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Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 10:05:35 -0800
From: "Brett M. Grace" 
Subject: Re: (urth) TIDDAOSAOS

    Right, the mystery ship's construction is a bit incongruent with the 
presumed needs of its crew, for several similar reasons (another example 
is Daw's pointing out the use of guide wires rather than bunks for 
sleeping purposes, which rely on a primate sleeping reflex to keep 
sleepers in place--what's the point?)  Were there any details which 
suggest that the ship really was designed to support AIs?  I can't 
recall at the moment.  If not, I infer that Daw's conclusion about the 
ship is true, that it was originally built by, or for, humans... or 
human-like beings.  Perhaps the cube is a kind of ghost ship, whose 
original inhabitants have vanished, to be replaced by the opportunistic 

    I add "or human-like" above because the AIs treat this as a first 
contact.  But perhaps they merely mean a first contact with Daw's 
civilization, as opposed to the other human civilizations that exist in 
this universe.  A corollary hypothesis would be that the AIs simply 
eliminated their creators and masters, the original crew.  (Maybe some 
nice contrasts with the use of AI on Daw's ship here?)

    I suppose the ship could also be an elaborate rat maze to conduct 
tests on the primates who find it, in which case, these difficulties can 
be waved away.  I don't really care for that theory, however.

    Personally I found the story to be a bit unsatisfying for some 
reason I can't quite put my finger on.  Loved "Tracking Song" although I 
understood it less, or maybe not at all!


Michael Straight wrote:

>The best explanation I can think of for the starcharts (and it's not very
>good) is that the Alien's "simulation" of the woman's husband might mean
>they are in the habit of incarnating themselves in some sort of bodies
>which would use the charts.  You have a similar problem with the existence
>of hatches and passageways in the ship.
>-- Rostrum


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