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Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2002 13:56:12 -0800
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) ship-building timeline for the Whorl

Roy wrote:
>If Sev's prophecy was true, then Typhon had to have
>already been scanned into Mainframe and the ship launched; that or those
>things happened fairly soon after Sev made the prophecy.
>Either way, it's hard to reconcile the NS and LS texts. We know that Marble
>and the other servant chems were older than the _Whorl_ itself, and
>Hammerstone told Silk that the soldier chems were being stockpiled for
>twenty years before coming aboard the ship. A painted canvas cloth at
>Orchid's place was "a crude mockery of Campion's celebrated Pas enthroned."
>The original showed two-headed Pas, along with a couple of mighty taluses
>"still at work upon the whorl".

This is a strangely literal take on a metaphorical painting!  Unless you
really think Typhon was out there driving a bulldozer at the end? 
Iconically, the painting shows "Pas made the Whorl."  There would be no
point in showing a one-headed Typhon making the Whorl -- even though it is
true, it would contradict the truth that the Cargo has been indoctrinated
with: and the painting was presumably painted by Cargo =after= launch,
wasn't it?

>Now, the hollowing out of an asteroid and all the work needed to turn it
>into a giant spaceship, stocking it with flora and fauna, soil, water, etc.,
>would have been the work of years. At what point in the construction of the
>_Whorl_ did Typhon get his second head? Clearly he had it before the ship
>was launched, but did he have it before construction started? That doesn't
>seem possible, because Typhon surely didn't have Piaton's body for twenty
>years or more; that certainly wasn't his plan.
>If Typhon underwent the operation *after* construction started, how did that
>affect his original intent in building it? If the _Whorl_ took a long time
>to build, as it surely did, were his seven children the product of his
>original body or Piaton's?
>And how is it that so massive an undertaking as the building, stockpiling,
>and launch of the _Whorl_ left no lasting echoes on Urth in Sev's day, just
>a thousand years later? Sev and the Commonwealth seem completely ignorant of

I don't understand the problem.  He was building the generation starship in
imitation of the old Empire, then he got the graft just before the Whorl
was ready to launch, then he had himself scanned (or maybe even rescanned),
and then the Worl was launched.  Sometime after the Whorl was launched, the
rebellion began and there were no ships with which to escape Urth.

When the Conciliator visits Urth the rebellion is in full swing, maybe even
relatively close to its end.

Since you did not bring up the apparent biological ages of the scanned
kids, that is not a part of your factoring.

As for lasting echoes, well gosh, the near total depletion of material
resources on Urth would seem to cover this rather well!


Sirius Fiction
booklets on Gene Wolfe, John Crowley
hurt books eBay auction coming soon


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