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Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 20:05:47 -0500
Subject: Re: (urth) Whorl <> Second Empire
From: Michael Buice 

On Monday, August 18, 2003, at 07:38 PM, Alice K. Turner wrote:
> No, you haven't. It'a just a consequence of GW's having tried to cobble
> several sf traditions together that sensibly shouldn't be cobbled. NS 
> not
> only has FtL effects, but the ship, through some post-Einsteinian 
> doodah
> that makes my head spin can get there before it started. LS has 
> tradional
> (in sf) generational travel, and seems pretty well thought out. SS has
> instantaneous magic flights to other planets that hark back to 
> Burroughs.
> What's not to be confused about? Sometimes I think you guys spend a 
> lot more
> time than the author did trying to make sense of all this.

IMHO, Wolfe "cobbled" rather well.  One of the many things I appreciate 
about Gene Wolfe's writing is the way he deals with science.  Since 
none of the major "authors" in the Sun universe are scientists 
themselves, we're to expect some confusion in the relation of the 
deeper workings of things.  I've always been impressed with how 
realistic most of it seems, having been filtered through the 
"lay-brains" of Severian, Horn, etc.  Ever read a "popular" book on 
Quantum Mechanics?  I've yet to see one get it right.  I've NEVER seen 
any science fiction in which it's down right (that is, when people try 
to dig deeper than Severian ever does).

In this particular case, however, I'm neither surprised nor confused 
about the existence of these different technologies.  In our own world, 
we have rockets yet I've still seen the occasional horse and buggy 
plopping down the road.



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