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From: "Tony Ellis" <tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Re: (urth) Fairy Tale logic? Bah!
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 1999 18:30:24 +0000

Yes. As usual I'm joining the debate after all the clever
stuff has been said, but count me in as a member of the
NOT-fairy-tale-logic camp, too.

One of the games TBOTNS plays, as we've said many times, is
to take existing fantasy cliches and give them an entirely
new spin. One of the best ways you can do that is to give a
scientific explanation to a classically "fantastic" event.

We've all become so accustomed to thinking of Typhon as
Autarch, Satan, and mysterious link to the Whorl that it's
easy to forget exactly how we first encounter him. As Sev
says, it's as if a constellation has taken on human form.
Typhon is a two-headed giant. An ogre. A troll. Because
that's what heroes meet when they're wondering in the
mountains. The twist is, this troll is bio-engineered.

The explanation of Father Inire's mirrors is important for
the same reason. Magic mirrors are a fantasy cliche - the
idea that travel-by-mirror could actually work is something
new and thought-provoking. To complain that the explanation
is psuedoscience is unsporting - any and every SF story that
features FTL travel or hyperspace or whatever is using
psuedoscience, and few if any describe how it works with the
marvellous, opaque eloquence of that passage in Torturer.

Rostrum wrote:

> How can QT explain the New Sun being attached to Severian, or being
> "birthed" by an act of intercourse?
I'll concede the first point. I can think of several
explanations, as it happens, but since I'm opposed to
arguments that have to write their own Wolfe fiction to
work, I'll agree that some miracles may be just that.

But I've never agreed with this thing about the New Sun
being created by Sev and Apheta making love. That's just
symbolism. The New Sun was created deep within the world of
Yesod, and someone pressed the "go" button when Apheta and
Sev happened to be getting it on. Because of his mystic
link, Sev felt it come into being. Simple as that.

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

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