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Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 16:44:27 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) arcologies like mountains

Blattid wrote:
>The 97 Kyear figure is _very_ debateable, and I for one hold it to be
>completely implausible ... we're talking a sufficient amount of time
>so that the ruins of ancient human civilizations have been uplifted in
>the bodies of new mountains (which, of course, are then carved into the
>figures of Urth's vain rulers). That doesn't happen in less than multiple
>millions of years.

Oh dear, back to this chestnut.

Yes, the 97 Kyear figure is _very_ debateable.  (For all sorts of reasons.
Let a thousand timelines bloom!)

But, as far as I am concerned, so is the notion that the "mountains" are
natural (especially the single cliff that is being referred to here,
however obliquely).  I'm sure anyone who has read Olaf Stapledon can
instantly recall the supercities like continental coral reefs that sprout
up in superscience civilizations -- indeed, they are rather puny compared
with Asimov's "full metal planet" of Trantor.  The concept is rather a
staple of sf, and iirc, the brown book says that non-humans built vast
cities like "banks of cloud" (note scale) and like "skeletons of dragons"
(note fossil imagery) on Urth after the zenith of the Empire.

As for "multiple millions," Wolfe has written, more than once, iirc, that
it is "perhaps" one million years distant (which I have always taken as an
outer limit rather than an inner limit, because of the qualifier).  FWIW.


booklets on Gene Wolfe, John Crowley
Lexicon Urthus out of print!


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