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From: Peter Cash <cash@convex.convex.com>
Subject: (whorl) Some paranoid speculations by Rock
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 1997 12:55:05 

[Posted from Whorl, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

"Alga" wrote:

>Another thought on Tartaros. He appears to be in charge of Mainframe at the
>end of the series. If that is so, and if the monitor on the landing ship is
>connected to Mainframe, and I would think it surely must be, then it is
>Tartaros that makes the decision to override orders and send the lander to

>Which makes him a good guy.

But your presume that Blue is the better planet. I don't really think we
have enough to go on to decide that this is so. Horn's knowledge of
Blue's geography is necessarily limited, and he has never been to Green
at all. Thus, his remarks can't be given much weight.

Consider this also: Pas is dead, so where is the push to execute the
"Plan of Pas" coming from? If Tartaros is in charge, then it is _his_
plan that is being carried out. If Tartaros is such a fine fellow, then
why is he sending people to the Inhumi-infested planets, instead of
repairing the Whorl, and keeping everyone safely aboard? Why hasn't he
launched an effort to rid the Whorl of its Inhumi? --I don't think there
are any good guys in these books.

On the condition of the Whorl:
The mechanical condition of the Whorl is something of a puzzle to me. It
seems to have been designed to be self-repairing and sustaining. So why
is everything breaking down? I think it has to do with the "gold cards"
that are used as currency in Viron--and presumably everywhere in the
Whorl. I find it hard to believe that Pas would have allowed humans to
literally rip the brains out of the computers that run the Whorl while
he was alive, so I suspect that this currency is a recent innovation.
Could it have been encouraged by Tartaros to create conditions under
which the "cargo" would be forced to leave the Whorl?
Or perhaps the Prolocutor had something to do with the "gold cards".
Descending the ladder to paranoia, perhaps the Inhumi have taken control
of Mainframe, and all the actions of the "Gods" are a sham directed by
the Inhumi to bring about the Exodus. 

This has the additional benefit (to the Inhumi) of reducing what could
surely be a very powerful weapon against them--the Whorl itself--to
uselessness. Think of the threat the production capability of a
Whorl-sized ship could pose to the indigenes of Blue/Green.

On War:

At one point (I think on the airship) Silk remarks on how few the
surviving Chems are. Now, it seems to me that the Chems--particularly
the soldiers--would be a grave threat to the Inhumi: they don't have any
blood to suck, and they would be as good at killing Inhumi as they are
at killing anything else. So perhaps the puppet Gods are fomenting war
(and it seems to me that they had a hand in the Trivigaunte invasion) at
the behest of the Inhumi to whittle down the Chem soldiery. 


            Peter T. Cash -- Documentation Systems Development
   	             Hewlett-Packard, Convex Division, 
		 P.O.Box 833851 Richardson, TX 75083-3851
    voice: (214) 497-4389 - FAX: (214) 497-4500 - cash@convex.com

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