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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) verbal suggestions
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2002 02:12:25 -0600

Date: Saturday, March 30, 2002 1:01 AM
Marc wrote:
Read this passage again, as well:
Think of a whorl so old that even its seasons have worn out ... a whorl on
which they had jungles like yours once, with wide-leafed plants and many
flowers and huge trees.  It is too cold for that IN OUR TIME, and when the
people of that whorls speak of the present they intend five hundred years.
(384) RTTW
Or this one in transit: "everything else was changing anyhow except the sky
and the water" (346)  Only the color changes and the stars come out for
that. He also talks about his father's voice: as if the words were being
spoken a long time ago.
What does that mean: it is too cold for that in our time? why does he say
when the people of that world speak of the present they intend five hundred
years? Isn't that an odd way of saying that the present is anytime in the
last five hundred years? [snip]

My reading of "it is too cold for that in our time" is straightforward.
"Our" refers to those individuals present who are attempting to travel in
dream to Urth, and "our time" means the present. The present, on Blue, is
the 23rd year after the lander that carried the colonists from Viron first
touched down; on Urth it is shortly after Sev found Triskele, which is
several decades before the big flood. Ushas is in the future of Urth on that
day when Silkhorn spoke those words on Blue.

As for the rest; Silkhorn is trying to put Juganu in the proper frame of
mind necessary to accomplish the trip to Urth, where neither have been
except in dream. He doesn't want to end up in the mating pools of Green,
about which Juganu is thinking. He is trying to impress on Juganu the
antiquity of Urth--that it is worn out, used up, where very little changes
even in five hundred years. When Juganu has trouble making the transfer,
Silkhorn offers to go up on the roof and point out the Red Sun, around which
Urth is circling. He speaks of Urth in the _present tense_ as he diverts
Juganu's sexual appetite to dreams of fair Urth women. It works, and they
all wind up on Urth.

    "Father stopped talking, and it seemed to me that he had stopped a long
time ago someplace a long way from where I was. I opened my eyes and saw
daylight and stars . . ." Hoof had gone to sleep, lost track of time as
sleepers do, and when he woke up he was a long way from where he had gone to

Silkhorn's dream trips are _always_ contemporary. There are no exceptions.

All this is just another way of saying--Blue ain't Urth.



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