From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes"
Subject: Re: (urth) (TBOTN) Utter speculation Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2003 11:42:09 -0700 >>= "Craig wrote this." >= "Mantis wrote this." > >Assuming > >that the walls are circular, then would it be possible > >that what we have is some kind of base for a huge > >cylinder, like...the Whorl? >Now this would be a rather insane (and, as far as I >can tell) rather impossible way to build and "launch" >a ship as big as the Whorl (which seems to be too >massive to ever be "launched" from a planet). >Still...why is the wall miles high and spread so far >around the city? While I like much of your and Mantis's) ideas here, I'm pretty sure that Nessus is more than a thousand years old and so predates Typhon and the _Whorl_. (In fact, I think it's _much_ more, but I can't recall a cite at present to prove it.) > >Now this would be a rather insane (and, as far as I > >can tell) rather impossible way to build and "launch" > >a ship as big as the Whorl (which seems to be too > >massive to ever be "launched" from a planet). > >Still...why is the wall miles high and spread so far > >around the city? I suspect that the Wall was originally built to contain damage in the event of a crash (something Mantis tosses off below). It would be miles high to limit the escape of hazardous materials (radioactives, alien life spores, etc.) on the wind. Pondering: There are a few things of BDO scale in the NS books. Some of them are alive. Is there any connection between them and the nonliving ones? Could the Wall (despite my, I think, convincing theory above) have anything to do with them? Probably not; a wall isn't necessary to keep them "out" since they can't walk abroad on land. >Fact: the Walls pre-date the city. > >Fact: the city has been crawling upstream for a long time, so it has >presumably entered the walls and taken up residence like a hermit crab >moving into a found shell. Question: Do we know that the Walls form a closed ... circle, or whatever? Or are they open to the Sea? Or extend out into it? I don't recall Sev. mentioning passsing through them as he comes up the river on _Samru_, but my memory could well be faulty in this. Anyone recall such a thing? H'mmm. If they aren't fully closed, that blows off the "containment" theory, doesn't it? >Fact: the citadel pre-dates the city, and the earliest name we have for it >is the Old Port, iirc. The Citidel was clearly the old spaceport, yeah. I mean, that's why the Towers are old spaceships, neh? >So it probably was one of the ports from which >people and materials where shuttled up to the Whorl (and that was >relatively late in history -- the city was . . . approaching, but not there >yet? Umm, no. The towers were already towers in Typhon's time, if I'm not totally mistaken; they take Sev to the Matachin in UotNS, don't they? I'm pretty sure it's not a port anymore at that point. H'mm: does anyone recall whether the city is surrounding the Citadel yet at that point? Or if there's any indication? >As for the why, who knows? Gene Wolfe might not even know. It is a Big >Dumb Object that is an Enigma, with echos of the Tower of Babel and skiffy >notions like a failed sky-elevator, or a blast-containment area for ships >with radioactive exhaust, or a simple terrarium-type structure (an early >Trantor-style "world building" module?) that never got its Buckydome roof, >or just a super "particle accelerator." IIRC it is a feature of the dying >sun fictions (if not even the gothic before it?) to have gigantism like >this. Yes ... Aside from Vance, the other major "dying Earth" work would be Aldiss' _Hothouse_, which has its share of biological gigantism -- the world- banyan, the spiders that web the Earth to the Moon ... Hey, now. It occurs to me, going waaaaaaaaaaay back to certain theories about trees. Could _Short Sun_ (and especially Green) be related to Aldiss' book in a way similar to _New Sun_'s relationship to Vance's? --Blattid _________________________________________________________________ Add photos to your messages with MSN 8. Get 2 months FREE*. http://join.msn.com/?page=features/featuredemail --