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From: "Andrew Bollen" 
Subject: Re: (urth) STL interstellar empires
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2003 11:37:11 +1000

mantis writes:

> In TBOTNS, at the Vancean resurrection of the Stone Town, the Cumaean uses
> a device to contact an entity 22 light years away for a real-time
> conversation.  This is rather a lot like an ansible.  So the technology is
> at least possible in the universe of Briah.  Typhon just wants to rule a
> Guin style interstellar grouping.

Sure, all this cool stuff is available to non-Urthians, and quite likely to
New Sun Typhon, but there's no hint that it's anywhere on the Whorl. I
suppose you could say it's there, but unused, given Typhon's premature

But I don't think New Sun Typhon would be satisfied with a STL empire.
Doesn't he say somewhere that he and his followers returned from the stars?
If I've got that right, did they come back frozen in a slow-boat? Does this
story of his return really square very well with Roger's description of
Typhopn's rise in IGJ?  In Claw (?) Typhon talks of delaying his decision to
leave Urth too long - was he planning to freeze himself on a slow-boat? is
his digital presence on the Whorl a kind of poor-man's alternative?

Obviously, all of these things which look like mis-matches to me can be
glued together, but I think it needs some fairly sticky chewing gum to do

> So why the Whorl?  Another hedge, I say.  While all the other stuff is
> conquer and control, this other project will be "pure" colonization.

But at some point the :"real" Typhon is going to want to take control -
what's the point of having even an empire if you don't get to rule it? Will
he have to assert his authority over his digital avatar via ansible? Of
course, you can postulate some kind of built-in thingy giving real Typhon
authority over digital Pas, but I don't find it very convincing.

> >- The literary survivals from our age in the Chras Writings are *really*
> >implausible for a deep future setting.
> >- At some point in Exodus Silk talks of French and Latin as extant
> >(at least literary languages). Ditto.

I think in New Sun it's made clear that Latin is used as to translate some
unknown archaic language. Maybe the terms "Latin" and "French" are used
similarly in Short Sun, but I don't think so. The texts in the Chras writing
are from our broad era; I assume that the languages are also.

> >- Why no chems on Urth, apart from throwbacks like Jonah? Maybe there are
> >some around at the time of Sev vs Typhon in UOTNS; we don't meet them,
> >AFAIK. But surely Typhon's army would have been predominantly chems?
> Hard to get parts in such a low-tech backwater.  Look at Jonas, for
> example: repaired with biological material, for goodness sake!  Urth is
> more resource poor than the Whorl, and look at how the chems are running
> down on the Whorl, after only a few hundred years of isolation.

I don't understand this point. If Typhon can stock the Whorl with many
thousands of chem soldiers, why does he not use them on Urth? Perhaps they
were intended just for the Whorl, but again I find this quite dubious. Why
should it be so?


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