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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: (urth) Re: ENGINE SUMMER: Why?
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 22:22:39 

on 4/24/01 7:26 PM, eli+@gs211.sp.cs.cmu.edu at eli+@gs211.sp.cs.cmu.edu

> I'm cc'ing blindly to the urth list, which I'm not on (until such time
> as I read enough Wolfe that it wouldn't be spoiler bombardment) -- I
> hope this is apropos to whatever's going on over there.

At the moment, very little is going on, and we've been given permission by
the list's moderator to discuss Crowley (though there doesn't seem to be
much interest at the moment).

> Adam Stephanides wrote:

>> and she replies "Only to see...to see how strong you are.  I mean
>> whether the story will change, depending on who..." [ellipses Crowley's].
>> But her hesitant speech here, which is not at all typical of her, makes me
>> suspect she is being evasive.  And in any case, her explanation is weak:
>> with 298 copies of the story on file already, the angels should know how
>> much variability there is in Rush's story without needing a 299th.
> The 299th recording wouldn't tell them much new about variability, but
> more than that, it's not apparent it would tell them much new at all.
> I agree the angel's being shady, but I can't see what the real answer
> would have to be to sound convincing.
> Um.  You know when you go... bungee-jumping or something?  And they
> offer you a videotape of your jump, as a souvenir?

But if this were the answer, why would the angel be evasive?

>> I began with, the angel told the truth in the first sentence.  They record
>> the sessions with Rush to see how strong Rush is, literally: to make sure
>> they aren't putting more strain on him than he can endure.
> Hmm, expand on this for me?  How do the recordings let them do this?

I admit this is the most conjectural part of my theory.  I was imagining a
committee or something going over the crystal afterwards, seeing what got
Rush agitated and what calmed him down.  Or perhaps the crystals serve like
the black box recording in a plane's cockpit--in case the session does
"crash," they'll be able to tell what they did wrong.

>> Michael will probably be pleased that I'm arguing, not only that the angel
>> knows in advance that she will be inflicting pain on Rush, but that she lies
>> outright to him (no truthful speaker she!).  But in partial extenuation of
>> the angels, if the sphere is just a recording, and so feels nothing, then
>> the only entity really suffering is Rush's host, who knew what he was
>> letting himself in for.
> I feel like there's another person here, a Rush-in-the-host.  He's
> doing the suffering.  The host will come back later and take the
> memories.  There's certainly a lot of pain tangled up -- my reading
> was that David's use of "rape" was in reference to Rush's pain here,
> and Michael's recent use was to the host's.

My sense is that though Rush-in-the-host and the host may be separate
personalities, there is only one consciousness, or "soul," that of the host.
I can't prove it, though.


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