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. -Roy --