch on Fisherman's Wharf.)  But where I
really failed was, I should've praised Patrick for his review of THE
BOOK OF THE LONG SUN (the =entire tetralogy=) in "Science Fiction
Eye," since it is quite difficult to convince people to do more of a
certain thing while at the same time ignoring their achivements in
that vein.  SO there you have it: Patrick has written some Wolfe
stuff, he will write more when time permits, and for this I am
grateful.  And alga, aside from being just the muse herself, she does
a lot of work on the booklets, and I think she has promised to do a
lot of work on the next book, should such a thing errupt, so really,
I have no business trying to wrestle these people into more
Wolfe-related work.  (More about WFC98 later . . .)

Sgt. Rock,

I think that when Paul Duggan wrote "GW's Commissar kills
Seargent to prevent squad from routing," the "GW" stands not for
"Gene Wolfe" but for "Games Workshop," the UK gaming company whose
product Paul is contrasting with Urth.  It was ambiguous.  As for
your comments on trench warfare, I don't have any argument really,
and I think they add to what I was saying about battlefield context,
not in the (main) sense of it being inherently irrational (since you
are saying that they were being rational within their given frames of
reference), but in the sense of seeing a battle from outside of its
original time/space situation (that is: our "modern" reactions to WWI
are equally removed from its situation as our reactions are to the
Ascian/Commonwealth War). Then again, if I really wanted to argue in
that thread regarding indifference to high casualties and the
pressing need to punch through the front and win the war I'd ask
about gas warfare and flechette rifles--but I don't, I don't!

Peter Nagle,

Re: Latin translation, thanks!

Re: Napoleonic warfare as closer to Urth, this has clear validity
(i.e., trench warfare ala WWI is strictly out).  But Napoleonic lacks
air power, and while I don't want to bring up Korea again, still,
there you had some WWII equipment being used in a post-WWII
environment (I'm especially thinking of the P-51 Mustang fighter
planes, propeller planes among jet fighters).

But mainly I think that we're all in agreement that this quiet little
Armageddon has units from all across the timeline and spectrum of
Warfare--as if it really =were= the Final Battle, and all the
previous champions were raised up to do mighty deeds.  (It isn't, of
course; it is just another day at the front--a battle that doesn't
really matter much in the big war.)  We've got =slingers= for Pete's
sake!  And archers.  And half-nekkid guys on horseback.  And ufos.
And martian tripods (the text quote has to do with towers walking on
the Last Day).  And girls, girls, girls!  We've got ancient units,
medieval units, futuristic units, and magic units.

Nigel Price,

Welcome aboard!  Yes, I wrote/published/continue to sell LEXICON
URTHUS.  (Thank you for your kind words about it.)  Then came some
eight booklets, most of which are Wolfe related (the only non-Wolfe
title is "Vance Space," a travel guide to the science fiction worlds
of Jack Vance, reviewed in "Locus" and "Science Fiction Age" and
"Asimov's"), one of which is out of print ("The Quick & Dirty Guide
to the Long Sun Whorl").  At which point even =I= begin to say, "This
isn't healthy."  To that myself replies, "I could stop any time--in
fact, I stop right now."

Re: CASTLE OF THE OTTER.  This is now part of CASTLE OF DAYS (an
omnibus of COTA and GENE WOLFE'S BOOK OF DAYS, a collection of short
stories, and a third section of previously uncollected stuff).  You
pretty much need it.  Somebody around here quietly argues that "Books
in TBOTNS" of PLAN[E]T ENGINEERING ought to have been put into CASTLE
OF DAYS, and there is merrit to that notion since it is the only Urth
essay in PE, and a powerful one at that.

Re: the Latin inscription.  Thank you very much!  That is exactly
what I was hoping for--a meaning that I was angling toward and a
citation that I knew nothing about.  (Icing on the cake if we can
find this inscription on a building =anywhere=!  I can't imagine a
proper context in England unless during the reign of Elisabeth I, or
by associational and poetic extension, Elisabeth II?)

Re: Terminus Est.  Honestly I'd never thought of it as related to
words by Jesus.  But sure, that looks good, and there are a lot of
details in the text linking the sword to a cross (for example, when
Sev leaves on his exile he basically says that he looked like a sad
dude carrying a cross on his shoulder, but he felt quite happy
inside).  (Well, the word is "paterissa," and I've bent the sense a
bit, but it is there.)  You should write an essay.  No, really!


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

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