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From: matthew.malthouse@guardian.co.uk
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 15:24:11 +0100
Subject: Re: (urth) arcologies like mountains

On 17/07/2002 14:50:15 Michael Andre-Driussi wrote:

>Matthew wrote:
>>As Severian travels north he comes to new mountains, sharp, uncarved
>>(which also touches upon the time between Typhon and tBotNS).
>Nope, not in the text I read.  If you can find it again, please tell.
>(Perhaps you are mistakenly thinking of URTH and the era of Apu Punchau.)

Perhaps... vide below.

>> The raising
>>of new mountain ranges by conscious intervention rather than eon-long
>>techtonic activity would have been an event of staggeraing magnitude to
>>rival the coming of the New Sun itself.  The lack of mention of such an
>>event could be allowed but set against it is the long continuity (of
>>decline, to be sure) implied in the whole atmosphere of the
>>Yeuch, I just don't believe it.
>You don't have to believe it.  There are plenty of readers who believe,
>example, that the Old Sun is dying of natural causes; or that Lune's
>is a natural function of time rather than engineering; or that all those
>weird animals evolved on Urth (implying evolutionary time scales); etc.
>(Everyone has their own mix and match.)

The problem is that everyone likes to be "right". The chances of being so
are diminished if one cannot persuade the consensus to ones point of view.

>It seems to me that there are many such cases of misdirection in the text
>where things once seem very big and then shrink down.
>For the rest: As a matter of fact, I have considered in the past how
>artificial continent raising might be a requirement, if only to allow a
>certain continent to sink under the waves during a global deluge and not
>come up again when the high waters retreat.

You're alluding to the coming of the New Sun?  There's a point there;
either it's too much or not enough.

>But what I was talking about in this case was not whole continents, but
>rather mountain ranges.  Of supercities.  Decayed into gigantic tells.

One might also consider the usual belief that the Commonwealth is in South
America - and the chnages required to make that fit the geography Severian

>As for the mine at Saltus: well, urk -- do you believe that excavations
>Roman cities prove that they were in place a million years ago?  Probably

You're right.  I don't.   ;-)

But the point I think was made about the mines is that they are not mining
the crust for raw materials (ores) as we would understand it but mining
the detrius of the past - that's unlikely to be less than many many times
what we'd find today in the whole archological deposit between the Iron
Age and now.

However memory does play tricks.  I was going to finish the current light
reading (Tad William's Memory, Sorrw, Thorn), enjoy my new new one
(Ricardo Pinto's sequel to The Chosen) and then re-read tBotNS - which is
over due.  When I get home I might reconsider those priorities and get
back to you on this in a few weeks time.



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