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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: (urth) Blue as Ushas
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 03:11:29 -0600

Let us posit--strictly for the sake of argument--that Blue is Ushas. How
does that affect the overall picture Wolfe has drawn in the 12 SUN books?
That is, is it consonant with the religious underpinnings Wolfe has given
the extended series?

Taking the long view, let me summarize: God created the world, didn't like
the way things turned out, wiped the slate clean with a big flood and
started over. Enter Noah. Things still didn't turn out right. Strike two.
Enter Jesus. Things still didn't work out right. Bad Man was worse than
ever; he spread his corruption to other worlds. What to do, what to do? Wipe
the slate clean again with a big flood. Strike three. Enter Severian, the
New Sun. Well, hell, things *still* didn't work out right. Odilo's flock
evidently evolved into the Neighbors (or was supplanted by them), who had
their own foibles. They were so plagued by the inhumi that they fled the
planet (and Lune), leaving behind, not exactly a clean slate, but one wiped
of mankind. Strike four. The Outsider hijacks Typhon's Ark. Enter the
Moses/Christ-like, latter-day Noah/Pas with an ark full of goodies. Within
*one* generation, the new peoples of Ushas-come-Blue are at it
again--feuding, fussing, and fighting--rotten sinners, every bit as bad as
those who got snuffed in the first flood. What to do, what to do? "Let's get
Moses/Jesus/Noah/Pas down here to set things right." Enter Silkhorn. He
samples a few of Blue's settlements, conducts a couple of wars, consorts
with an old nemesis of Urth, realizes he is Silk, wrings his hands, and
says, nope, this ain't for me; I'm outta here. Then he adjusts his halo and
sails off in a worn-out starship for ports unknown with his former
student/alter ego's wife and girlfriend.

Meanwhile, the Neighbors, some iteration or other in mankind's evolution
within God's creation, dodged the bullet. They seem to have escaped the
Outsider's wrath when they abandoned Ushas for other worlds. And the
Outsider is left in the awkward position of having the same damn planet
steeped once again in iniquity, and so soon! Did he hijack Typhon's ship for
nothing? Didn't he see it coming? What to do, what to do?

Parts of the above scenario we are stuck with, such as twice-flooded Urth.
After that point, even an atheist's sense of righteousness gets offended.
How are the Neighbors any less morally culpable than the ignorant, hard
working, innocent peasants who got drowned in the second flood? If Blue is
Ushas of the far future, what was accomplished by the wounding of the old
sun and the coming of the New? Nothing. Mankind is still as rotten as ever,
even on the home planet. The descendants of the First Empire are still
spread all over the galaxy. The Neighbors are out there, somewhere. And Silk
is on his way to . . . spread mankind's sins around to more worlds? This
doesn't make sense to me.



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