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From: "Roy C. Lackey" <rclackey@stic.net>
Subject: (urth) Re: Demons & Dragons
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 05:57:41 


    Yes, I read your earlier post carefully and thought about it; part of
the reason I waited two days before replying. Perhaps in trying to be brief
I didn't make myself clear. Both of the examples you cited (lazaret and
steward), as well as others where Sev tried and failed to revive the dead,
came before his trial and the "birth" of the New Sun. After that he has no
problems raising the dead, even when he's not trying (the dead assassin).
He's a walking miracle machine. He can move through space (from Nessus to
the stone town) and time, heal the sick, raise the dead, tame wild animals,
survive mortal injuries, and breathe under water. If he doesn't do those
things I mentioned earlier (Thecla, his mother) it's because Wolfe doesn't
want him to, not because he can't.

    In the instances where he does raise the dead, both before and after the
New Sun, the outcomes seem to be negative, some more precipitously than
others. Even in the cases that are not almost immediately disastrous (e.g.
Zama and the dead assassin), the apparent successes (e.g. Dorcas,
Miles/Jonas) aren't happy with their revival. Even his dog runs away.

    The final chapters of _Urth_ are devoted largely to tidying up loose
plot ends, most occasioned by the time-travel paradoxes, to fulfill what
otherwise might be termed "prophesies" (Typhon and The Conciliator,
Apu-Punchau). Sev shows up in the future about an hour before the big flood
hits the House Absolute. What timing! Why not some time during the fifty
years that have elapsed since he left on Tzadkiel's ship, when there was no
chance of encountering another version of himself? (In keeping with the
condition that he can't come too close to himself.) He could have prepared
Urth's inhabitants, saved people. Nope. Not because he couldn't but because
Wolfe didn't want him to. It's that simple.

    Hey, it's Wolfe's story; not mine. But the points I have raised fall, I
believe, within the parameters of possibility consistent with Sev's
universe(s) as portrayed in the New Sun books.

    And I'm not even going to mention the most glaring paradox. It takes
time for the white fountain to get to Urth's sun. It was on its way as far
back in time as Apu-Punchau. Therefore it had to have been in the heavens on
the day Sev was born. In fact, it was around for his whole life. Only it
wasn't. But it had to be. That's why I'm not going to mention it. <g>


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

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