From: "James Wynn"
Subject: Re: (urth) One Ship Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 10:04:00 -0500 Ash quoted: "There is only one ship, the captain says. All the ships we hail between the galaxies or the suns are this ship." Crush responds: Nice attempt. The bit about "only one ship" is a good arguement, but IMO there is at least an equally compelling arguement against it: The Whorl is breaking down. Silk mentions the breaking shiprock that was supposed to last until the end of the Whorl. Well the Whorl was in orbit around Blue and Green for some 30 years before the colonists started to leave, and since the shiprock is deteriorating, and since the Whorl stayed in orbit for another 30? years after the colonists began to depart, it suggests that the Whorl was intended for a one way trip. Also, the Whorl was built by Typhon. Could Severian's ship have been? Your theory does, however, make me wonder about what the Whorl technicians thought what was to ultimately to become of them. Ash says: ...it contains Chems very similar in construction and role to those found in the Whorl. Jonas himself seems to be a chem, and is a sailor as well. Jonas does not seem to be his original name, but the name of the sailor whos body he made use of, much as he took on the name Miles at a later point. Crush responds: Well, Jonas is a different kind of chem than Marble. All the chems are very heavy (Sand is "five-hundred weight" and Marble is too heavy for Silk to lift) but when Severian picked up Jonas he was surprised to discover how light he was. While the story reiterates two or three times how light Hyacinth is and I think there's something to *that*, it is clear that Jonas is a different kind of chem from the standard chems of the Whorl. Mind, I believe Jonas' light weight does work into the Long Sun plot. Nevertheless, IIRC it was Miles who was the human body that Jonas took on -- a whole-body-prosthesis for a robot, just as the Ayuntamiento took chems as whole-body prosthesises. Jonas was all artificial, and Jonas is not a mineral (I don't think). Ash argues: ...the name 'Sideros' means 'iron', which fulfills the need for a mineral name. Ossipago himself is a machine...Sideros notes that beings like himself were originally created as protective suits against the vacuum of space, but later took on specific roles within the ship...Severian sees 'several beings of polished metal', and Sideros is one of those. If Chems were created on board the ship as Sideros claims, then for them to be present on the Starcrosser the two ships would have to be one and the same. Crush responds: Once again, while Sideros uses the same naming convention as the Whorl, his origin is more like that of a talos than a chem. And I don't think there is any mention of names. Kypis notes that she was familiar with "robots" on Urth; further evidence that the origin of the chems is Urth-born not shipborn. Finally, Ossipago and her comrades are not named after minerals, but after gods. The only way I can think to salvage this theory is to say that Severian's ship was *first* the Whorl, retrofitted over time to eventually become Severian's ship. In that case, the time-line problems disappear and all the problems in technology can be explained by the passage of time. This is a less elegant solution than you were looking for since it doesn't explain "the cargo". But IMO it resolves some nasty snarls. -- Crush --