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Date: Sun, 1 Dec 2002 22:14:16 -0800
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) Free Live Free, corrections and notes

I said before that Dr. Makee made it sound like he'd known Free for
decades.  Nope, only a few years according to my hc (207).  Let's say that
Free moves into the house in 1980.

One of the details that might point to the city being Chicago is the
tunnels under downtown (286).

OTOH, there are cities with a 38th Street going North/South: Kansas City,
Kansas (nice Oz tie in: any major city in Kansas!); Omaha, Nebraska
(maybe); St. Joseph, Missouri; Philadelphia (but one chapter is "I'd Rather
Be in Philadelphia," implying it ain't in Philly, and the Philly street is
named North 38th).

Another intersection mentioned is 44th and Dennis (280).

I was thinking that the building might have to be standing in 1819, because
of how Wolfe's timeline compresses timeframes.  A building like that in
1819 rules out a lot of the midwest, except for maybe St. Louis and
Indianapolis.  But maybe the 1819 building is not right.  The building was
definitely built in the 19th century.

Anyway, if the building timeframe has always been, say, 1980-1982, and Free
visited periodically from 1807-1818, adjusting it so that he never
overwrote himself (11 years of frontier life interspersed with up to 36
months of 1980s life), then that starts to make some sense until the whole
"1819" thing crops up (that point where he leaves the frontier and puts the
gizmo in the wall).

Maybe it would be fixed if it were written: "Free leaves 1819 for 1979,
where he puts the gizmo in the wall."  Because then it would be there for
him to use from 1980-1982.  But if he is keeping himself in realtime after
installing the gizmo in the wall in 1979 then he would implode everytime
his frontier-visiting self came in . . . no, wait, the visitor would
implode, because the realtime Free is older . . . hmmmm.

In any event, another detail: Free supposedly has not been time-travelling
(all this talk of not knowing where the ticket is; too old to use it;
etc.), yet Whitten did implode after being on the ground for a while, which
implies that Free had been elsewhen from Nov 1982 to Jan 1983 until the
moment of Whitten's implosion on Jan 14.

OTOH, if the house isn't standing there in 1819, then, because it is a time
machine and not a teleporter, the gizmo would deposit a person out in a
field.  (Which is another reason for suspecting it to be in a midwest
location, since Free is on the expedition, etc.  Then again, he hid the
gizmo in a Kentucky cave for at least a while.)



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