FIND in
<--prev V28 next-->

From: "Roy C. Lackey" <rclackey@stic.net>
Subject: (urth) Re:urthquake
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 18:49:55 

mantis wrote a very insightful piece (as was the recent one about Foila,
BTW) with which I quibbled on a small point:

>>So Roy, are you saying that the resurrection at the Convulsor was
accomplished via the more usual white fountain energy rather than any other
source?  I can't really tell from your post.<<

    Yes, assuming, that is, that that is the source.

    I don't know how Wolfe thought to rationalize the quake; my only point
was that it wasn't a natural one, which the text seems to support. The
effect seems to have been localized. Perhaps Severian acted as a lightning
rod, discharging the energy into the ground, both of the weapon and whatever
supernatural revivifying agency is responsible for the suspension of the
laws of physics necessary to keep him alive.

    The attending physician's contention that it was a natural quake and
that Sev wasn't struck by the energy beam is just the NEW SUN version of
Doctor Crane's hypothesis about Silk's enlightenment. Such a timely quake,
even if such geological activity still took place, just *ain't gonna
happen*. It was just another miracle in the Conciliator's legend, like those
in the Gospels attendant upon Jesus. Miracles have no rational explanation,
and Wolfe clearly believes in miracles; you have to to be a Christian. That
similar wonders occasioned by Sev's "death" at the Citadel are not
replicated elsewhen he dies wasn't necessary for the Legend or for Wolfe's
theme or plot; besides, he had to account for the broken Curtain Wall. <g>
Wolfe was more concerned with setting up echoes of Jesus with the
Conciliator for religious resonance than explaining the science in his
fiction. Bad science or good, the scientific tidbits in the Urth Cycle were
just a sop thrown to the more ardent purists of the genre who, like us,
strain at scientific gnats while swallowing religious camels. Rational
science cannot account for many of the plot elements of NEW SUN any more
than you can take a sliderule to the Bible.

    That's why your face among the "hard-ish sf" crowd is not smiling. :-)


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

<--prev V28 next-->