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Date: Wed, 02 Jul 2003 23:59:41 -0700
From: maa32 
Subject: (urth) miracle of Apu-punchau, past

All right guys.  I was writing an off-list message when a weird thought struck 
me.  It has already been posited here that perhaps some strange doubling 
occurred, allowing Green to be Urth and Blue to be Ushas.  I didn't really buy 
that at the time, but a VERY strange idea struck me.
We have always pretty much accepted Michael Andre-Driussi's (probably valid) 
concept of the long night in Urth of the New Sun: the sails of the starship 
cover the sun.
For lack of a better theory, I have always bought that wholesale.  Where there 
any other possibilities?  I DON'T believe what I am about to present at all 
yet, but i need to re-read Urth of the New Sun.  I will say right up front 
that most of the information presented by the hierodules and Apheta would 
probably have to be ignored for this scheme to work, so I'm just throwing it 
out there until I can re-read what they say about the coming of the white 

The miracle of Apu-punchau.  What does he do at the end of Claw of the 
Conciliator?  He calls the future Severian and the whole city back in time.  
He doesn't go forward: Severian goes back.  That's the miracle of Apu-Punchau.
To hide the sun, he creates a huge eclipse.  He swaps the moon ... for the 
future Urth.  He calls the Urth back in time, and instead of bringing a New 
Sun, Severian has simply called the whole Urth back to the past where the Sun 
is still New.  He didn't bring it.  He's a phony!  The melting ice and the 
high tides and the atmospheric disturbances are caused by the dislocation of 
Urth, which screws up the orbital system and leaves us with ... Blue and 
Green.  So ... the Lune that Rudesind talks about is actually Urth ... it used 
to be smaller because it used to be a lifeless rock ... now it's Urth, a much 
larger satellite copy called back from the future by Apu Punchau.

So ... the walls under water in the world of Blue COULD be the walls of 
Nessus, but the city of the Inhumi is also Nessus.  The man with four arms who 
comes up out of the lake in OBW who is posited to be an immortal chosen of the 
gods could be Severian, and so could the man in the colorless cloak at the top 
of the high cliff on Green.

The doubling of the limbs of animals on Blue could be symbolic: everything has 
been doubled in the system by the miracle of Apu-Punchau.  For the first time 
in a long, long, time, I can think of Severian as NOT being the New Sun, but 
instead being someone who desperately wants to be the New Sun.

However, I still don't know if I buy it.  If there is an orbital system with 
one small planet and one large planet, and you swap the small one for a planet 
of equal mass with the larger one, what happens?  Anybody understand the 
physics of that?  Instability?  Or collision?

The nicely solves the atmosphere of Lune problem: it doesn't need to be big 
enough to get an atmosphere.  It's been replaced by something that is.

Well, I don't know if I believe this at all. But there is that weird scene in 
Citadel of the Autarch where Severian feels like he is being doubled and 
leaves from his own ear into an alternate universe when he is praying to the 
Pelerines, and the idea that the future of Urth is our past that is brought up 
by Wolfe in an interview, which I always thought was entirely contrary to the 
book.  I don't know.  It places a lot of importance on Apu-Punchau's "Miracle" 
as the solution to everything instead of the white fountain, but I don't think 
it jives with the hierodules' explanations at all.

Just a thought.
Marc Aramini


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