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From: "Tony Ellis" <tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Fifth Head
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 11:39:21 +0000

Roy wrote:

> >William H. Ansley wrote
> >
> >Since the narrator is supposed to be older that David, this could explain
> >the order of the roll call. It could also be in order of social rank: the
> >narrator is the clone of Maitre and his heir, while David is a mere natural
> >son, really little more than an experimental control.
>     True, but at the time of the incident the narrator is only seven. It
> isn't until several years later, at about the age of puberty, that he learns
> he is the older brother.
Actually, we don't have any reason to believe that the narrator -is- older than
David. He -thinks- he's older because his father tells him that he's the heir.

>  The likelihood of such a quaint custom surviving
> that span of time seems, to me, improbable. But then, why what we see of St.
> Croix should be on a par with 19th century Europe (gas lights, carriages,
> etc.), rather than the hi-tech society it would take to get there, is no
> less improbable.
Not so. One of the things I've always liked about The Fifth Head of Cerberus is
precisely this up-yours to the stereotypical SF colony where the buildings are
all new, the level of technology is high, and the dominant culture is American.
You need an awful lot of resources to establish and maintain a "hi-tech society",
and the only resource St. Croix seems to have in any abundance is slave labour.
Everything else has to be shipped from Earth, taking twenty years and costing a
fortune. Easier to pull your carts with oxen. Don't forget too that St Croix has
fought a war and lost. Whatever was achieved by the original French colonists has
been blown to pieces, while the new regime is corrupt, decadent and bureaucratic,
and governs a steadily declining population - hardly the circumstances under
which a new society is likely to flourish.

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

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