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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Urth bibliography update/alert
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 23:54:53 

>"Well blow me down," as the sailor said when . . .
>Sorry to have let everybody down!  The Lexicon, or even one of the
>supplements, really should have entries for: "Isid Iooo IoooE" (a god);
>"Maser"; "Master" (a weapon); "Tarnung" (a magic cloak); "Zed" (a world).


Surely you can't believe that the fact that the "enchanted" sword in _The
God and His Man_ is referred to as "Master" instead of "Maser" the first
two times it is mentioned is anything but a (particularly annoying) typo.

Sorry. I shouldn't make any assumptions about others' beliefs. But *I*
can't believe it. The only way I'll accept the idea that Wolfe meant to use
both names for the sword is if he said so somewhere (and I'll lose a degree
of respect for him as an author at the same time).

I have always assumed that the name of the sword Maser comes from our term
maser (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation; just
like a laser but with microwaves instead of light). I am pretty sure a real
maser emitter couldn't be made the size of a swordhilt and I don't know if
it would behave as Maser is described to; I am assuming the term will
become generalized to mean any energy-beam weapon.

I won't deny I could be way off here. Certainly "Tarnung" doesn't suggest
the name of any piece of present day technology to me. Unless it's Romulan
for "cloaking device."

However you slice it, Maser sure sounds like an azoth to me. "... the
enchanted sword ... whose blade is as long as the wielder wishes it (though
it weighs nothing) and against which not even stone can stand."

>Furthermore: A51 might have some relevance to OBW; Zed, although just a
>sketch, seems rather like Blue (and the adventures that narrator has there
>are rather like those that Man has on Zed).  Plus, a special bonus for
>alga: direct applications to THE DEEP.

"Isid Iooo IoooE" has long plagued me. It seems as if it is a puzzle Wolfe
is setting us and one he expects us to be able to solve (like the name
Eyebem in the story of the same name). I have always suspected that the
answer involves replacing the capital Is in the second and third parts of
the name with 1s and the lower-case os with 0s. Thus I get ISID 1000 1000E,
if I make the first part uppercase at the same time. Unfortunately, this
doesn't suggest anything definite to me either, although it does look like
the identifying number of a machine, a computer model number, for example.
Certainly Isid Iooo IoooE is an artificially intelligent computer (or
something very much like one) as well as a god.

Double-trunked elephants are found on both Zed and Blue does. It is a pity
that we are not told how many legs Zedian elephants have.

William Ansley

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

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