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Date: Wed, 03 Jul 2002 23:32:36 -0500
From: "Stephen Case" 
Subject: (urth) Last questions on Short Sun

Today I finished Return to the Whorl, thus completing my second read of =
the Short Sun books.  I remain as convinced as ever that they were a =
superb story, reaching a satisfactory conclusion and tying up most of the =
loose ends-- enough, in my opinion.  After finishing the books again, I'm =
left with only a few questions.  I apologize if they've already been =
answered somewhere.

The first struck me over and over as I was reading On Blue's Waters, =
though perhaps it was partially answered in Return to the Whorl.  It is =
this: why does Horn hate Sinew so much?  He hates his own son enough that =
when he shows up on the river to Pajurocu, Horn writes that he would have =
killed him if Seawrack hadn't been around.  Why?  Horn has his faults, but =
he seems to be a resonable, loving father, at least to the twins.  Why the =
animosity towards Sinew?  I wondered if it had something to do with Sinew =
not having a soul or something along those lines as a result of being bit =
by Jahlee as a child.  Return to the Whorl seemed to confirm this.  As =
Jahlee is dying, she reveils The Secret, which seems to be that to have =
intelligent children, the Inhumas must steal the mind from a human child.  =
She says "Without blood, our children have no minds . . . Their minds are =
yours.  Here, long ago, I drank the blood of your small son.  Krait was my =
son, the ONLY ONE who lived with the mind it took from yours."  Whether or =
not this is The Secret, it satisfies me.  What I still don't understand =
though, and what this passage seems to be saying, is that somehow Sinew =
did not have a mind/soul/whatever.  Is this why Horn hated him?  Sinew =
seemed not to hold any particular animosity towards his father other than =
the normal willfull teenage stubbornness.  Did Horn somehow subconsiously =
feel he was mindless or soul-less?  If that is true, hat does it say about =
other characters in the text?  Can we assume anyone else's mind was stolen =
by being bit by inhuma?  Mora's grandmother perhaps?

Question number two: What exactly is the deal with Pig?  We know he was a =
godling, worked as a mercenary while doing Pas's will by driving people =
from the Whorl, and killed an auger in front of his window while looting a =
town.  When this happened, he was possessed by a piece of the piece of =
Silk that became a part of Pas in Exodus. (?)  The piece of Silk drove him =
to find Hyacinth's body in the manse where she and Silk lived and later to =
mourne her in Blood's villa.  Horn/Silk made contact with the piece of =
Silk in Pig and restored his sight by donating an eye.  I guess my =
question then is, do I have it right?  What purpose did Pig serve?  I know =
some speculated that Pig actually killed or at least fought with Silk at =
the old manse before Horn came along, but this doesn't seem to fit with =
what I think is Silk's obvious suicide attempt.  If he didn't try to kill =
himself, that very last scene with Remora doesn't make sense.

Okay, last and most troubling question:  Why doesn't Silk/Horn eat?  Wolfe =
makes it clear all the way through Green's Jungles and Return to the Whorl =
that he eats very little, if anything.  And yet I can't seem to find any =
other clues that would explain this.  The only possibility I can imagine-- =
and don't want to-- is that somehow Silk/Horn is an inhumu.  The biggest =
clue I could find was near the end of Ch. 18 in Return to the Whorl.  =
Hoof, Silk/Horn, and Juganu are on the boat after returning from the Red =
Sun Whorl.  Hoof writes: "Father nodded and sipped from the wine bottle; =
sometimes it seemed like he was just pretending to eat and drink, and this =
was one of them . . .  Juganu had been listening to us, and had even =
swallowed some soup."  Here not only does it reiterate that Silk/Horn eats =
little to nothing, but it shows that inhumu can eat a little.  Silk/Horn =
an inhumu?  I can't even begin to figure this one out.

Any illuminaion would be appreciated,


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