From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes"
Subject: RE: (urth) contra Summa contra Marcus Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002 09:33:56 -0800 Hartshorn wrote (very cut): > Hethor's monsters are far more alien to Urth than are any > of the entities on Green or Blue. True; but my point was simply that the alien creatures in tBotNS seem to be Urth-compatible enough to live and feed there. Indeed, the degree of compatibility of the alzabo with Urthly life is so complete and complex as to suggest a strong tendency, in the Lupiverse, for all life (or "all life evolved on worlds with free oxygen and temprature-pressure ranges that permit lots of liquid water and reasonably Urthlike gravity") to be biochemically similar. Which is, after all, pretty much another convention of SF (or at least pulp-descended SF). > Yes, but this means very little unless Green has world-oceans > like Blue. It doesn't (it has a world-forest instead, that is > why it is Green). Tidal effects depend on the size of the > body of water. Ummmm.... three points here. First, it's hard to believe that Urth-like life will work on a world without large bodies of open water. You need a certain basic size of water reserve to keep it all from disappearing into the atmosphere -- and the hotter the world, the more likely this is to be true, and lower gravity will make the problem worse as more of the stuff escapes into space. (Lower gravity also therefore makes the problem of anything as _different_ as the inhumi having the time to evolve on a terraformed Lune that much tougher.) (OTOH, I have in fairness to point out that there's no particular reason to assume that Green is actually hotter than Blue -- Horn experiences a relatively small geographical area of Green; it could easily all be equatorial.) Second, if Green is a terraformed Lune, in order for it to be as moist as we're shown, one of two things must be true: either there _are_ large bodies of open water, filling the large craters and so on; or else the people who terraformed it didn't just give it water and air, but ran an iron over the whole thing so that there are no low spots where water will gather. Third, and to my mind most significant, in Wolfe's other major green/blue system, the green planet most definitely _does_ have oceans. So then I read this: > My own beliefs on the Green/Blue Lune/Ushas conundrum are complex. > It is a beautiful idea, but I suspect that if it were true we would > be seeing many more direct signifiers. There is no *compelling* > reason to believe it. Which, really, is my main point. There is no compelling reason -- no real textual evidence -- beyond it being a "beautiful idea." Marc has been fighting for it, primarly because it _does_ offer resolution to a number of questions, but there's no significant textual evidence _for_ it. It's a huge hypothetical, that requires a number of other totally unsubstantiated hypotheticals (like the retrovirus I flippantly tossed off and you accepted so blandly) to make it work. Given that, I can't accept it short of a "smoking gun" bit of textual evidence or a clear statement from Wolfe. > What really runs behind it is the Blue World/Green World > thematic duality that seems to be a near constant of Wolfe's > planetary fiction. And it is possible that Wolfe has no > clear idea himself, or is leaving his options open. One thing behind it, of course, is that Wolfe likes to create systems with two planets that he can set in contrast, and this is the most plausible pair of "themes" for worlds where humans can reasonably live. But I agree that there's also something more going on in the back of Wolfe's mind, probably where he himself can't see it. This is a problem for the sort of critic who likes to apply psychoanalytic methods and other such mumbojumbo; I will leave it to them. --Blattid --