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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@siriusfiction.com>
Subject: (urth) Alien Stones, spoilers 2
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2001 14:16:12 

Rostrum wrote:
>When the zombie empath shows up, the woman asks the aliens something like
>"Is that my husband?"  And they say something like "The question is
>difficult.  What is meant by 'is'?"
>The passage from the Bible is where the Saducees, who do not believe in
>the resurrection, ask Jesus about a woman who has been widowed several
>times and remarries each time.  In the resurrection, whose wife is she?
>Thus: Is the empath still her husband if he's dead?

Actually she asks "Where is my husband?"

This doesn't entirely invalidate what you are saying:they are still talking
about existence (either living vs. dead; animate vs. inanimate; corporeal
vs. noncorporeal).

Part of the way I've seen this Bible passage in context of the story is the
answer Jesus gives, that is, the rest of the passage, which is basically
that there is no marriage at the resurrection. In the context of the story,
it seems to me that "resurrection" might also be taken as "not-life," which
includes machine-based aliens (not biological life), zombie (alien repaired
dead empath--biological tool), virtual reality captain/cadet (and maybe
even empath--there's that part where Helen wonders if her husband was ever
really on the ship), to name a few.

But still, it is a strange angle for the captain who has just "won the
woman." In fact, it might be only about her as a widow (not about the
zombie or the aliens at all): that he "has" her now, but now is just a
short time compared with eternity, and it doesn't really matter (or "count"
or "register") at the end of time (the resurrection).

Another important point: the passage comes up when they are both safely on
_Gladiator_ and Helen has just told him that she had earlier on asked cadet
Wad about Daw--what Daw's childhood was like.  This sets up all sorts of
weird loops.  If she assumes that Wad is a computer simulation based on
Daw, then she =should= ask Wad about Wad's childhood.  If she thinks that
Wad is a persona worn by the ship's computer, then it is unclear how the
ship's computer could know enough about Daw's childhood to answer the
question.  She asks the question as if Wad is a fellow cadet of Daw, a
classmate . . . which would make Daw a computer simulation based upon a
friend or twin brother.  But time and space play a part--which participant
is real?

The fact that the cadet grows into the mold presented by the captain is
clear.  But there may be a suggestion that the beautiful empath talking to
the cadet starts the obsession (for the same woman) in the cadet who then
grows into the captain.

=The other symbols=
X (actually looks more like a teepee)
0 (looks close to O-barred)


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

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