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Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2003 09:47:53 -0700
From: Don Palumbo 
Subject: Re: (urth) Severian, memory, alzabo


Wolfe is an engaging and surprisingly modest guy.  I was once talking with him after having read only The Shadow of the Torturer (this must be at least 15 years ago), and I told him how much I liked it and how I was looking forward to reading the rest of the BNS, and he was quite eager to "save me the trouble" and wanted to tell me how it all came out on the spot.  I insisted on not being told, but in retrospect it would have been interesting to have heard his off-the-cuff version.

--Don Palumbo

At 10:45 AM 7/9/03 -0500, James Jordan wrote:
At 12:05 PM 7/9/2003, you wrote:
As a few people have said this, it may be worth pointing out that the Autarchs do not use the alzebo drug to pass on their memories.  When the Autarch has Severian kill him and eat his forebrain, he points out specifically that the drug in the vial around his neck is not taken from the alzebo, but is a rarer, better, and more powerful drug.

--Don Palumbo

And Sev does not just get their memories, any more than he just got Thecla's. They come to life in him. This is part of how he passes the trial.
        I originally thought this was nod to Casher O'Neill in *On the Sand Planet* by C. Smith, who passes trials with the same benefit as gained in *On the Wind Planet,* but Wolfe told me Smith was not an influence on him.


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