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From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Wolfe physics
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 23:41:32 -0500

William Ansley said:
> I'm with alga on this one. IMO the seams really show where Wolfe
> tried to sew the New and Long/Short Suns together. And I'm not really
> sure what the fact that Gene Wolfe is very good at presenting science
> from the point of view of a non-scientist has to do with his trying
> to combine too many disparate elements together, which I think he
> did, especially in Short Sun.

Crush disagrees (he thinks):
Two things:
ONE - I'm not sure the seams show between the NS and LS/SS or anywhere else
because I'm still not certain (nor do I think anyone else is) what kind of
garments he is intending or who he had in mind to wear it. With Tailor
Wolfe, it can be hard to tell a seam from a cuff. To change analogies,
Wolfe's writing is so plot-oriented (the characters' behavior seem so
precisely blocked), yet Wolfe has so much of the narrative taking place
behind the scenery (whether we are talking about NS, LS, SS, Peace, Pandora,
or The Fifth Head). I simply cannot imagine what audience Wolfe could have
in mind when he is writing? "Look, the architect carved a little florish
behind these baseboards! Wait! That no florish, that looks like a supporting

TWO - I think Wolfe's ease with a having a generation ship share the
universe with a "post-Einsteinian" monstrosity like Tzadkiel is exemplary of
Wolfe adeptness at World-building. He has criticized works that have a
single culture on an entire planet (ala Star Trek); well, how realistic is
it suppose that the existence of a FTL ship would render generation ships
obsolete? Even a single one? That would be like saying that after the
invention of the jet airliner, no one on the same planet would ever think or
regularly moving freight by train, let alone horse and cart. But neither of
these conveyances are on the verge of being eliminated.

I'm not sure this argument really even applies since Tz. moves in and out of
Time and Space -- sharing the universe with an Urth before Europe discovered
America, let alone Typhon's Urth.

-- Crush


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