FIND in
<--prev V211 next-->
From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) ship-building timeline for the Whorl
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2002 23:24:37 -0600

mantis wrote:
>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!

IIRC, past ages of Urth were marked by the depletion of some natural
resource, e.g., copper, uranium, etc., or am I confusing some other book
with the NS? IIRC, then much of Urth's material resources were long gone
before Typhon came on the scene. Besides, the insides of that asteroid
probably provided a lot of material.

Let me restate the problem. The _Whorl_ took a long time to build. The
stockpiling of chems shows that, minimally, twenty years passed between the
planning stage and its launch. Also, Typhon so associated his face with his
authority that he declined other means of extending his biological life;
that is why he had his own head grafted to Piaton's body. He didn't
anticipate that Piaton's strength might extend to "holding to the action of
the heart". In other words, Typhon's two-headed state was never intended to
be anything more than a temporary means to an end. Anyone as vain as Typhon
didn't want his visage marred by a second head.

So, when Typhon decided to build the _Whorl_ (for whatever reason), he *did
not* plan to have himself scanned as a two-headed god. At some point before
the launch, events overtook him. He was forced to change his original plans
and have himself scanned *after* he had been grafted to Piaton. (Why he
didn't have himself poured into a custom-made, look-alike chem body, like
Loris, and Potto, and the others, I don't know.) But, so far as I know,
Typhon never set foot in the _Whorl_. There was *no reason* for his scanned,
digitized personality to have been depicted as two-headed. Given Typhon's
vanity, it doesn't make sense for it to have been done that way.

The entire pantheon of Pas and his family and friends is all the more a
travesty, some sort of sick joke, apparently. Yet the manteions in the
pre-fabricated cities were built before the human cargo was put aboard. The
Sacred Windows, the gods in Mainframe, all of that seems to have been
planned from the beginning. Did Typhon's original plan call for him to be
scanned as his one-headed self (with a new body)? Did he have time to have
the Writings composed to reflect his two-headed godhead, create the whole
mythology that permeates the _Whorl_? Why bother? If he wanted to play god,
he didn't need to be two-headed to do it, and from his egocentric viewpoint,
it wouldn't have been desirable.

Crush wrote:
>IMO this is
>because the provider of all Typhon's super-technology which was the secret
>behind his rise to power, had left on the Whorl --- Quetzal. The head was
>the last thing Q provided him with before he left. Hmmm "Q"? "The name's
>Typhon. Pas Typhon."

Uh, Quetzal was an inhumi. The inhumi have no technology. None at all. They
are not good with their hands--probably because they don't have any in their
natural state.  Not to mention that it was well over 300 years from the
time the _Whorl_ was launched until Q was shot in the tunnels. I don't think
they live that long.

Crush asks:
>BTW: Is 1000 years from Typhon to Severian a firmly established time span?

The author of LEXICON URTHUS puts it at about 1,100 years. Close enough.



<--prev V211 next-->