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From: "Alice Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (whorl) Tartaros Rex
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 1997 14:43:42 

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

Gosh, we're all getting so nostalgic and philosophical. I'll bite. I
started with Oz myself at a young age, moved on to Kipling (another Wolfe
fave). SF: C. Smith and Vance (Vance seems to be universal here). Never
cared much for Niven and the hard-boys, but then I'm a gril. <g>
Interesting though---in nearly any mini-survey of this kind someone will
wax nostalgic about the Heinlein juveniles, and nobody has here. Does that
mean that the Wolfe pack had a somewhat different juvenile taste from the
majority? Hurray for us!

But back to the squabbling that I consider the essence of this group.
> So based on the Pas no-show theophany, as well as the sudden and
> increasing powers of Tartaros toward the end, you divine that the
> rightful and dutiful son has ascended the throne of the Whorl?  (Pas
> in Saturn-like retirement?)  Good job!  I like it.

Thank you, my dear mantis. Let me recap. The first Pas viewing is reported
by Q as a sight of Pas's "ghost." Auk hears "ghost" at the second theophany
(Incus takes Pas at face value, but he would, wouldn't he?). I'm using
"puppet" as a stronger synonym. At the presumable third Pas theophany,
there is no lightshow at all as the Jerboa "piece of Pas" is transferrred
to Auk--via Tartaros alone, I'm convinced. At the fourth, comely Kypris
waggles Pas as Miss Piggy might a temporarily unmanned Kermit. I wouldn't
say that Pas is exactly Saturn-like, nor do I think Tartaros is
dutiful--instead, he seems, like Q to be on the side of the humans and thus
a traitor to his kind. But, yes, I do think he is in sole charge of
Mainframe at the end, with kooky Kypris as a sort of ally. (Sort of,
because she probably would feel safer with Big Daddy--she's probably about
as loyal to Tartaros as Hy is to Silk.)

One more explanation: I'm of the opinion that the Whorl is a supply ship,
that the Cargo, which consists of the dregs of Urth society, was sold to
the inhumi by Pas/Typhon as a food supply. Q was in effect a "shepherd,"
but over time he turned into something of a Good Shepherd, against his own
nature. I don't expect everyone to agree however (continued butting up
against mantis has made me philosophical).


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