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From: "Tony Ellis" <tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) 5HC plot-cloaking device
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 22:35:19 +0000

Rostrum wrote:

> Reading "A Story," I got the impression that the field was hiding St. Anne
> from an already-settled-by-humans St. Croix, not shielding the whole
> system from Earth.

Read "V.R.T.".  In one of the interrogation dialogues "Q" specifically says that
"both our worlds remained unknown when planets more distant from Earth had been
colonized for decades." The telepathic shield clearly applied to the whole system.

The fact that the starcrossers arrive so rapidly is kind of convenient for the plot,
I agree. To say the least. But notice that the Shadow child doesn't just say he's
going to remove the shield, he says of the starcrossers that he is going to "sing
them in" - which suggests he's actually telepathically summoning them. This also
explains why they happen to land just where they can rescue Sandwalker and co.,
rather on any other stretch of coastland on the planet. :-)

David Duffy wrote:

> I think we're in the wrong worldview here.  The song is magical, so
> its effects break down immediately from the point of view of a pre-Contact
> narrator, no matter how acausal that appears to science fiction critics ;)

Well, the song -is- telepathic. It may appear magical to Sandwalker and his friends,
but that's because they're ignorant savages. :-)

But surely its effects would appear to "break down immediately" regardless of the
point of view of the onlookers?

> I would have thought that any shielding effects on foreigners would be psychic
> in nature...their own perception would be that they just hadn't got around to
> colonizing St Anne yet.

No, the effect of the song really was to hide the planets. See my answer to Rostrum,
just above.

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

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